Canadian steel groups unite

Bloc Québécois member Gerard Asselin proposed changing Canada’s federal Public Works Act to make wood the “preferred” building material for government construction projects. The bill has passed two of three required readings in Parliament and a clause by clause committee review. It will go before Parliament, contained in a private member’s bill in November. The proposal has caused the Canadian Steel Producers Association to unite with other opponents forming the Coalition for Construction Fairness. The group does not support the proposed legislation, arguing that it favors workers in one sector over another and violates trade and economic policy, in addition to overall fairness principles. ArcelorMittal Dofasco, trade associations for iron and steel, concrete, cement, civil engineering, and iron industries have also joined the coalition. The association’s letter to Parliament urges members to defeat the bill, arguing that job creation in the lumbering sector will result in job losses in other sectors, namely the steel industry.

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