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Gary Doer to champion Alberta’s softwood lumber

May 8, 2017 - The Alberta government has retained former Canadian ambassador to the United States Gary Doer to advocate for Alberta’s softwood lumber industry in Washington, D.C. 

Doer represents an additional resource for Alberta to draw on its efforts to resolve the softwood lumber dispute and reach a fair resolution for the industry. "I am very pleased that Gary Doer has agreed to work on behalf of Albertans to help communicate our position on softwood lumber to decision makers in Canada and the U.S. The U.S. is Alberta’s most important trading partner and Mr. Doer’s engagement is another example of how our government is doing all it can to advocate for Alberta industry and jobs," said Premier Rachel Notley.

Building on Premier Notley’s visit to Washington earlier this year, as well the ongoing work of ministers and the Alberta government’s Washington office, Doer will draw on his extensive network to connect government and industry to key decision makers and provide important advocacy advice.

"I am excited to be supporting the Alberta government and Premier Notley on this important issue. I will work closely with our partners across Canada and the U.S. to make progress and help ensure a fair outcome for all Albertans," Doer said.

"Former ambassador Doer’s experience, high profile and deep knowledge of bilateral relations will be critical to ensuring our U.S. partners understand the significance of the U.S.-Alberta softwood trade relationship. He will be a key ally in advancing our strong commitment to finding a solution to the lumber dispute," said Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

Doer's expertise will also enhance Alberta’s working relationship with other governments in Canada, including the federal government and the provinces, to help advance the “Team Canada” approach.

"Gary Doer’s engagement on this file is welcome news. He will be a valuable resource that will enhance the work that I have undertaken through the federal provincial task force, to defend the interests of Alberta’s softwood lumber industry. I look forward to working with him," said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Highly regarded in political and business communities, Doer served as Canada's ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2016. Prior to this high-profile assignment, Doer was the premier of Manitoba from 1999 to 2009. As premier, he worked with both U.S. and Mexico governors to improve trade and energy cooperation. In late 2005, Business Week recognized Doer as one of the top 20 international leaders on climate change.

"We welcome Mr. Doer’s assistance to raise awareness in the United States about Alberta’s fair and competitive lumber pricing practices. Gary is one of most skilled and knowledgeable people Alberta could hire to advocate on our behalf. He is uniquely suited to work with industry and government to challenge these tariffs and we look forward to collaborating with him to defend the jobs of Albertans working in the forestry sector," said Paul Whittaker, president and chief executive officer, Alberta Forest Products Association.

Doer is a senior business adviser at Dentons global law firm where he works closely with Canada-U.S. cross-border legal practitioners across Canada and throughout the United States.

The Alberta government has retained Dentons at a fee of $10,000 per month for Doer’s services on this file.

May 8, 2017  By Government of Alberta

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