Canada says US softwood claims are "baseless"

The Canadian government says American complaints that British Columbia has violated the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement are “baseless” relying selected information that does not portray the extent of the mountain pine beetle’s disastrous impact on this province’s timber supply.

Canada’s defence of B.C. timber pricing was released Tuesday after being filed earlier in the month with the London Court of International Arbitration. The 207-page-long document is in response to a complaint filed with the court by the United States. The U.S. alleges that B.C. Interior sawmills have unfairly benefited from the mountain pine beetle epidemic by paying salvage log prices of 25 cents a cubic metre for timber that was successfully milled into lumber.

The U.S. is claiming $499 million in damages.