$12 million from anti-dumping duties to be directed as grant for Ft. McMurray rebuilding

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Ft. McMurray fire
The Ft. McMurray wildfire

The federal government will direct $12 million in anti-dumping duties collected between September 2016 and January this year towards a grant for Ft. McMurray residents rebuilding after last year’s disastrous wildfire.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement in late February in front of a home that’s being rebuilt in Fort McMurray.

“This is part of our ongoing effort to be of assistance at a time of real challenge in Alberta,” Morneau said. “We know that Alberta families have been hard hit.”

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. also reported that the Liberals will reduce anti-dumping duties on imported drywall from the U.S. into Western Canada by 32 per cent.

The $12 million grant will also help builders and contractors in Western Canada who were adversely affected by higher drywall prices.

Morneau said the government’s announcement is response to a trade panel ruling that called on Ottawa to cut duties imposed on drywall products being imported into Western Canada from the U.S.

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) ruled in January that while U.S. firms had dumped drywall at cut-rate prices in Canada over the past few years, maintaining duties at current levels would not be in the country’s trade interests.

Canadian construction firms have complained the tariffs on U.S. drywall make it more expensive to build homes out of the material, also known as gypsum board, and were hampering efforts in Fort McMurray to recover from last year’s wildfire.

The duties, imposed last September, followed a dumping complaint by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada, the last drywall manufacturer in Western Canada.

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