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Prices of building supplies in Western Canada are skyrocketing – Warkentin calls on the Trudeau Government to pay back increased drywall tariffs to Western Canadian contractors and homeowners

 The federal Liberal government is making it more expensive to buy or renovate a home in the Peace Country. The Liberals have placed a 276 percent tariff on drywall being imported in Western Canada from the United States.

 Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Grande Prairie – Mackenzie, is worried that this action could make a bad situation far worse.

“This new tax is devastating to homebuilders, contractors, prospective home buyers and first time homeowners,” Warkentin stated. “The impacts extend past residential properties, with the costs of building schools and hospitals being impacted as well. Our local building contractors have been hit hard over the past year and this is going to make it worse”.

“After less than one year in office, this government is demonstrating on a daily basis that it is completely out of touch with everyday Canadians.” added Warkentin. “Times are already tough, and this is just adding insult to injury.”

The decision by the Liberal Government to impose the drywall tariff came from a complaint by CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. The decision to side with the Mississauga based company came with no notice and will largely hurt Western Canadians.

Doug Skrepnek, chief executive officer at WSB Titan, one of the largest drywall suppliers in Canada, estimates that the “… tariff will add between 50 and 60 per cent, depending upon the market, price increase to our customers.”

Skrepnek explained that the limited supply of local gypsum in Western Canada is one of the reasons why imports are needed in the first place. He also said the tariff would hammer the industry and affect the region, which has already been drastically affected by the recent downturn in the economy.

Warkentin is calling on the Trudeau government to implement a drywall rebate immediately. “The only option for this government is to rebate the additional costs to Western Canadian contractors and homeowners,” Warkentin said. “Anything else would be unacceptable. Western Canadians should not have to pay 50 percent more for their products just to fill the government coffers, we have paid enough!”