British Columbia aims to keep up the pressure on the US until all the softwood lumber duties are removed, the province’s premier Gordon Campbell has told foresters.

Mr Campbell, speaking at the Interior Logging Association’s 45th annual convention, said the focus had to be kept on softwood, as forestry represented the cornestone of the province’s “quality of life”.

He is confident a resolution will be found and he is not worried that the US will punish the province on softwood lumber because of Canada’s unwillingness to join the coalition in Iraq.

But Mr Campbell said a new generation of foresters was needed because most forest sector workers are nearing retirement.