Ottawa; Trade Minister David Emerson, faced with mounting criticism of the new softwood lumber deal with the United States, says if the agreement falls apart it won't be his fault ... and he wouldn't resign over it.
Mr. Emerson shrugged off the notion that he might have to quit his job if the
deal falls through, dismissing the suggestion with a laugh and curt "I don't
OK...but even if he won't accept blame for the deal's failure, Emerson is going to do his darndest to make sure this deal he signed goes through:
But he added that "this is not something that I intend to bang people over the head about or try to sell it in an aggressive way."
If the Canadian softwood industry wants to scuttle the deal by refusing to sign on, that's up to them, he said.
That does seem weird, but luckily Emerson gives a perfectly valid explanation for his indifference towards the biggest file in his Cabinet portfolio and perhaps the entire Harper government:
But he insisted that neither his personal political future nor the reputation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government are on the line.
"I don't consider it, frankly, to be a political issue at all; it's an economic issue," said Mr. Emerson.
Yes, it would be a shame to consider a major international treaty worth billions of dollars a political issue.
Although, if David doesn't consider the economy or foreign relations to be political issues, this does beg the question of what on earth Emerson would classify as a political. Apart from, you know, floor crossing.