Local Home Builders Association optimistic about future drywall ruling

Tariffs on drywall and gypsum imported into Western Canada will continue, but not at the more than 200% rate that came into place last fall.

That's the message from the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, which released a ruling earlier this week.

The Canadian Home Builders Association says that their members can still operate with a tariff, but are looking for measures to ease the financial hardship.

Executive Officer of the Central Okanagan chapter Sherri Paiement says the quick response from the Home Builders Association meant that the Tribunal was able to hear clear solutions.

"It's easy to go in and say this isn't right, but it's great for us to come to the table and have that impact to be able to say this isn't right, but here's some of the things and recommendations that we like, and give them a little food for thought," she said

"So it'll be interesting to see over the next month, where they take those recommendations."

She also says the CHBA plans to be involved in the development of policies going forward.

"They may call on this industry again, including the Association, to be involved in that process. We also have a legal team and an accounting team as well, to work with the government on what those outcomes will be. Hopefully we'll see some final decisions by January (19)," she said.

Items the CHBA is hoping to have the Tribunal rule in favour of include a six month elimination of duties, and reimbursement for homeowners and contractors who paid the high duty starting in September.

As well, they'd like to see duties capped at 43%, and the elimination of extra costs for people trying to rebuild their homes in Fort McMurray.

Paiement says while the sudden implementation of the tariff was unfortunate, the process since then has been mostly positive.

"To be quite honest for something of this magnitude, yes, it is positive, absolutely," she said.

"You would have liked to have seen this happen three months ago, it didn't. But the fact that it's already happened and that you are working with the federal government, and that they've been able to sit at the table and work with industry, I think is always a positive thing."

The Tribunal will release its next report on January 19.