Quebec unable to stop the cuts

News 19 August, 2017
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    Quebec has granted a licence to cuts of 200 000 m3 of wood in the heart of the atikamekw territory without consulting the community.

    Anne Caroline Desplanques

    Friday, 18 August 2017 20:08

    Friday, 18 August 2017 20:08

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    The ministry of Forests (MFFP) fails to stop the logging on the atikamekw territory even if he admits not to have consulted the community beforehand as it has the duty.

    It is this that stipulate the lawyers of the Atikamekw of Opitciwan in documents filed in superior Court Friday in Montreal.

    At a meeting on 10 August, “the representatives of the MFFP have admitted that they have failed in their duty to consult” before the granting of a permit of the cuts on no less than 200 000 m3 of timber to the company Rémabec, wrote the lawyer of the community, Marc Phillips.

    Accordingly, the Department is committed to take steps to stop the operations. However, it has not been able to convince the company, which calls for ” a financial compensation on the part of the government “, according to court filings.

    “Everything will have been cut “

    The Atikamekw are, therefore, addressed to the justice on Friday in the hope of stopping the 18 machines that déboisent 24 hours on 24.

    “If the work of deforestation continue, everything will have been cut and there will be nothing left to protect in a few days,” one reads in the statement of claim.

    “What is threatened, they are mature forests that are very rare on the territory of the community. It is sure that the damage that is happening in this moment is not quantifiable, it is huge, ” says Me Phillips in the Journal.

    The lawyer, however, has not been able to submit its application to the single judge in office on Friday, because he was busy and had no time to listen to it.

    “Where are the judges ? ! ” exclaimed the Chief of the atikamekw Christian Awashish, very disappointed coming out of the hearing room.

    “Due to the lack of judicial resources, forest operations will continue “, he lamented. “The devastation is continuing. It is all corrupted “, has blown Denis Weizineau, attached to Opitciwan. The head of the family owns the aboriginal title to the lands currently in dispute.

    “The government is absent “

    The forest workers have suspended work for the weekend, but they will resume Monday morning as of 6 h. ” even When you want to stop, they have a contract to be performed, it is at the door of the minister that it is necessary to strike “, said Mr. Weizineau.

    “The company launches the ball to the government, but the government is absent in it all,” growls the Chief Awashish who will return to the court Monday in the hope this time to be heard.

    “There are discussions that are going on. The desire is that we reach an agreement, ” said Francis Forcier, forest engineer and strategic manager at MFFP, in interview with the Newspaper earlier this week.