The government pointed the finger

News 16 August, 2017
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    These logging operations were done in a humid environment in the heart of the atikamekw territory without consultation or consent. For three weeks, the company will advance at high speed and increase the grumbling among the natives.

    Anne Caroline Desplanques

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 22:54

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 22:54

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    The government Couillard must bear the responsibility of logging challenged in caribou habitat, and not the companies, says the industry.

    “It is the government of Québec which gives the permissions to companies to go to harvest in these territories, lance Karl Blackburn, a spokesperson for Resolute Forest Products. It’s not going where he wants. We will go where the government allows us to go. “

    Mr. Blackburn responded to the accusations of a group of american lawyers who complained that Tuesday, in our pages, the companies have violated their own moratorium of felling in the boreal forest.

    But for the singer, and filmmaker Richard Desjardins, the ministry of Forestry, which grant the rights to the cuts, ” this is like a company in a government that would sell our public resource “.

    The Ministry has not responded to the call Journal on Tuesday. He had also stated not to want to comment on the record Monday.

    Protected areas

    “For the tiniest fraction of protected area, it drags in length, consultations, and studies. Companies are asked if they have objections, growls-t-it. During this time, the government can grant cutting areas over 10 000 km2 without asking us our opinion. “

    For years, Quebec has in its cardboard two large projects of protected areas in the habitat of the woodland caribou. One is located in the valley of the white Mountains, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and the other, in that of the Broadback, in Nord-du-Québec.

    Pier-Olivier Boudreault, of the Society for Parks and wilderness (CPAWS), however, emphasises that protected areas may not be the only plank of salvation of the caribou.

    “If you really want it to work, you can’t just create zones of protection. Otherwise we will continue to be taken with a war in the woods “, he said.


    According to him, the FSC standard (Forest Stewardship Council), an ecolabel voluntary membership that ensures that wood products meet the sustainable management of forests, is the demonstration that the collaboration between environmentalists, communities and companies is possible.

    But Richard Desjardins is doubtful. “Frankly, on the field we do not see a big difference between a cup certified or not,” he said. The small herd of woodland caribou in Val-d’or will be shut off in a certified forest. “

    “It protects the territories of the caribou,” defends François Dufresne, president of FSC Canada. “In all certified forests where there were caribou, the certifications are gone,” he insists. Of the 30 million hectares certified in Quebec in 2012-2013, there remains less than 24 million, he says.


    Cuts not allowed in the Haute-Mauricie

    The government has given the green light to logging in indigenous territory without consulting the affected community, denounces the chief of the atikamekw of Opitciwan, in the Haute-Mauricie.

    “The company Rémabec landed on our territory and, with the complicity of the government, comes to destroy our environment as if it did not exist. This is unacceptable ! “laments the chief Christian Awashish.

    The chief Awashish describes “cuts devastating” that have left ” significant damage and irreversible damage on the environment “. “Me, I was in shock seeing it,” he says, aghast.

    “It’s been three weeks that they are in operation. The cup is intensive. There are a lot of cubic meters that depart every day, ” he said.


    If Quebec does not withdraw the permits granted, the chief Awashish feared a direct confrontation with the forestry workers in the next few days.

    To stop the engine, the community has filed an injunction application in court on Tuesday.

    “If we win, it will solve the problem for a few days, but and after ? “, he breathed.

    “And if it is not positive, it’s going to be the fury’, he afraid.

    The cuts affect the ancestral lands of the family Weizineau, who hold title. It has expressly signified his refusal to let the logging companies more than once. Quebec, however, has permitted a “special operation of salvage timber” on the land.

    The chief Awashish explains that a large part of the territory Weizineau has already been cut over the past ten years and that the portions that are currently listed are the only ones which remain intact.