Caribou: “a unilateral, even militant vision,” writes Boisaco to Justin Trudeau

The management of the Boisaco cooperative in Sacré-Coeur, on the Haute-Côte-Nord, wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to make him aware of the importance of the forestry industry. The company believes that the process initiated by the federal Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, to table a decree protecting three caribou herds in Quebec could simply threaten the survival of the company.

In the letter, the president of Boisaco, Steeve St-Gelais, and the general manager, André Gilbert, affirm that the decision, taken without having carefully evaluated its scope and impacts, could have catastrophic consequences.

The decree aims to protect the herds of Charlevoix, Val-d’Or and Pipmuacan. It would prohibit activities such as logging and the extension of the multi-use road network in certain targeted sectors.

A government cannot in fact make decisions based on only one aspect, in a unilateral or even militant vision.added the leaders of Boisaco.

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Steeve St-Gelais is president of Boisaco, a forestry company that generates 600 jobs in Sacré-Coeur, on the North Shore.

Photo: Radio-Canada

The sawmill is currently shut down for four weeks, due to the difficult economic context in the industry.

In Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, there are also the sawmills of Arbec, in L’Ascension-de-Notre-Seigneur, and Petit Paris, in Saint-Ludger-de-Milot, which have stopped their production for at least four weeks. Remember that the Rémabec Group owns the first sawmill and that it owns 50% of the shares in the second.

The letter was also sent to several ministers in the Trudeau government, including Steven Guilbeault.

The minister takes people’s fears very seriously, his decision was based on science and the worrying loss of caribou populationsresponded by email Kaitlin Power, from Minister Guilbeault’s office.

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Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Photo: The Canadian Press / Sean Kilpatrick

In interview Thursday morning on the show It’s never the samethe minister recalled that he had an obligation to intervene in this matter under the Species at Risk Act.

At any time, Quebec can put in place a plan that effectively protects the herds, while ensuring that the industry remains operational in order to avoid a decreeadded the press officer.

While the submission of the protection strategy has been delayed by Quebec several times in recent years, notably to calculate the impacts of forest fires, the provincial Minister of the Environment, Benoît Charette, presented partial measures on April 30th.

We see a young caribou in profile on rocky terrain. The sky is cloudy.

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A caribou on Mont Jacques-Cartier, in Gaspésie

Photo: iStock / gotrain

Concerning the decree being adopted by the federal government, a 60-day consultation period opened this week.

Initially, Quebec and Ottawa agreed that the provincial plan would limit the rate of disturbance of caribou habitat to 35%.

According to several experts, logging and the development of roads carried out by the forestry industry explain the decline of the caribou.

An anticipated decline

On the Boisaco side, Steeve St-Gelais explains that any drop in forestry supplies could threaten the profitability of the sawmill and other factories in the complex.

% of supplies. This could represent the equivalent of a loss of around 80% of profitability. So in a business, there are fixed costs and variable costs. When we no longer manage to cover fixed costs optimally, profitability disappears”,”text”:”I would say that for us, this could completely compromise the company. When I say we’re not in a world of unicorns, we’re in real life. Four or five years ago, we took the time to calculate the impact of a 20% drop in supplies. This could represent the equivalent of a loss of around 80% of profitability. So in a business, there are fixed costs and variable costs. When we no longer manage to cover fixed costs optimally, profitability disappears”}}”>I would say that for us, it could downright compromise the business. When I say we’re not in a world of unicorns, we’re in real life. Four or five years ago, we took the time to calculate the impact of a 20% drop in supplies. This could represent the equivalent of a loss of around 80% of profitability. So in a business, there are fixed costs and variable costs. When we no longer manage to cover fixed costs optimally, profitability disappearshe explained in an interview with Radio-Canada during the day.

Aerial view of the immense lumberyard of the Boisaco forestry company.

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The Boisaco sawmill in Sacré-Coeur is currently shut down for four weeks.

Photo: Radio-Canada

In the letter addressed to Justin Trudeau, the origins of Boisaco were also recalled. The Boisaco Group belongs to its approximately 600 workers and 800 citizens.

eanniversary of the people who mobilized, who avoided the dismantling of the installations, then who ensured that Boisaco could see the light of day a year later, therefore in 85. Then I would like to tell you that we are determined to continue to ensure the vitality of our environment”,”text”:”Last week, we marked the 40th anniversary of the people who mobilized, who avoided the dismantling of the installations, then who ensured that Boisaco could see the light of day year later, so in 85. Then I would like to tell you that we are determined to continue to ensure the vitality of our environment”}}”>Last week, we marked the 40the anniversary of the people who mobilized, who avoided the dismantling of the installations, then who ensured that Boisaco could see the light of day a year later, so in 1985. Then I would like to tell you that we are determined to continue to ensure the vitality of our environmenthe stressed.

The CSN is worried

The Confederation of National Trade Unions also threw its two cents into the debate on Friday by publishing a press release.

There CSNwho represents workers at the Petit Paris Forestry Cooperative, recalls that production stoppages occur once in a while in sawmills, for maintenance.

Our members heard that the extension of certain closures was to put pressure on the government to lower cutting fees in public forests.mentioned the president of the Federation of Manufacturing Industry (FIM-CSN), Kevin Gagnon.

The Petit Paris forest products logo.

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The Petit Paris sawmill in Saint-Ludger-de-Milot has stopped production.

Photo: Radio-Canada

Contacted by Radio-Canada, the general director of the Petit Paris Forestry Cooperative, Stéphane Gagnon, refuted this argument. He said the current situation is unsustainable and the company is losing large sums of money due to high stumpage duties and U.S. tariffs. He assured that he would find many other ways to put pressure on Quebec than laying off a hundred workers.

Furthermore, the FIM-CSN calls on the Quebec Minister of Natural Resources and Forests, Maïté Blanchette Vézina. The union believes that all the work carried out this winter during the series of consultations on the future of the forest must produce results. Significant changes to the forest regime have been requested.

the status quo in terms of the protection of woodland caribou currently as we are, well we are heading towards the extinction of the caribou. There is no status quo that can be acceptable”,”text”:”We would very much like the public consultation that was carried out to lead to something. I also understand that we are trying to hurry up because if we keep the status quo in terms of protecting woodland caribou as we currently are, we are heading towards the extinction of the caribou. There is no status quo that can be acceptable”}}”>We would very much like the public consultation that was carried out to lead to something. I also understand that we are trying to hurry up because if we keep the status quo in terms of protecting woodland caribou as we currently are, we are heading towards the extinction of the caribou. There is no status quo that can be acceptableindicated Kevin Gagnon at the microphone of Radio-Canada.

The report from the discussion tables on the future of the forest should be submitted soon.

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