On the eve of the provincial election, premier Philippe Couillard has made friends in the world of forestry Thursday, announcing among other things that the preservation of woodland caribou would not be to the detriment of the forest industry.
The prime minister was invited to speak at the annual conference of the Council of the Québec forest industry. Towards the end of his speech, he touched on the folder for the woodland caribou, a vulnerable species that it does not remain that between 6000 and 12 000 representatives in Québec and whose decline is attributed in part to the forest industry by some environmental groups.
“Yes, we will work to save the woodland caribou because it is important, but it is not a question of sacrificing jobs in forestry!” he started, causing a round of applause from the audience.
“The workers [forest] and their families, they are also under pressure and in need of help”, said the prime minister, promising a “credible and balanced” in the development of habitat for the woodland caribou.
Mr. Couillard, who recalled that the forest industry accounted for 60,000 jobs, $ 15 billion of annual revenue and 2 % of gross domestic product, has added to it by telling an anecdote that occurred during a trip to New York.
“I had asked when is it that Quebec would stop exploiting the boreal forest”, he says. “I had answered : Never…” he dropped.
The prime minister also had a gift for the industry, announcing that her government would double its investment in the campaign “A forest of possibilities”, a movement of mobilization in support of the canadian forest and its potential.
“We will pump in another $ 3 million more,” vowed Mr. Couillard. The liberal government had already paid $ 2.7 million in this campaign which had seen the light of day at the end of 2016.
The ceo of the Council of the forest industry, the ex-conservative mp for Roberval, Denis Lebel, has welcomed the announcement by the prime minister.
“When you say something, you do, you do”, launched to the address of the prime minister, the one who has already been tipped by some as a potential candidate for the liberal Party of Quebec during the next election campaign.
“”A forest of possibilities”, it is now sixty people who work to burnish the image of the forest. The prime minister is committed to us, we will do also,” said Mr. Lebel.