News

March 19, 2014 - Press release

Greenpeace’s Publicity Stunt Denounced

Québec City, March 18, 2014 – According to several stakeholders associated with Quebec’s forests, the action directed at a logging company by Greenpeace this morning devalues the efforts of the government, industry and all forest sector actors over the last 20 years to innovate and continually improve the sustainable forestry practices current in Quebec.

 

“Our industry has clearly committed to the responsible use of a renewable resource that is widely available across our territory. Moreover, collaboration between our businesses, environmental groups and Aboriginal nations is often cited as an example,” stressed Mr. André Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC).

 

Although these forest practices have not garnered attention to the same extent as the environmental activists have this morning, they are no less remarkable for all that. It is worth noting, for example, that:

  • the forest industry operates on only 36% of continuous boreal forest territory;
  • in 2014, nearly 90% of Quebec’s public forests had received independent environmental certification;
  • in Quebec, logging activities annually affect less than 1% of the public forest being managed – i.e., less than annual growth.

 

“Considering these facts, how is it possible to claim there is an imbalance between protection of the forest and industrial forest activity? Deplorably, Greenpeace has relied on practices from the past to denounce one of the sectors that has made the greatest efforts in the environmental area over the last 20 years,” the QFIC’s CEO asked.

 

Mr. Claude Dupuis, President of the Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières (FQCF, or Québec Federation of Forestry Cooperatives) lamented the extent to which Greenpeace is disconnected from the reality of forests and the people who work in them. “This blanket outburst belittles all workers in the sector as well as Quebec’s forest regions. By steering public opinion in this direction, Greenpeace devalues wood as a material that could likely play a vital role in greening Quebec’s economy. What is the rationale for this public outburst – a just cause or opportunism on the part of the organization?”, he wondered.

 

A vital economic contribution

Finally, Quebec’s forests represent a vital and indeed indispensable economic contribution, accounting for 3% of Quebec’s GDP and providing jobs for more than 60,000 Quebecers, primarily in regions but also in urban areas. “The economic vitality of several municipalities depends on forestry activity (including logging). That is why there is a need to avoid spreading misperceptions concerning current forest practices in Quebec, and I encourage the mayors all the municipalities concerned to denounce them,” Mr. Jacques Asselin, the mayor of La Doré, made a point of adding.

 

Finally, Mr. Tremblay reiterated the commitment of forest companies to continually improve practices serving to turn this renewable resource to good account. “Although we are extremely disappointed by Greenpeace’s sensationalistic approach, we are going to continue to work in concert with communities and people from all sectors of society to foster the use of forest products that are both renewable and environmentally friendly. We are proud of our contribution to reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere – a result that few industries can lay claim to – just as we are proud of continuing to be a major actor in Quebec’s social and economic development,” concluded Mr. Tremblay.

 

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About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Québec's forest industry. It represents the interests of companies in the sectors of softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, paperboard and boards, as well as engineered wood manufactures. The QFIC numbers more than 98 regular members operating in the softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel sectors of Quebec, as well as 150 associate members. Each year, these companies generate $15.9 billion in business and close to $3 billion in wages and benefits, of which nearly $1.5 billion is returned to governments in the form of taxes paid by companies and workers.


About the FQCF

The Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières (FQCF) brings together and represents the forest workers’ cooperatives operating in the forest sector in all regions of Quebec. Its 40 member cooperatives provide work for more than 3000 people and generate annual revenue of over $225 million.

 

Sources:

Laurence Drouin
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
418-657-7916, ext. 411
418-564-7254
laurence.drouin@cifq.qc.ca


Jocelyn Lessard
Director General
Fédération québécoise des coopératives forestières
3188, chemin Ste-Foy, bur. 200
Sainte-Foy (Québec) G1X 1R4
418-651-0388, ext. 324

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