January 26, 2015 - Press Release


Québec City, January 26, 2015 - Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. André Tremblay, is delighted by the Government of Quebec’s announcement that it has appointed former premier Mr. Lucien Bouchard, attorney, to act in the capacity of mediator in regard to the issues associated with the Baril-Moses letter signed in 2002 and particularly those issues stemming from the suspension of forest certification granted to certain harvesting areas used by Resolute Forest Products.


“Mr. Bouchard’s experience and talents as mediator, coupled with his very broad knowledge of issues relating to the Aboriginal peoples and the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, will go a long way toward identifying solutions rooted in the three pillars of sustainable development – i.e., the environmental, social and economic dimensions – while also accounting for potential impacts on the businesses and the communities concerned,” declared Mr. Tremblay.


It is important to recall that forest certification is a voluntary process undertaken by members of the industry, who thereby commit to implementing best practices that comply with the most stringent standards of sustainable forest development. As a sign of this commitment, more than 80% of the total area of public forestlands is certified according to one of the recognized standards.

To a large extent, the current debate over maintaining certification lies outside of the control of companies. This is particularly true in regard to such elements of non-compliance as Aboriginal issues, the conservation of old-growth forests, and the protection of the woodland caribou population – matters falling under the competence of the Government of Quebec.


“Clearly, the  mediation proceedings conducted by Mr. Bouchard hold much promise for addressing issues related to the Baril-Moses Letter and those related to the needs of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh. At the same time, however, it is important not to ignore issues pertaining to old-growth forests and the protection of the woodland caribou, which come under the authority of the Government of Quebec,” added Mr. Tremblay. “The government should also continue its efforts to promote the province’s forest regime and woodland caribou recovery plan both nationally and internationally.”


The outcome of the impending mediation process will be decisive for the growth of the forest industry and the communities that depend on this sector. “We are keen to see all forest stakeholders rally to this process, which, hopefully, will enable all the parties concerned to come up with mutually beneficial solutions,” concluded Mr. André Tremblay.



About the QFIC
The QFIC is the voice of Québec's forest industry. The QFIC numbers more than 160 regular members operating in the softwood and hardwood lumber, veneer, pulp, paper, cardboard and panel sectors of Quebec, as well as 180 associate members. Each year, these companies generate $15.9 billion in business and close to $4 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.


SOURCE:   Quebec Forest Industry Council

Information:   Mario St-Laurent 
   Director of Communications
   Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC)
   418-657-7916, ext. 402

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