During a meeting held yesterday in Quebec, Unions representing Resolute Forest Products (Resolute) workers, the Ministers of both the Environment and Natural Resources and Greenpeace agreed to work jointly towards the protection of the pristine Montagnes Blanches boreal forest area and the long term viability of the forest sector in Lac St-Jean. Greenpeace made clear its willingness to sit down and talk with the Quebec government, First Nations, Resolute and unions representing its workers as soon as logging and road building is halted in this threatened wilderness area.
The government of Quebec sent a positive desire to solve the potential crisis posed by the recent collapse of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) and to avoid Resolute’s intransigence on forest protection adversely impacting forest workers. Greeneace commited to communicating to international markets any progress achieved once logging is suspended and results on the ground are seen, while the government expressed its desire to act swiftly to protect the endangered woodland caribou.
Greenpeace also published yesterday a report on large endangered forests in Canada’s Boreal Forest which identified Quebec’s Montagnes Blanches and Broadback; Ontario’s Trout Lake-Caribou Forest and Ogoki-Kenogami; and Manitoba’s Boreal Gem as key conservation priorities and called on forest companies and international markets to avoid sourcing from these threatened areas with critical ecological, social and cultural values. The report outlines key steps to guarantee protection for these forests, first of which being a moratorium on logging. The full participation of Indigenous communities in identifying areas to be protected is further identified as an essential element of any successful conservation planning.
All parties at yesterday's meeting agreed that the crisis cannot be resolved unless logging and road building is halted in the Montagnes Blanches and protected areas are immediately put in place. It remains to be seen if Resolute will respect this common concern. You can take action today and tell Resolute Forest Products CEO Richard Garneau you want real action to protect Canada’s forests and demand long-term sustainability over short term profits.