Early this morning, a group of Greenpeace activists visited Quebec’s legislature to denounce the failure of the Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks, Luc Blanchette, to protect caribou. We brought a life-size “caribou coffin” and banner reading: No real action, No caribou. We also brought with us the voices of over 23,000 of you who have signed our petition for Provincial governments to protect woodland caribou and the Boreal forest.

Our visit is a response to the Minister Blanchette’s decision last week not to save the Val d’Or caribou herd from a likely extinction. An announcement met by outrage in Quebec and sadness across Canada.

Greenpeace Forest campaigner Olivier Kolmel explained to media:

The situation in Val d’Or is a national scandal and a nail in the coffin for caribou. We must stop this abandonment strategy from being rolled out to other caribou herds across Quebec. We’ve known for 15 years that habitat destruction is the main cause of caribou decline, yet we’re blindly continuing industrial activity. It’s like driving off a cliff and then hitting the breaks hoping it will stop.

The activists visiting the legislature this morning sent a clear and powerful message to Minister Blanchette, that he needs to take concrete and immediate steps to ensure caribou’s long-term survival in Quebec. If governments listen to science and Indigenous knowledge, we can save caribou before it’s too late.

Quebec had 5 years to deliver a recovery strategy for caribou, along with other Canadian provinces and territories, but they have failed to do so. Last October, they missed a key deadline for protecting threatened boreal caribou habitat.

Better protecting this iconic species would help Canada meet its international commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 17 percent of its lands and inland waters by 2020.Critically, taking these steps in equal partnership with Indigenous Peoples also offers an important opportunity to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Join us! Tell provincial governments to keep their promises to protect woodland caribou and the Boreal forest, and respect Indigenous Rights.