Woodland caribou: more than 1,000 walkers in the streets of Saint-Félicien
Several forestry workers, their relatives, as well as union representatives and elected officials took part in the march in Saint-Félicien on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people marched in the streets of Saint-Félicien late Saturday morning to put pressure on Quebec, which is due to present its woodland caribou protection strategy in June.
Forest industry workers, their relatives, elected officials and union representatives from the region took part in the march organized by the Unifor union in Lac-Saint-Jean.
The participants fear the impact that the Quebec strategy could have on jobs and the forest industry.
The prefect of the MRC du Domaine-du-Roy and president of the Boreal Forest Alliance, Yanick Baillargeon, hopes that the workers will be heard.
“We needed to hear from the workers, they were the ones who were missing right now. We are happy to see them take to the streets to precisely support the steps we have been taking for over a year now. »
— Yanick Baillargeon, President of the Boreal Forest Alliance
The participants argued in favor of a strategy that would allow the safeguarding of woodland caribou without hampering forestry activities. Unifor Quebec Director Daniel Cloutier was on hand.
Of course, protected areas make sense, he agreed. Now, in exchange, there must be areas where we will be able to intensify the cultivation of the forest. And if we manage that over the long term, it will work. There are examples elsewhere in the world. But we must allow the intensification of cultivation in some places to better protect others.
Forestry workers and their families met expressed their concerns about the impacts that the strategy that is being prepared by Quebec.
If we want to continue doing sustainable development, the environmental aspect is important, but so are the economic and social aspects. We just want to be heard, said a worker.
If we don't do this, we could lose our jobs, it could devalue the regions, fears another participant.
My spouse works in a factory, in a sawmill and I find it important so that he can keep his job. Want, don't want, it affects everyone a bit, expressed a participant.
More details to come
With information from Roby St-Gelais