Aboriginals disappointed with consultation on caribou protection

The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) deplored Monday that Quebec seeks more to protect the forest economy than the last woodland caribou in the south of the province.

In the eyes of the ANPQL, the Independent Commission on Woodland and Mountain Caribou, which aims to hear stakeholders on how to protect – or not – caribou, represents only one way of postponing the implementation of a Quebec strategy.

During the consultations that are currently underway, two scenarios are put forward to offer more or less protection to caribou, but both are concerned with limiting the impacts on the timber harvesting industry. However, the loss of habitats due to the forestry industry is the first cause of the decline of the species.

“It is therefore with bitterness that they note once again the lack of seriousness and will of the Government of Quebec to really protect the caribou and their habitat. Once again, the latter favors the exploitation of natural resources over the rights of the First Nations,” denounced the AFNQL.

The second scenario put forward by Quebec particularly displeases the First Nations since it would condemn the herds of Val-d’Or, Charlevoix and Gaspésie, reduced to a trickle and today protected or on the way to be protected by enclosures.

“The consultations carried out by the MFFP are a farce! Almost everything is decided unilaterally by Quebec, after which we are invited to share our concerns, and our concerns are never fully taken into account. Things have to change!” protested the Chief of the Kebaowek First Nation, Lance Haymond.

The natives demand that their opinion be taken into account, but also a change in the basic paradigm of the caribou commission. “The AFNQL regrets that the mandate of the Commission is to assess the economic impacts of caribou protection measures on forest management, rather than taking into account the consequences of logging on caribou and the rights of First Nations. Nations”, did the organization have it.


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