It was the day before Halloween but it seems that representatives of the forest industry in Quebec did a little trick or treating on Thursday at the parliamentary commission studying the health and future of the province’s forests. As usual, Louis-Gilles Francoeur of Le Devoir had the story first, reporting yesterday that what forest companies want is to cut trees and do little else—not replant the forest, or maintain roads or fight fires or any of the things they’ve been supposed to do in return for the right to exploit Quebec’s enormous forests. The implicit threat—or trick—is the end of the industry as we know it.
Now, it’s quite possible things can be reorganized to function more efficiently, and it’s equally true that economic hard times are usually particularly tough on pulp, paper and milled lumber companies. But giving carte blanche to the industry is not the way to do it. Several other interests—including conservation groups—will also present their points of view before the commission.
A subject to be followed closely.