UMQ on new soft­wood lum­ber agree­ment

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Vic­to­ria Vanier

On June 28th, the day be­fore the North Amer­i­can Lead­ers Sum­mit in Ot­tawa, the Union des mu­nic­i­palites du Que­bec (UMQ) added its voice to a large coali­tion that in­cludes the Que­bec gov­ern­ment, the forestry in­dus­try and mu­nic­i­pal part­ners, to in­vite the Cana­dian and Amer­i­can lead­ers to quickly con­clude a new soft­wood lum­ber agree­ment.

“The eco­nomic vi­tal­ity of our com­mu­ni­ties and our re­gions are di­rectly re­lated to the fu­ture of the forestry sec­tor of which 220 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties de­pend eco­nom­i­cally and which gen­er­ates close to 60,000 di­rect jobs. This is why it is im­per­a­tive that a new agree­ment on soft­wood lum­ber be signed soon be­tween Canada and the United States that takes into ac­count the re­al­i­ties of the forestry in­dus­try in Que­bec,” said Alexan­dre Cus­son, the first vice-pres­i­dent of the UMQ and the mayor of Drum­mondville.

“Dur­ing a meet­ing last March, the mem­bers of the UMQ’s forestry com­mit­tee shared their con­cerns about the eco­nomic im­pacts of a new Canada/United States soft­wood lum­ber agree­ment with the Min­is­ter of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks, Lau­rent Les­sard. We be­lieve, as does the Que­bec gov­ern­ment, that the Que­bec forestry regime, put in place in 2013, re­sponds ad­e­quately to the reg­u­la­tions of a free mar­ket as de­manded by the Amer­i­cans. It is es­sen­tial that the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment pri­or­i­tizes, in these ne­go­ti­a­tions, the putting in place of a clear mech­a­nism that al­lows Que­bec to make its new mar­ket­ing prac­tices known,” said Mario Provencher, pres­i­dent of the UMQ’s forestry com­mit­tee and the mayor of RouynNo­randa.

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