UMQ on new softwood lumber agreement
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.