Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault issued an ultimatum on Monday for the protection of Quebec's woodland caribou. He will recommend an emergency decree if the file is not settled by the summer.
• Read also: Climate change: the time to act is now
• Read also: Bay du Nord: lawsuit against the federal government
Guilbeault is encouraged by the resumption of negotiations between the federal government and that of François Legault so that logging stops in places, in order to protect the woodland caribou of Quebec.
Aware that time is running out to ensure its protection, the minister is giving himself until the summer to obtain this agreement between the governments.
“I am hopeful that over the next few weeks, maybe the next few months, we will come to an agreement. Otherwise, I am continuing the work at the federal level so that I can go to the cabinet, to the council of ministers and ask for an emergency decree to protect the species, ”said the minister on Monday in an interview with Qub radio. Under the Species at Risk Act, he recalls having an obligation to intervene.
The federal government could otherwise be sued for failure to follow its own laws. So far, Quebec has said it wants to find the right balance between the approximately 5,000 forest caribou still alive and the forestry industry, which would suffer from the addition of new protected areas.
No tax suspension
Asked about the increase in the price of gasoline, Minister Guilbeault announced that his government did not intend to suspend the sales taxes imposed by the federal government to reduce the salty bill paid by farmers, truckers, taxi drivers, etc.
“It would have a marginal impact on the price at the pump”, he justified, on the airwaves of Qub radio. Steven Guilbeault explained that 25% of the cost is managed by the provincial pricing system.
The Minister of the Environment recalled that about 75% of the increase in the price of gasoline at the pump is influenced by global markets, such as the war in Ukraine and international instability.
“Alas, there is no government that has control over it,” commented the minister who recently signed an open letter published in the Journal de Montréal. He encouraged citizens to act now to counter the effects of climate change.