A New Forestry Regime: The Countdown Has Started


On the eve of the major changes that await Quebecois silviculture entrepreneurs with the coming of the new 2013 forestry regime, the last season of the current regime does not look easy.


Certainly, the spotlight is on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Fauna which holds the most important role in this new undertaking.  Even though the silviculture entrepreneurs are thrilled with the adoption of the new September 2009 policy, The Law on the Sustainable Development of Forest Land, which will redirect forestry activities starting in April 2013, they are currently under a rather chaotic start to the current silviculture operation season.


In fact, several entrepreneurs, at the time of writing, still have not been guaranteed work for the 2012 season.  Unfortunately, this period of uncertainty for businesses is not without consequence for seasonal workers who are also eager to start the season. 


Nevertheless, the current situation should not repeat itself in the coming years because, as of 2013, silviculture work contracts will be directly granted by the government to contractors. With the passing of the new policies, the current obstacles will be avoided by implementing five-year contracts which will link the entrepreneurs directly to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Fauna without having to pass through an intermediary.  By assuring work for a five year period, thousands of silviculture workers, many of whom are dependent on this work for their livelihood, will benefit from this promise of job security.


Investments that pay off

The 2002 economic crisis, still omnipresent across our country as well as south of the border, is even more severe in several communities in Quebec.  In fact, factory closings and job losses resulting from the economic crisis have had heavy repercussions. 


Therefore, these communities which have been rather hard hit by the forestry crisis are hoping that through investment and long term silviculture contracts, a certain amount of economic gains will be possible.  Occupation of forest lands will regain its full meaning in some areas where industries have closed their doors and workers have left their communities in search of employment.


In this way, silviculture work will have to be at the center of the economic recovery strategy, notably by assuring enough quality wood is ready to harvest, but also by allowing workers to earn their livelihood where they currently reside with their families.  It is not off-base to hope that the change in regime will, though forestry activities, offer a beneficial restructuring of many communities.