Significant progress made in discussions between Canada and Quebec on the management, protection and recovery of boreal and Gaspésie caribou
August 22, 2022 – Québec City, Quebec
The governments of Canada and Quebec would like to inform the public that progress has been made in the discussions concerning the management, protection and recovery of the boreal caribou. Both governments can state today that they are confident that they will come to an agreement regarding the management, protection and recovery of the woodland caribou in Quebec.
The boreal caribou has been listed as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act since 2003, and as vulnerable in Quebec under the provincial Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species since 2005.
The Government of Quebec, with financial support from the federal government and in collaboration with the Indigenous nations that have an interest in the boreal and the Gaspésie caribou, wishes to take significant additional measures that will have tangible benefits for all of the local caribou populations. The goal is to move toward ensuring that all the populations of caribou can become self-sustaining in the long term, by applying measures and timelines adapted to each of these populations. Measures will be put in place to reduce the disturbance rate of the habitat used by the boreal and the Gaspésie caribou, in order to achieve 65 percent undisturbed habitat in each of their ranges, based on measurements and timelines adapted to each population. To accomplish this, Quebec intends to use the tools at its disposal to protect caribou habitat, including legally protected wildlife habitats, biological refuges, administrative protection, and decommissioning of forestry roads.
Discussions are continuing between the two governments on the ways in which the Government of Canada will support the plan financially and the transitional measures to be taken by Quebec in order to minimize the socio-economic impacts that could result from increased protection measures for the caribou and their habitat.
The governments of Canada and Quebec are confident that this negotiation will lead to an agreement between the parties that will enable us to work toward long-term self-sufficiency for the caribou populations and to maintain them in their habitat in order to support their recovery.
To demonstrate its commitment to the process and its serious concern with caribou conservation, Quebec is currently implementing short-term measures totalling almost $12 million. The Government of Canada will provide $6.1 million for the implementation of these measures, including funding to support Indigenous nations leaders in caribou conservation.
Lastly, Quebec would like to take this opportunity to reiterate its commitment to publishing the final version of its boreal and mountain caribou strategy and to announce that this strategy will be released by the end of June 2023.
“Our recent discussions have progressed and we will continue our work to reach a long-term agreement for caribou protection. Caribou are a national symbol, but they are threatened and their herd populations are declining. The only way to save the caribou is to work together with all levels of government and Indigenous peoples, the original guardians of the land. The efforts we are making today will have positive impacts on caribou. We will be monitoring our progress to ensure we meet the goals necessary to restore healthy caribou herds. These discussions come as Canada prepares to host the world at the COP15 conference in Montréal in December. Our leadership in protecting diversity has never been more important.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The significant progress in the discussions demonstrates a shared commitment to maintaining, protecting and recovering caribou populations. As talks continue, the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs continues to be proactive, as evidenced by the many projects on the ground. These are concrete actions with significant results that will be reflected in the boreal and mountain caribou strategy expected next year.”
– Mr. Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region
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