Victim of serious economic problems since the closure of the Smurfit-Stone in 2008, the forest sector in the Pontiac suffered another blow last week when they learned when studying the budget of the Ministry of forest, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP), that investments for private forests in the Outaouais would be reduced by 33% compared to the 2013 season. This is a loss of 570,000 dollars for the Outaouais and 182 000 dollars for the Pontiac.
Martin Boucher, Director General of Forestry Group of Pontiac, said he was very worried about this late announcement, long after the beginning of the season operations and hiring staff required depending on the budget in April. All this after learning increases investment in the public forests.
In the case of the MRC, the poorest in Quebec, there are several forestry workers who will be laid off and many of them may no longer qualify for employment insurance.
Martin Boucher added however that the budget cut is still difficult to understand when we know that the Outaouais and more particularly the Pontiac has never received its fair share of the provincial budget. Although private forest companies of the Outaouais represent 9% of private forest areas in Quebec, she received 3.9% of the provincial budget to invest in the Pontiac.