Funding extended for Pontiac forests $450 million awarded for maintenance

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Allyson Beauregard

The Quebec Liberal government announced, February 6, that $450 million will be invested in forestry work in public forests over the next two years; $225 million will be awarded in 2015-2016, and another $225 million will be allocated during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Allyson Beauregard

The Quebec Liberal government announced, February 6, that $450 million will be invested in forestry work in public forests over the next two years; $225 million will be awarded in 2015-2016, and another $225 million will be allocated during the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The work will focus on increasing timber production, forest planning, implementing interventions, monitoring and controlling forests, scaling timber, and allocating forest rights. “We are looking to maintain the forests in good condition through replanting, forestry management, maintenance of shrubs to let larger trees grow… all that sort of preparatory work so that the forest is in good shape once the forestry companies are ready to come in and use the wood,” said Pontiac MNA, Andre Fortin.
The same amount was allocated for silvicultural work in 2014-2015. “Last year when the Liberals came into power, we raised the existing budget to $225 million,” said Fortin. Because the
funding was announced late in the year, forestry companies weren’t able to accomplish what they had hoped. “By announcing the funding early in the year, companies that do this type of work in the Pontiac will be better able to manage their human resources and plan their forestry work a lot better. By having them better prepared, we hope to be a lot more efficient in our forestry work,” he added. 
The funding is expected to create jobs and make the Pontiac’s forests more attractive to investors. “It is certainly going to help maintain jobs. Our intention is to fuel job creation. Having this type of investment makes our forests and resources a lot more attractive and a lot easier to use for forestry companies,” explained Fortin, who admitted the forestry industry in the Pontiac will never be the same as it was during its peak.
The news comes as a relief to those who feared the promised funding would be cut due to recent governmental
cutbacks. “There was talk back in December that the budget would not be back, but we’re sustaining what we announced last year and we’re doing it over a long term period so we can be a lot more
efficient in the work that
we do in our forests,”
concluded Fortin.