Caribou Crisis: Minister Dufour reverts to gaslighting

25/04/2022
Caribou Crisis: Montreal – In reaction to Quebec Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) Pierre Dufour’s comments and finger-pointing, which attack the Innu of Nutashkuan and their traditional activities as a threat to the protection of the caribou, Ronald Brazeau, Director of the Natural Resources Department, Council of the Anishinaabe Nation of Lac Simon, declared:

“The federal and provincial governments are throwing the ball back and forth on the jurisdiction around the caribou file, but where is the room for listening to the First Nations. Indigenous leadership must be prioritized rather than blaming First Nations to divert attention from the inactions and failures of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.”

Olivier Kölmel, Nature & Food Campaigner for Greenpeace Canada, adds:

“We are flabbergasted by the Quebec government’s maliciousness and lack of accountability regarding the fate of the caribou. For almost 20 years now, we have witnessed chronic delays, bogus excuses and outright inaction by Quebec on this issue. To suggest that Indigenous communities are the cause of the caribou’s decline — all while the Minister continues to dismiss their proposed protection plans — is brazen gaslighting. The Minister’s comments are beyond inappropriate and a prime example of the systemic racism within our government. Indigenous peoples are the group that the biodiversity crisis hits the hardest. At this point, an emergency order from the federal government is more than welcome.”

According to Greenpeace, Quebec does not have a holistic policy approach to land management, nor does it systematically integrate the needs and rights of Indigenous peoples. In 20 years, woodland caribou populations have dropped by 30%. The main cause is the loss of habitat in the boreal forest due in large part to industrial activity.

The federal government has given the Quebec government until April 20, 2022 to demonstrate their efforts to recover and protect the caribou. If these efforts are found to be insufficient, the federal government is prepared to issue an emergency order, which would ensure the protection of critical caribou habitat from industrial activities for a minimum of five years. This federal imposition would be consistent with Canada’s Species at Risk Act.

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For more information, please contact

Marie-Christine Fiset, Head of Media, Greenpeace Canada

marie-christine.fiset@greenpeace.org; +1 514 972-631

Olivier Kölmel is a Nature & Food Campaigner and spokesperson for Greenpeace Canada. While advocating for a thriving wildlife, his work also ensures our Boreal forest’s health and protection is maintained – for it is both our climate shield, and a natural and cultural heritage. If Olivier is not digging up the latest fun fact of the day, or harvesting delicious berries and mushrooms from the forest, he will be left with no choice but to shower you with good old #dadjokes!

Greenpeace Southwest Atlantic Ocean, Blue Hole, Argentina 2022. Tour Travesía 2022 Arctic Sunrise. As the Greenpeace team navigate the Southwest Atlantic, hundreds of fishing boats plunder the sea. We call for an urgent Global Ocean Treaty to protect marine ecosystems such as the home of the iconic Southern Right Whale.

Greenpeace comment on UN ocean treaty negotiations

Greenpeace Southwest Atlantic Ocean, Blue Hole, Argentina 2022. Tour Travesía 2022 Arctic Sunrise. As the Greenpeace team navigate the Southwest Atlantic, hundreds of fishing boats plunder the sea. We call for an urgent Global Ocean Treaty to protect marine ecosystems such as the home of the iconic Southern Right Whale. © Esteban Medina San Martin / Greenpeace

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