Protecting 200,000 Hectares of Public Forest: Maple Producers Want Answers from CAQ and QLP
UPA General Council
Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) stands disappointed with the responses given by party leaders François Legault and Dominique Anglade in their exchanges with delegates at the Union des producteurs agricoles du Québec (UPA) General Council on September 7-8. Coalition Avenir Québec and the Québec Liberal Party were asked to make clear commitments to maple syrup production in public forestlands, as Québec Solidaire and the Parti Québécois have done. The Conservative Party also appears to support QMSP’s position.
“The maple industry is a major player in Québec’s economy, contributing more than a billion dollars to the GDP. Our producers deserve clear answers from those who wish to represent them. We therefore call on Mr. Legault and Ms. Anglade to clearly state their commitments to set aside 200,000 hectares of public forest for maple production and preserve Québec’s resource potential in the short, medium, and long terms. They have until October 3rd to demonstrate that they understand the needs of maple producers,” said QMSP President Luc Goulet.
Québec Solidaire and the Parti Québécois responded positively to QMSP’s specific demands for an improved co-existence of economic activity in public forestlands. “We’re not asking for the moon. We just want the logging industry to share the public forest so that all stakeholders can benefit. Party leaders Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Paul St-Pierre Plamondon understand this. And we’re hearing the same from Éric Duhaime,” continued Mr. Goulet, pointing out that the 200,000 hectares needed by the maple industry constitutes barely 6% of the hardwood the logging industry says it wants for the same period.
A recent study of the maple industry’s economic returns showed that (in addition to the previously mentioned GDP contribution) it creates 12,582 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $235 million in tax revenues for Québec and Canada. These benefits stand out even more when compared with those from other industries such as logging. For example, QMSP calculations show that, on the same 100 hectares of public maple forest, maple syrup production creates 16 times more jobs, 9 times the growth in GDP, and 26 times higher tax revenue than cutting down hardwoods.
About Québec Maple Syrup Producers and the Érable du Québec Brand
Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) represents the interests of 13,300 women and men and more than 8,000 enterprises that produce maple syrup. Québec provides an average 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply, exporting it to more than 70 countries.