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Bouchard to mediate Resolute dispute

Jan. 26, 2015 - The Government of Québec announced that it is retaining the services of Mr. Lucien Bouchard to act as mediator for issues raised within the context of Resolute Forest Products' forestry certification in Lac-Saint-Jean.

In his role, Mr. Bouchard's mandate is to propose solutions to resolve issues arising from the Baril-Moses letter, signed by the Crees and the Government of Québec in 2002. These solutions shall also take into account the needs of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh (signatory of the Agreement-in-Principle of General Nature – 2004 and member of Regroupement Petapan).

On December 30, 2014, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC Canada) announced in a press release that it had requested from Rainforest Alliance a 6-month extension of the temporary suspension of one of the two certificates held by Resolute Forest Products in Lac-Saint-Jean. On December 31, 2014, Rainforest Alliance granted the request from FSC Canada. The expiration date for the temporary suspension of Resolute Forest Products' certificate is therefore extended to July 2, 2015.

The Government of Québec considers this a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for a discussion to resolve the situation stemming from the Baril-Moses letter within the deadline set by the certifier to the satisfaction of all parties. The Government of Québec is very pleased that Mr. Bouchard has accepted this mandate. Mr. Bouchard is very familiar with the region, the local and Aboriginal communities, as well as the issues pertaining to this file. His experience, credibility, and talent for mediation will foster an open and dynamic environment.

Since he retired from politics, Premier Lucien Bouchard (1996 to 2001) has practised law with the firm Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. He acts as a negotiator, legal advisor, and mediator, particularly on issues relating to business and labour relations. He also sits on the boards of directors of various companies and non-profit organizations.

Signed in February 2002, the Baril-Moses letter extends the forestry regime agreed upon in the Paix des Braves agreement to certain territories outside the boundaries established by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. The implementation of the measures mentioned in this letter within the framework of Québec's forestry regime and the certification processes for forestry companies raises certain issues that require solutions agreed upon between stakeholders, the Government, and Aboriginal communities.

January 26, 2015  By  Andrew Macklin

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