The local population

 Source: RÉCIT national de l'univers social

Letter to Amanda Potts
9 Bridge Avenue
Metrotown, QC  J4P 1L5

Dear Amanda,

I’m just back from Amos, where I spent my day off with Toby, my tent mate. He knows the area well, since he comes from Pikogan, an Algonquin village just north of the city.

For lunch, we sat at the counter of a quaint little restaurant and had poutine and spruce beer. Without letting on, we listened in on the conversations going on around us. Everybody was talking about the forestry company, the new governmental forestry regulations and the demonstrations staged by local environmental activists. People were getting pretty hot under the collar!

There was a lot of concern about the many jobs provided by the forestry industry in the region. Several people argued that the governmental measures to reduce the quantity of wood the companies have the right to log are likely to have a terrible effect. The forestry companies may be forced to lay off many workers, lower wages or even close altogether. You must understand that, in this area, most people work in either the mining or the forestry industry… There’s not much other work available.

However, there were a few people in the restaurant who defended the idea that the harvesting of our forests needs to be better managed. When a few workers supported the position of the forestry companies, one woman exclaimed, “Think about your children! What will their quality of life and their prospect for employment be like if the forest is not managed more sustainably? Will we have to shut down the whole region of Abitibi once there are no trees left to cut down?”

When the restaurant owner joined in on the conversation, arguing that without the tourists who come to enjoy the forest, his business would go under, the debate got so heated we decided to leave, with our heads and bellies full…

See you soon!