Ontario timber that is being processed in Quebec is a practice that needs to stop.

Gilles Bisson says truckload after truckload is going into Quebec, and it is a bad policy. The Timmins-James Bay MPP says its unfair to communities like Iroquois Falls, who have seen their mills go under, just to have loads of poplar and conifer shipped out. The MPP says there should be opportunities in Ontario to add value to mills that are already struggling.

Full quote from Bisson:

“To the members of this House, most of you will know that there’s been a lot of sawmills and paper mills and others that have closed down across northern Ontario over the last number of years. But the thing that is really starting to frustrate people to the largest degree is when you see a mill like what we saw in Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls close its doors—but what you now see is truckload after truckload after truckload of wood cut in Ontario forests, both poplar and conifer, and transferring it into the province of Quebec for processing.

It is a very bad policy. Our policy should be that wood that is cut in Ontario should be processed through Ontario mills. If there need to be wood exchanges—because those have existed for many years, where mills across the border exchange fibre, because there are some fibre exchanges that do make some sense, but they’re essentially equal when it comes to the amount of wood being used—that is not a bad thing, and nobody will stand in the way of it.

But imagine how the community feels in Iroquois Falls and in Cochrane where they’ve seen their mills go down, and there’s between 600 to 1,000 loads of poplar and conifer that are being shipped out to the province of Quebec from those particular forests at the same time that we have mills like Little John Enterprises, which is trying to get certainty on wood when it comes to poplar so that he can operate his mill. Imagine how they feel when they see the wood that could be feeding their mill being transferred over to Quebec and not given an opportunity to add value here in the province of Ontario.

I call on the government to stop this practice.”