Nine in 10 Quebecers want a ban on large-scale clearcuts, according to a survey forthe newspaper Le Devoir.

The survey of 1,013 people found 87.1 per cent say Quebec “should stop the current methods of exploitation of the public forests, especially large-scale clearcuts.” Only 12.9 per cent don’t share this opinion.

That’s the result of a survey done in mid-April during the week that followed the broadcast of the film L’Erreur Boréale, directed by poet-singer Richard Desjardins.

The survey found 92.5 per cent of Quebecers believe “the government should give the Environment Ministry the mandate to regulate and inspectthe exploitation of the public forests.” Only 7.5 per cent disagreed.

Also, 74.5 per cent are convinced that “the big forestry companies are pillaging the Northern Quebec forests.” Less than 25 per cent disagreed.

The survey also found 50.4 per cent think a clearcut ban won’t cost thousands of jobs, though 49.6 per cent think it will.

The film shows graphic footage of devastating clearcuts across the North, including one massive cut in Cree land. The film ends with a statement by Waswanipi Elder Isaac Dixon about how logging has affected the land and animals.

The film has, for the first time, provoked a strong debate about forestry in Quebec, the earth’s third-largest newsprint maker, with 12 per cent of world production.

Le Devoir called the impact of L’Erreur Boréale “devastating.” Jacques Brassard, Quebec’s natural-resources minister, angrily blasted the film. “The central theme of the film is false. The boreal forest isn’t threatened. It isn’t being pillaged. It is in good health, exploited and managed well,” he told reporters.

But a Quebec-wide environmental committee called for a ban on clearcuts, an independent public inquiry and changes in rules to achieve sustainable development.