The Innu of Betsiamites are in a sombre mood after being granted a court injunction a month ago barring Kruger Inc. from further logging on Île René Levasseur – only to lose an appeal that can be chalked up to Mother Nature’s wrath.
Quebec Court of Appeal Justice André Rochon handed down the decision July 6, ruling it is urgent to save trees damaged by forest fires that have ravaged northern Quebec. He also cited public interest as one reason to allow Kruger’s crews to salvage the damaged trees on the island.
île René Levasseur has been at the heart of a dispute between the Innu and the Quebec government for years.
Justice Rochon also added that a full-fledged appeal hearing would be heard during the week of November 7.
The Innu have claimed the land, roughly four times the size of Montreal, as part of their traditional territory. The Quebec government has assured the Innu that only the trees which should be salvaged because of fire damage will be extracted from the island.