Quebec Premier François Legault says an ultimatum from federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault on caribou protection is interference in an area of provincial jurisdiction.
In an April 8 communication to Quebec’s wildlife minister, Guilbeault wrote that if Quebec doesn’t adequately protect its at-risk woodland caribou herds, Ottawa will act unilaterally to protect the species’ habitat.
Guilbeault told reporters Tuesday that Quebec still has an opportunity to negotiate with Ottawa, but the province has to act quickly.
Legault called the federal threat another example of Justin Trudeau’s government meddling in areas of provincial responsibility.
He told reporters in Quebec City, the province wants to find an equilibrium between protecting caribou and protecting jobs.
The province has created an independent commission to study caribou protection, which has faced criticism from Indigenous and environmental groups.
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