Quebec – a walk in the forest


committees is not new and so much can be gained for both sides if the system is used with intelligence and given a chance. I have a feeling that forestry management in B.C. has been far too paternalistic in its attitude toward labor over the past years. There must be a change from this approach, for really paternalism is as dead in management and labor relations as is the outlawing of strikes. I believe that many camps and mills in the forest industry of B.C. need the system of production committees installed now. There has grown too large a gap in many of these plants and it is time the problem was looked into by top management. The problems of effluents, of plant environ-ment, of safety, of the future of the work force and of a dozen problems, could be well discussed and ironed out by the people who know—the ones doing the job. Better than an outside so-called expert or some sensation-seeking repor-ter. Production committees, if set up pro-perly can solve problems because they are involved with the production prob-lems of a plant.
....We were able to witness one of the last great river drives in Canada, on our visit to Quebec. From up to about one hundred miles north of Chicoutimi on Lake Pamouscachiou, sawlogs and cord-wood are towed in great bags to the South end of the lake and guided through a gated dam to spill down the Shipshaw river to Lake Ontchiway, where they are again bagged and towed or blown to the south end of that lake. Once again the thousands of pieces of wood are sent through a gate on the Price Dam and simply flooded down the next portion of the

....I walked in the forests of Quebec where the famed Huron Indians once roamed, and where now the roar of power-saws and Timberjack skid-ders awake the Black Spruce forest each morning. My five champion loggers’ sports friends and I were the guests of the Price Co. Ltd., on their Shipshaw operations northeast of Lake St. Jean. We had gone to their five hundred man camp at Pamous-cachiou to put on a demonstration of loggers’ sports events, and the best from B.C.—Brian Hurlihy, Owen Carney, Jube Wickheim, Ron Hartill and Art Williams—put on a show one evening in September that I am sure the enthusiastic logging crew there will be talking about for some time to come.

....We were in a part of Canada that does not use the English language and the Price people had sent with us a very fine fellow from their Chicoutimi office by the name of Albert Dufour. This gentleman saved us a great deal of wear and tear on our arms and hands when we tried to make ourselves understood in our B.C. high school French. I found that the entire language of forestry operations in that part of Canada is spoken entirely in French, from top management to the work force. It seems a truly strange piece of history that has let the people of Canada be educated in French and English, but not compulsory in both.

....When a westerner for the first time leaves the cities of Montreal and Quebec City and heads north into the logging areas of the province, it comes as quite a shock that very few Canadians there can speak or understand English. Only then does one realize the multitude of problems this difference of language and customs has brought to our country.
We met some very fine loggers in the Price Co. operation and from our observations of their logging methods and their manner of getting along with


each other we realized that they are men in command of the situation Their problems were certainly not unsimilar to ours in the west today. They have a shortage of men—in spite of all the talk of unemployment in Canada. I was told of camps that had to close down in Quebec due to the shortage of men. They are concerned about the various environmental problems from industrial smoke to the problems of logging near rivers and lakes. And the ever increasing costs of logging is a problem that confronts both east and west. The days of horse logging are long gone in the Chicoutimi forests of Quebec and in their place are D-8 Cats, Timberjacks, and some fine looking Tanguay-built hydraulic loaders and slashers. We found Pacific logging trucks being used to haul three pup trailers with 40 to 50 cord loads of sawlogs. It was rather pleasant to think of these trucks being built in Vancouver to haul logs in Quebec. We could use a lot more of this type of exchange.
....Of course one of the prevalent topics of conversation—through the good graces of Albert Dufour—was the question by the Quebec loggers as to the size of the B.C.’s huge trees. They were often quite surprised when told that it was true there were lots of big trees on the Pacific coast, but the loggers of the interior of B.C. are quite used to logging timber of the same or near same size as in Quebec.
....I was surprised to find that in the camps in this part of Quebec, the use of production committees had come into being three years ago. I was reminded of talking to management and labor delegates in Finland about a year ago on the same topic and after finding out that the system was working well in both Qubec and Finland I felt that we in B.C. were possibly behind the times. I was told that regular meetings of the production committee were held monthly in all the Price Co. camps and other camps as well and that all aspects of labor and management problems were discussed. The idea of production

British Columbia Lumberman,November, 1972

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Shipshaw River to a lake reservoir. There at the lake’s southern end is the modern sawmill of the Price Co. The sawlogs are removed from the reservoir at this point and sawn or stacked up for when the waterways freeze up. The remainder of the cordwood then starts the last part of its journey through a beautifully engineered wooden flume that floats the wood to the pulp mill at Chicoutimi on the Saguenay River. As a western logger I can only say that the Quebec loggers may handle small trees—but they sure handle them efficiently and in volume.
....Before dusk one evening Albert Dufour and Aime Dufour, whose job it is to supervise the staff of service people at the 500-man camp of Pamouscachiou, took me out to see a “Satellite kitchen.” Wondering if this were some sort of new moon rocket, I was surprised to find a small building—well built—in the forest. It was one of five on the logging claim where the crew were brought to have their hot lunch each day. Quebec loggers do not pack a lunch to work, but instead are picked up on company time before lunch, taken to the “Satellite kitchen” and given a one hour hot lunch. They are then returned to the woods on the companies’ time.
I sit and think now about the friends I met in the Chicoutimi logging area and I am constantly reminded of the scare headlines and confusion in ordinary citizens’ minds as to “what goes on in Quebec.” The politicians don’t seem to help with their idiotic dialogue in a crisis as to who is right and who is wrong. I am reminded of our last night in Pam-ouscachiou. There were six B.C. loggers and about six Quebec loggers who were the Price management people. Some could not speak English, some a few words, but of course we had Albert Dufour our language untangler.
....We sat until late and talked of the ever-always problems of loggers, keeping machines repaired and working, holding a crew together, the cold, the heat, the bunkhouse life. We didn’t need to interpret everything, we understood each other’s problems. We simply got to know each other and isn’t that really what is wrong with English-speaking Canadians and French-speaking Cana-dians? We don’t take time to know each other! And couldn’t the problems be solved better by the politicians encouraging our mutual visits, instead of playing politics with the situation.

There is a forest around us in Canada from east to west. Many of us depend on that forest for our living whether we
they have got some pretty good loggers in that forest around them in Quebec, go see for yourself.
speak French or English. I enjoyed the Quebec forests of Chicoutimi and I learned to understand my eastern counterparts a little better, you know

Keep out of the bight,

MEMBERS of the Ontario Loggers Sports group formed last spring invited its instigator Bill Moore to a meeting at North Bay, Ont. Where this historic picture was taken. From the left, the members are Tom Woolings of Wollings Forest Products Ltd> Paul Chovinard of C.T. McDonald Forest Products Ltd., Lucien Lacompte of Sturgeon Falls, Nick Nychuck of Nychuck Lumber Ltd., Peter Grant of Grant Lumber Co. Ltd., Gerry Brousseau of Malette Lumber Ltd., Bill Moore, Real Rousseau of Dubrevil Bros. Lumber Ltd., Jim Nugent, general superintendent and EarlCraig, special projects, both with the Forest Products Accident Prevention Association. Absent from the photo is Pete Murray of Weldwood of Canada Ltd.
PART of a group of 20 students from UBC’s Faculty of Forestry, SFU’s Faculty of Educ-ation and BCIT’s forestry course pose (above) with Prof. Oscar Sziklai of UBC outside the Garant Inc. plant in St. Francois, Quebec. Logging sports champions from B.C. pose (below) with interpreter Albert Dufour (extreme right) at Chicoutimi
British Columbia Lumberman, September, 1972