April 15, 2004
(Natural Resources)


Minister asks Quebec Innu to stay away from closed hunting zone

Ed Byrne, Minister of Natural Resources, is demanding today the Quebec Innu respect the conservation efforts of Newfoundland and Labrador and not conduct another hunt in the closed hunting zone in Labrador. Officials of the Department of Natural Resources were informed earlier today that there are indications members of the Quebec Innu are making their way into Labrador to conduct a hunt.

"Representatives of the Quebec Innu have described themselves in many recent media reports as conservationists," said Minister Byrne. "I ask them to prove that to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador by not conducting this hunt in the area we have closed to hunting to protect the Red Wine Caribou Herd. I demand that they let their actions speak louder than their words."

Minister Byrne indicated that department managers along with members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and RCMP are today closely monitoring the closed hunting zone. Furthermore, Minister Byrne remains unclear as to what the Quebec Innu, represented by the Council of the Innus of Uashat and Mani-Utenam, want from this government.

"They continue to state that we have not shared information with them," said Minister Byrne. "Yet, we know they have been involved in discussions on the status of the Red Wine Herd, and other non-migratory woodland caribou in Labrador, for several years. We have repeatedly provided them with the information and we have also asked that they participate as observers on our recovery team for threatened woodland caribou. We have opened the door to the Quebec Innu. Why don�t they respond?"

Media contact: Carmel Turpin, Communications, (709) 729-5282 or (709) 685-4624

2004 04 15                                         1:50 p.m.

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