Human and financial resources

human-resourcesThe JBNQA provides for a secretariat for the JBACE consisting of not more than five employees. The Committee has generally benefited from the services of a secretariat officer, an executive secretary and, occasionally, a technical advisor (the JBACE had no employees from 1987 to 1989).Under a secondment agreement with the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec, these employees normally divide their time between the JBACE, COMEV and COMEX.

The JBACE has always maintained that the personnel provided by the Ministère de l’Environnement is not sufficient to enable the Committee to fulfil its mandate under the JBNQA. In order to study forest management plans and other issues properly, the Committee needed to hire a full-time analyst. Research was conducted on a sporadic basis due to budgetary constraints. Up until 2008, when an analyst was hired, it fell to the members themselves to examine issues. The Committee’s operation was affected by the fact that the members’ responsibilities on the Committee were in addition to those of their regular jobs.

The fact that the secretariat was located in the offices of the Ministère de l’Environnement du Québec (MENV) was also problematic. Even though the JBACE had the status of an advisory committee, i.e. operating at arm’s length from the governments, its secretariat was still under the purview of MENV’s environmental assessment branch. In 1995, the JBACE began taking steps to group the secretariats of the JBNQA bodies under the same roof.

In 1998, with the Ministère de l’Environnement threatening to move the secretariat to its Northern Québec regional office, the JBACE attempted to set up an independent secretariat for itself, COMEV and the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Coordinating Committee (HFTCC)*. While the Department supported the principle of grouping the secretariats, it failed to dedicate the necessary funding to the project. It wasn’t until 2001, following meetings with the federal and provincial administrators, that the JBACE received adequate funding for the relocation and operations of its secretariat. The JBACE secretariat moved into the same offices as the HFTCC secretariat in Montréal in 2002.

* To ensure coordinated action on wildlife, environmental and social issues, a member of the HFTCC is  an ex-officio member of the JBACE.

Next section: Conclusion