Victims in uncertainty in Senneterre

Victims in uncertainty in Senneterre

Disaster victims in the uncertainty in Senneterre

Citizens who quickly had to leave their homes due to forest fires and smoke cannot return to work.

Daniel Lecaniel and his six-year-old son are staying in Senneterre.

In Senneterre, where about 200 Lebel-sur-Quévillon disaster victims are located, workers are worried about their financial security.

This is the case of Martin Lévesque , employee of Resolute Forest Products.

Most people who are here, you can say half at pasta and half at Resolute and then you start asking yourself these questions. Are we entitled to unemployment or financial assistance?, he asks.

We are a little worried, we foreign workers, says Mc Coë Jean-Louis, who has lived in Lebel-sur-Quévillon for seven months and who works for the Comtois sawmill.

He hope he can start working again soon.

Workers who are forced to stop working are entitled to Employment Insurance.

Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, says workers affected by the wildfires can already submit a claim, even if they don't have a statement.

I strongly encourage you to apply for EI benefits online, by phone or in person as soon as possible, even if you do not have your Record of Employment. Your request will be treated as a priority, she assures.

Service Canada's number is 1 877-631-2657.

“We're going to take care of our world, we're going to make sure no one ends up in a precarious situation. »

— Frédéric Verreault, Executive Director of Chantiers Chibougamau

Frédéric Verreault wants to reassure employees. Chantiers Chibougamau owns the Lebel-sur-Quévillon kraft pulp mill.

We don't know when yet, we don't yet know how, what we know is that we won't rush the resumption of production. We will get to the drawing board to work on a recovery plan only when the evacuation notice is lifted and this recovery plan will be done in a serene and orderly manner. It's important the kraft pulp we make, but humans are even more important, he added.

The Government of Quebec will bet on for the next few days on a general compensation program to reimburse certain amounts to municipalities and predetermined compensation for people who have had to leave their homes.

Daniel Lecaniel and Dean Salvador are from the Philippines and have been employees of the Nordic Kraft plant in Lebel-sur-Quévillon for a few years now.

Dean Salvador and his two eight-year-old and four-year-old daughters.

Concerned about their jobs, they say they are relieved to know that their families are safe in Senneterre.

We are really sad because fire in the forest. We can't do anything, but we stay calm, said Dean Salvador.

In Lebel-sur-Quévillon, more than 16,000 hectares of forest have been burned in the area. Josée Poitras, spokesperson for SOPFEU, recalls two important prohibitions, that of avoiding traveling in the forest and making open fires. In Quebec, 156 fires are active.

– With information from Gabriel Poirier and Annie-Claude Luneau