Changes to [Endangered Species Act] ESA, a step in right direction: OFIA – (Timmins Daily Press – February 25, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Like many Northerners, John Kapel doesn’t like the idea of urban southern Ontarians having such a strong influence on Northern resources.

“We should be the ones dictating what we want to do with our North up here, not people in southern Ontario who sit in a cubicle and don’t even have a clue what a freakin’ poplar or birch tree is,” said Kapel, owner of Little John Enterprises sawmill in Timmins.

The province’s much-maligned Caribou Conservation Plan has been cited by both local industry and municipal leaders as just another product of the southern Ontario’s influence on Queen’s Park.

“We’re going to lose 25% of our forest” for industrial use within the Abitibi River region because of this plan, Kapel said. “It’s just sad that we as Northern Ontarian people have to put up with this B.S. from southern Ontario. It’s pathetic.”

The Ontario Forest Industries Association has had to tiptoe in explaining why it was encouraging Northerners to support recent changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) despite its encompassing of the controversial caribou plan.

The Ministry of Natural Resources had outlined new measures under the ESA in an Environmental Registry posting. The period for inviting public input ended Monday.

Up until then, the OFIA along with the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, were urging people to express support for these measures.

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