Joining forces against ‘eco-terrorism’ – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – June 10, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Mayors from Northern Ontario and Quebec are banding together in a fight against they describe as the “negative impacts from environmental extremism.”

Forestry companies have been targeted by special interest groups like Greenpeace for harvesting within the Boreal Forest which spans across the country including much of Northern Ontario.

Hearst Mayor Roger Sigouin, Cochrane Mayor Peter Politis and Timmins Coun. Mike Doody, who is also chairman of the North Eastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) were among the leaders who attended a recent meeting in Ottawa involving mayors from 22 communities in Ontario and Quebec.

These three along with Timmins Mayor Steve Black held a press conference at city hall Tuesday to discuss their aim to raise awareness of what they feel is an attack on communities that rely on resource-based industries.

Sigouin said if environmental lobby groups are successful in making it impossible to carry out forestry it will be “just like a dropping a bomb in Northern Ontario to kill all of the communities.”

Politis said, “What we have to become better at is counter-messaging …For Greenpeace to suggest any deforestation takes place at all in Canada, let alone Northern Ontario, is completely false and irresponsible.”

He said the concern across the North is that consumers and government may be swayed from highly funded campaigns aimed at taking down resource based industries.

“We have 95% of the same forest cover we had 200 years ago because we’re not clearing land for agriculture, we’re not clearing land for cities, we’re not clearing land for roads in Northern Ontario,” said Politis. “We’re managing the forest. It’s a renewable resource and we do it as well if not better than anyone one the planet. This is the messaging we need people to understand and recognize.”

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