Archive | Forestry

Cutting through the fog [Aboriginal, Industry and Environment Relations]- (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal editorial – April 10, 2011)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario. This editorial was originally published on April 10, 2011. 

AS the chasm of trust between Aboriginals and the rest of Canada widens, every effort to shrink it deserves encouragement. Two such initiatives have surfaced, and while one remains in play, the other has been batted away.

For decades, relations between conservation groups and the forest industry have been poisoned. Greenpeace banners hung from pulp mill smokestacks vividly portrayed an absence of will and trust.

So when 21 forest companies and nine environmental organizations quietly came up with the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement last year there was cause for celebration. The pact would regulate forest management practices across 72 million hectares of boreal forest and protect 29 million hectares from development. Continue Reading →

Animosity builds over Ontario forestry legislation – by Ian Ross

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business [email protected] and this article was posted April 2011.

Hearings on Bill 151 will be held in Toronto, April 11 and 13. These are the final hearings before the legislation goes to third reading. Community and industry rancor continues to build against the McGuinty government over the refusal to stage a final round of consultation meetings in Northern Ontario before a new forestry bill is passed into law.

Hearings on Bill 151 – Ontario’s Forest Tenure Modernization Act — will be held in Toronto, April 11 and 13. These are the final hearings before the legislation goes to third reading.

During a March 30 government standing committee, Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Brown kicked a hornet’s nest when he shot down a recommendation to stage hearings in Pembroke, Timmins, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie in favour of two days of hearings in Toronto.

The government said delegations from the North can appear in person or make their comments through video conferencing. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Holding [Northern Ontario forestry] tenure hearings only in Toronto ludicrous, disrespectful – by Ron Grech (The Daily Press-April 5, 2011)

Ron Grech is a reporter for The Daily Press, the city of Timmins newspaper. Contact the writer at  
[email protected]

It is yet another show of disrespect and a slap in the face to Northern
residents. Is it any wonder that Northerners’ disdain for Queen’s Park
and the current provincial government is at a near-boiling point?
(Ron Grech-Daily Press, April 5, 2011)

After gaining the Ontario forest industries’ support on the prickly subject of tenure reform, the provincial government lost it again because of contentious wording in the draft legislation that passed second reading just over a month ago.

As it is currently worded, Bill 151 would empower the government to revoke a wood allocation if “the party holding the agreement, licence or commitment is not optimally using the forest resources.”

The industry is concerned that allocating forestry licences based on subjective interpretations of optimal or preferred use opens the door to political pressure.

Nonetheless, Ontario Liberal government seems intent on not only shooting itself in the foot, but severing it off altogether. Continue Reading →

Boreal Forest Agreement: It’s time to forgive and move forward – by Stephen Kakfwi (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal-April 4, 2011)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal  is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario. This opinion piece was originally published on April 4, 2011.

Stephen Kakfwi is the former premier of the Northwest Territories and former president of the Dene Nation.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy recently called for the termination of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (NAN Targets Boreal Agreement, Chronicle-Journal, March 22). While I agree that the process to reach that agreement was flawed, and that the announcement could have been handled better, I believe it is time for collaboration, not conflict.

Finding a way to protect our land and ways of life is essential if we want to survive. As Aboriginal people, we are first and foremost survivors. Since Europeans first arrived here in 1492, Aboriginal peoples have had a near-death experience. The spread of epidemics decimated our population, the invaders took our land and diminished our natural resources.

Ever since, native peoples have fought hard to take back our land and regain control of our lives. We even fought and changed the Constitution of Canada so that we could govern ourselves. Continue Reading →

U of T’s forestry school faces the axe – by James Bradshaw (Globe and Mail-April 2, 2011)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous impact and influence on Canada’s political and business elite as well as the rest of the country’s print, radio and television media. 

After 104 years of seeing the forest for the trees, dwindling enrolment has left the future of the faculty of forestry at the University of Toronto in doubt.

It was Canada’s first forestry faculty, and North America’s second, but is now also one of the smallest, with a dozen faculty teaching fewer than 80 graduate students. For that reason, the administration has deemed it “not financially viable,” said dean Sandy Smith.

Canada has 10 per cent of the world’s remaining forest cover, and a quarter of its undisturbed frontier forest, but enrolment in forestry programs has dropped across the country, as well as outside it. In a 2009 survey of 65,000 graduating high school students, just six chose forestry as their preferred discipline. Continue Reading →

McGuinty’s Forestry Policies Lost in the Northern Ontario Woods – by David Robinson

Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research at Laurentian University. [email protected] This column was originally published in the May, 2010 edition of Northern Ontario Business

The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario is based on a simple prediction. The majority of communities in Northern Ontario will continue to decline. Behind that prediction is an economic analysis that says the forests of Northern Ontario will provide fewer and fewer good jobs.

The analysis is convincing. The forest industry must cut costs to compete. There will be fewer mills. Mills will be more automated. Jobs will vanish. The wood industry is trying to respond. It has created organizations to develop new technologies, new products and new markets. FPInnovations, which was created in 2007, now claims to be “the world’s largest private not-for-profit forest-sector research institute.

” Wood WORKS!”, a program led by the Canadian Wood Council is campaigning to make wood the main building material for all types of construction. Continue Reading →

More Thoughts on Protecting Ontario’s Boreal Forests – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales - Canadian Mining JournalMarilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication.

The decision by the Ontario government to protect its boreal forests north of the 51st parallel continues to be discussed by CMJ readers and environmentalists.

Predictably, leading North American academics support the plan. They praised protection of a “vital ecosystem”. They figuratively patted the Premier on the back for his “long-term vision, recognizing that storing carbon, protecting biodiversity, and traditional lifestyles and maintaining freshwater supplies are more important than immediate profits.” These people don’t depend on the mineral industry for their income, but I’m sure they all enjoy the myriad of consumer goods made possible by it.

Some CMJ readers were understandably upset at the provincial announcement. “Another North American jurisdiction that would rather have trees and swamps than jobs and wealth generated at a time when the manufacturing industry in Ontario is tanking,” wrote Vancouver’s Darin Wagner, president and CEO of West Timmins Mining . “This kind of announcement shows a complete and total lack of understanding of the minimal impact that exploration and mining have on the local environment. Yet another example of a politician jumping on the ‘global warming’ bandwagon to collect a few votes from the ‘urban greens’ at the expense of the resource communities which have been the backbone of his/her economy. Continue Reading →