Nathalie Des Rosiers from Ottawa-Vanier is the new minister for Natural Resources and Forestry.
Earlier today, she announced an expert panel to help balance the interests of the forest industry with conservationists.
This panel would include representatives from northern municipalities, Indigenous leaders, scientists and forestry practitioners.
- Ontario’s Endangered Species Act protects the more than 200 species of plants and animals that are at risk of disappearing from Ontario.
- In Ontario, the population of 5,000 boreal caribou is a protected species. Ontario has invested over $11 million to support Ontario’s Caribou Conservation Plan, including a significant investment in science.
- Close to 90 per cent of Ontario forests are publicly owned and known as Crown lands, of these, 44 per cent are managed forests.
- Ontario’s forestry sector generates over $15 billion for Ontario’s economy, employing about 172,000 direct and indirect jobs, and is a significant part of communities across the province.
“Our government has listened to the concerns of northern municipalities, Indigenous communities, environmental organizations and the forest industry – and we want to find a solution which strikes the right balance as we deal with the negative effects of climate change. This new proposal, with a two year regulation extension for forestry, will allow us to continue to uphold Ontario’s high standards of sustainable forest management and protection for species at risk while we find a solution that is right for Ontario,” said the minister, in a prepared statement.
Des Rosiers had previously served as the parliamentary assistant to:
- Minister of Energy,
- Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,
- Minister of the Status of Women,
- Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and
- Minister of Housing.
Des Rosiers is known for her work with civil rights and constitutional law.
The issue of species at risk -- and the land set aside to protect them -- has been a contentious one. Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield has been among community leaders from Northern Ontario, who have been vocal in their opposition to provincial policies.
Mayors joined with First Nation leaders, as they advocated at Queen's Park in late November, saying policies around species at risk were being made with incorrect information. Canfield went a step further, as he questioned the impartiality of Ontario's environment commissioner.
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