Forest Sector Strategy – Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
70 Foster Drive
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 6V5
Submitted Online Via the Environmental Registry of Ontario
Dear Mr. Maure:
Support for Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, ERO# 019-0880
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of over 800 businesses that employ over 20,000 individuals in our community. Forestry is a significant driver of our local and regional economy and we thank you for the opportunity to comment on Ontario’s Forest Sector Strategy, Environmental Registry of Ontario number 019-0880. I am writing to you today to express support for this proposal.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) vision of establishing Ontario’s forest sector as a world leader in producing and selling forest products from renewable, sustainable and responsibly managed forests is an ambitious one. The draft includes five key principles and four pillars of action related to putting more wood to work, improving cost competitiveness, fostering innovation, and promoting stewardship and sustainability. The MNRF should take pride in the document they have created.
Through the development and implementation of a Forest Sector Strategy, Ontario has committed to positioning itself as a leading forestry jurisdiction within Canada. A healthy and sustainable forest industry will strengthen northern and rural communities across Ontario. Increasing available wood supply, making strategic investments in the forest access roads funding program, and ensuring free and open access to American markets is critically important, and these items continue to be top of mind to our Members.
A pre-requisite for a successful Forest Sector Strategy is a permanent solution to the duplication between the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We are pleased to see that MNRF is actively addressing this item, and are very supportive of ERO# 019-1020, Proposed Changes to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.
Ontario and the MNRF embarked on similar strategies, red tape reduction initiatives, and process streamlining in the past. Some excellent documents and recommendations were developed; however, not enough focus was placed on the implementation or roll-out of these strategies. As a result, systematic and cultural change within the Ministry was never achieved. On page 32 of the draft strategy, MNRF identifies the development of an implementation plan. This is an essential path forward, ensuring our best chance of success, and something I support.
The forest sector is an important part of Ontario’s history and critical to the future of my business and community. I would like to thank the Ontario Government and the MNRF for their leadership on this file and look forward to reviewing the finalized strategy.
c. Minister John Yakabuski, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Minister Jeff Yurek, Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
Jamie Lim, President & CEO, Ontario Forest Industries Association
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