Northern Ontarians To Have Their Say On Forestry Crisis
For Immediate Release
June 29, 2007
Northern Ontarians will finally get a chance to express their views about the economic crisis they face as a result of mill cutbacks and closures through a series of public forums beginning July 6 in Dryden.The public meetings, sponsored by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada and the United Steelworkers (USW), are a direct result of the Ontario government’s refusal to respond to demands from 17 municipal councils for hearings on the crisis that is devastating northern communities.
The goal is to examine and evaluate all ideas for revitalizing the Northern economy by preserving and creating jobs in the forestry sector. It is expected that issues receiving the greatest attention will include energy costs, establishing a value-added jobs base to the forest resource, and control of cutting rights on Crown land.
“The people of Northern Ontario deserve to be heard. We intend to listen, compile a report and make sure the views and visions are on the agenda during the upcoming provincial election,” the unions said in announcing the dates, times and places of the forums.
A three-person panel includes: Rob Cheethan, Economic Development Officer from Smooth Rock Falls; Michael Power, mayor of Greenstone; and Jeff Butler, a forestry consultant. The panel will conduct hearings at the following locations: · Dryden on Friday, July 6 at the Royal Canadian Legion · Espanola on Thursday, July 19 at the Pinewood Motor Inn · Thunder Bay on Monday, Aug. 13 at the Victoria Inn · Kapuskasing on Thursday, Aug. 16 at Le Centre des Loisirs In all locations, hearings will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. All members of the public are invited to make presentations with a suggested limit of 15 minutes. Presenters are asked to send their submissions in writing to the CEP, Attention Diane Knez, at 510-5915 Airport Road, Mississauga, Ont., L4V 1T1 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Presentation times should be booked in advance by calling Cecil Makowski, CEP Ontario Region Vice President, at 905.371.6297