Ontario Supporting Northern Communities and Wildlife Conservation
Province Proposes Independent Panel to Inform Forestry and Conservation Policies
January 19, 2018
Ontario is taking action to support northern families and communities, creating opportunities for businesses while balancing habitat protection of wildlife species.
The government has posted a proposal to create an independent, expert panel to provide advice on a long-term solution for species at risk in Ontario’s managed Crown forests. This panel would include representatives from northern municipalities, Indigenous leaders, scientists and forestry practitioners.
The independent, expert panel will work to identify innovative local approaches and potential pilot projects for consideration as part of the development of the province’s long-term approach to protecting species at risk and their habitat while minimizing impacts to the forest industry.
The province is also proposing to extend the current regulatory approach to Crown forestry for a two year timeframe.
Supporting northern communities while protecting species at risk is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- 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.”
Nathalie Des Rosiers
Media Calls Only: Emily Kirk
Media Calls Only: Media Desk
Communications Services Branch