Date published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is pleased with the commitment to delay the posting of the draft Species At Risk (SAR) guide for 28 species to the Environmental Registry by the Hon. Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
The commitment was made during the annual conference of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and is welcomed news to northern municipal leaders who have been asking for the delay. “There were significant concerns that the posting of a draft SAR guide would see little change before becoming policy and ultimately have dire consequences across northern and rural Ontario,” said Mayor Al Spacek of Kapuskasing and President of FONOM. “It would in essence, shut down the economy in many of our communities” continued Spacek.
Previously, FONOM along with the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA), the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA), forest sector and Indigenous communities expressed their deep concerns to the Ministry for failing to consult and work with affected stakeholders on the draft SAR guide.
Forestry activity operates under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) which protects species at risk while managing industry objectives as it must take into consideration the social, economic and environmental well-being of a forest, including species and their habitats. However, the push to take a species first approach would protect species without any consideration for the economic and social consequences that it would have.
FONOM looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to implement policies and legislation that will help grow the economy while also protecting species at risk.
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Mayor Al Spacek