Date published: Friday, June 21, 2013
Northern Ontario mayors are calling for an expanded renewal of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement that will involve key stakeholders including local and provincial governments, First Nations communities, environmental groups and the forestry sector.
Following the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement’s expiry, there is concern among towns in Northern Ontario that renewed attacks by environmental groups on forestry companies will create instability for employees of the forestry sector. Hundreds of towns across Canada rely on the forestry sector for jobs and economic growth.
“We’ve already seen Greenpeace Canada aggressively, and falsely, accusing Resolute Forest Products of breaking the CBFA. Resolute is an active and important partner in the development of towns in the North, and has a strong record of environmental sustainability,” said Al Spacek, Mayor of Kapuskasing. “We want to ensure that the towns and employees who are affected have a voice at the table, and that these attacks that affect our communities don’t continue.”
“A new agreement that involves all stakeholders will ensure that municipalities that rely on the industry, and
First Nations that are affected, can be part of a discussion about the future.”
Mayor Mike Millinkovich of Black River-Matheson agrees that a new agreement will benefit his town, the forestry sector and the environment.
“Some environmental groups seem to believe this is all about making profits for the sector; we know that’s not true. There are so many people who should be a part of this discussion to ensure we achieve a forestry agreement that promotes environmental, social and economic sustainability,” said Mayor Millinkovich.
Northern Ontario mayors have written to Premier Kathleen Wynne, asking for the support of the Ontario
Government in promoting the forestry sector and building a lasting agreement.
“We’d like the Premier to announce her support for a new agreement that can really ensure stability for the forestry sector and long-term growth and prosperity for Northern Ontario,” said Spacek. “With the support of all stakeholders, we can really ensure a world-leading environmentally sustainable forestry sector in Ontario.
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