Ministers of Natural Resources and Forestry and Northern Development and Mines Hear Concerns from Northern Mayors

Date published: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Toronto, ON – Following the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities’ concerns regarding Bill 52 and Greenpeace Canada’s fabricated attacks on Northern Ontario’s forestry sector, Provincial Ministers Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle met in Toronto with Kapuskasing Mayor Spacek, President of FONOM. Kenora Mayor Dave Canfield (President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipalities Association) and Iroquois Falls Mayor Michael Shea joined the meeting via conference call.

FONOM appreciates the quick reaction by the Ministers to a series of concerning events taking place relating to the forestry sector and how quickly they were able to arrange time for the discussion.

The leaders discussed the situation in Iroquois Falls with the recent announcement of the closure of Resolute’s newsprint mill, which is the town’s largest employer.

They also spoke about the concerns Northern Ontario’s mayors have regarding the torrent of attacks on the region’s forestry sector from eNGOs that receive funds from non-Canadian sources specifically to attack Canada’s resources sectors. The Mayors raised concern about Greenpeace Canada’s campaign, that is encouraging their supporters to make ‘false claims’ online to further their attacks on Resolute FP, while Greenpeace actively supports legislation that will weaken victim’s ability to protect themselves from unfounded smear campaigns.

The Mayors also raised concerns about the Endangered Species Act, and the impacts that changes to the legislation are expected to have on the viability of the forestry sector, while acknowledging the need for a strong balance that considers both environmental and economic sustainability. These concerns include issues relating to the lack of confidence in the science used to justify conservation approaches to the Caribou population.

Mayor Spacek was pleased with Minister Mauro’s commitment to work with Northern Ontario communities to address these issues, and appreciates Minister Gravelle’s decision to plan a Northern Leaders meeting in Northern Ontario in the New Year where these and other issues facing the North will be discussed in a forum of decision makers.

“We are always pleased when there is an opportunity to work with our provincial counterparts to develop sensible policy that will positively impact Northern Ontario and appreciate the work of both Ministers Mauro and Gravelle who have committed to understanding and considering the impact government-wide decisions have on our communities,” said Mayor Spacek, following the meeting in Toronto.

The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities will continue speaking out on concerns related to these policy areas, while collecting feedback from municipalities and other stakeholders that will be incorporated into future discussions with the Province.

For More Information:

Mayor Al Spacek
President – FONOM

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