Northern Ontario Business - Have your say on forest Toronto

Published on April 4th, 2011 in Northern Ontario Business

Stakeholders wanting to have their final say on the Ontario government's Forest Tenure Modernization Act will have to take to Skype or travel to Toronto.

A General Government Committee has cut spring travel dates to communities in Northern and Eastern Ontario and opted for its final consultations in Toronto.

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Brown said after extensive consultation, Northerners have had “ample opportunity” to comment on Bill 151.

In a statement, Randy Hillier, Progressive Conservative critic said the government is refusing to face foresters on this legislation.

“Nobody in Toronto will be affected by this legislation, and yet this government maintains that just two days of consultation in downtown Toronto is enough. This shows where their priorities truly lie.”

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to the province asking for one meeting on tenure reform before moving the bill to third reading.

The office of Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti, parliamentary assistant to Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey and chairman of the committee fired back that community members and stakeholders can participate either in person or through video conferencing.

In an April 2 press release, his office said the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, has been consulting with Northerners on forest tenure reform for two years with meetings across the North.