Forestry is a vital part of the Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario economy providing thousands of jobs (direct, indirect and induced) for our region. As such, it is extremely important that reliable access to wood is available for Ontario's forest industry to be able to grow this renewable industry.
I am concerned that the proposed 2 year exemption does not provide sufficient certainty to forest companies to justify them making investments for expansion to new opportunities. I believe that the Government should provide a 5 year extension to the regulation that allows continued operation under the CFSA with approved forest management plans. This additional time will allow for the appropriate evaluation of the impacts of climate change and the completion of socio-economic impact analysis of all policies impacting the forest sector.
I am supportive of the creation of an independent multi-stakeholder panel as I firmly believe that effective policy is best developed by the people who are most impacted and informed. The government must ensure that the panel is comprised of people who are invested in the outcome. It is vital that the panel consist of forest management practitioners, First Nations, Municipal representation, and Forest Industry representation.
Finally, I believe that the final decision on these proposals must be made in a timely manner to provide certainty for those impacted. I respectfully request that the final decision is made by March 30, 2018.
Thank you for your consideration of these requests.
[Original Comment ID: 212406]
Submitted March 6, 2018 1:51 PM