This consultation was open from:
December 4, 2019
to February 5, 2020
We are seeking feedback on the proposed Ontario Forest Sector Strategy. The goal is to sustainably grow the forest sector, create opportunity for Ontario families, support industry and encourage innovation and new investment, while ensuring the sustainability of forests.
The draft strategy will support existing businesses and help create more opportunities and prosperity in northern and rural Ontario while ensuring high standards of sustainable forest management.
In developing the strategy, we listened to Indigenous, municipal and industry leaders, entrepreneurs and people from communities across Ontario who shared their ideas on the development of the strategy.
Input received helped identify four pillars for the draft strategy, including:
(1) Promoting stewardship and sustainability
- enhancing recognition of Ontario’s sustainable forest management system
- conducting applied research and best science to support forest management planning teams
- developing and strengthening Indigenous partnerships
- protecting values and respecting Indigenous rights
(2) Putting more wood to work
- reducing regulatory burdens for industry to access wood
- increasing forest growth and use of available wood supply
- investing in newer technologies to improve the quality of the inventory information
- providing wood supply certainty
(3) Improving our cost competitiveness
- maximizing the use of mill by-products
- making strategic investments in Forest Access Roads
- reviewing energy costs
- modernizing forest management approval processes and reducing duplications
(4) Fostering innovation, markets and talent
- growing the talent in the sector with educational and training programs
- enabling small and medium-sized businesses to access growing global export markets
- increasing use of Ontario wood in construction and heating
- launching the Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program
The volume of timber harvested today is less than 60% of what it was in 2000 – there is about 15 million m³ of available wood supply which could support further investment in the forest sector and allow Ontario to capitalize on future markets without impact the sustainability of our forests.
A strong forest sector is essential to creating prosperity for the province, especially for people in rural and northern Ontario. We are taking steps to reduce barriers that prevent businesses from taking full advantage of the tremendous potential of Ontario’s forest sector while ensuring high standards of sustainable forest management. A provincial forest sector strategy will help protect existing jobs and create new ones, helping industry innovate and attract new investment and securing a future for the communities and families who depend on the industry.
Public consultation opportunities
From November 2018 to May 2019, the government held seven round-table sessions across the province to gather insight from industry, municipal and Indigenous leaders. Feedback from the public and stakeholders was also collected through an online survey and via mail/email.
Industry has been engaged throughout the development of the strategy to ensure the current gaps and issues in the sector were considered and addressed. In August 2019, two meetings were held with industry stakeholders. A draft document was provided to industry representatives for feedback, which has been incorporated.
Our stakeholder outreach strategy includes email and letters sent to municipalities, First Nations, industry leaders, including businesses with innovative uses for wood products.
We are committed to consulting on the draft strategy and on specific initiatives as appropriate. In addition to making the draft strategy open for comments, the Ministry will consult and engage with First Nations and Metis communities on key elements of the strategy. Further consultations with community leaders and industry will be held.
For more information or to view related documents regarding the Ontario Forest Sector Strategy please contact the offices posted below for assistance.
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Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.
Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.
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