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A decision for this proposal has been published as a Bulletin under ERO 019-1995 on June 29, 2020.
This consultation was open from:
May 19, 2020
to June 18, 2020
As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario is proposing to extend the temporary approach for forest operations conducted in Crown forests under the Endangered Species Act for an additional year.
This will help avoid additional regulatory burden and economic strain on the forestry sector while a long-term approach is finalized.
Why consultation isn't required
On April 1, 2020, the Ontario Government made a temporary regulation to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario Regulation 115/20 exempts all proposals for policies, acts, regulations and instruments from posting requirements under the EBR until 30 days after the declared emergency is terminated.
Ontario is committed to providing strong protections for species at risk and improving outcomes by modernizing and improving the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act, as committed to in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
Existing temporary regulatory approach for forest operations in managed Crown forests
There has been a temporary regulatory approach for forest operations in Crown forests under the Endangered Species Act since 2013. This time-limited approach for managing species at risk under s.22.1 of O.Reg 242/08 of the Endangered Species Act ensures that forest operations meet the standards of protection they currently have under their forest management plans. O.Reg. 242/08 exempts forest operations in Crown forests from the prohibitions in s. 9(1)(a) and s.10(1) of the Endangered Species Act if the following conditions (among other conditions) in the regulation are met:
- operating under an approved license under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994
- following an approved forest management plan
The current temporary approach is set to expire on June 30, 2020.
Developing a long-term approach for forest operations
On December 20, 2019, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry posted a proposal on the Environmental Registry (ERO# 019-1020) outlining a long-term approach that would reduce duplication and create a one-window system by exempting forest operations conducted in accordance with a forest management plan approved under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act from the prohibitions under the Endangered Species Act.
Proposed extension to the current temporary approach
Due to delays as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Ontario is proposing to extend the temporary approach for forestry operations under the Endangered Species Act for an additional year.
This proposal will maintain the current requirements and help avoid additional regulatory burden and economic strain on the forestry sector while a long-term approach is finalized.
Forest operations on Crown forests will continue to be regulated by the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, which provides for the sustainable management of Crown forests in a manner that must have regard for plant and animal life, including species at risk, water, soil, air and social and economic values.
This approach will avoid additional regulatory burden and economic strain that the expiry of the temporary approach could create for the forestry sector.
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