THUNDER BAY – Today, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association launched an email writing campaign in an effort to provide the Ontario forest industry an exemption from a costly and unnecessary permitting process under the Endangered Species Act, 2007.
“Forest companies are already required by the Crown Forest Sustainability Act (1994) to prepare Forest Management Plans that identify threatened and endangered species and to provide for their protection in the area covered by the plan,” says Anne Krassilowsky, NOMA President. “We’re asking for the Government to implement a long-term exemption regulation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that recognizes that the ESAs primary objectives are met through the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and also recognizes Forest Management Plans as an equivalent process with regard to providing for and planning for species at risk.”
A recent socio-economic impact study by the Ontario Forest Industries Association indicates that the Habitat Regulation for Forest-Dwelling Woodland Caribou could remove up to 33% of northern Ontario’s industrial fibre supply. A reduction of that amount of industrial fibre could result in the loss of up to 3,200 jobs and would place the future of as many as 25 Northern Ontario communities at very high or high risk.
Krassilowsky continues, “NOMA is calling on the residents of our communities to make their voices heard on this issue to ensure that we, the residents of Northern Ontario, do not become the next endangered species. We are hopeful that every citizen of Northwestern Ontario will take a few moments to make the Premier and his Northern Ontario MPP’s aware of our concerns about the potentially devastating impact of this legislation for our communities.”
A draft letter is available for download on the NOMA website: www.noma.on.ca