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Ontario introduces new forest tenure act

Feb. 25, 2011 – The proposed Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act has been introduced.


February 25, 2011
By ON Ministry of Northern Development Mines & Forestry

Feb. 25, 2011 – The proposed Ontario Forest
Tenure Modernization Act has been introduced. If passed, the act would change
the forest tenure system and allow for greater market forces in the allocation
and pricing of Crown timber. The proposed legislation would maintain the
government's existing authority to manage this critical public resource, while
bringing more competition and opportunity to the forest sector. This includes
providing support for two new forest management models:

  • Local Forest Management Corporations would
    be government agencies that manage Crown forests and oversee the competitive
    sale of the timber in a given area.
  • Enhanced Shareholder Sustainable Forest
    Licences would consist of a group of mills and/or harvesters that collectively
    form a new company to manage Crown forests under the Sustainable Forest Licence
    that is issued to them.

These two new models would help make
Ontario's timber supply and prices more responsive to market demand, create new
business opportunities for entrepreneurs, and facilitate greater local and
Aboriginal participation in the sector.

The Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act, 2011 would also amend the Crown
Forest Sustainability Act, 1994
to support forest tenure and pricing
modernization. The province released a proposed framework in April 2010 and
consulted widely to develop the proposed legislation.

"Today's proposed legislation aims to
re-energize how Ontario's forest sector does business in the coming decades, so
that this very important industry continues to create jobs and benefits for
communities across our province," says Michael Gravelle, minister of
northern development, mines, and forestry.

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"Tenure reform offers enormous
potential and more meaningful participation by Ontario First Nations. Economic
and employment ventures will create ownership and true partnerships from
Ontario forests in traditional territories across the province," notes Roy
Michano, Chief for Ojibways of the Pic River First Nation.


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