Forestry Realignment Strengthens Economic Focus
McGuinty Government Ensures Forests Managed For The Future
Responsibility for forestry is being realigned between the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and the Ministry of Natural Resources effective immediately.
The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry is now leading the business and economic aspects of forestry, including industrial strategy, forest sector competitiveness programs, softwood lumber and wood allocation, pricing and licensing.
The Ministry of Natural Resources remains responsible for sustainable forest management and stewardship, including forest management planning, forest health and science, and the provision of habitat, including the requirements under the Endangered Species Act.
The changes fulfill a commitment made by Premier Dalton McGuinty on June 24, 2009, to realign the forestry portfolio between the two ministries.
- Forested land comprises 66 per cent of Ontario (about 70.4 million hectares or 174 million acres). This is equal to the land masses of Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands combined.
- In 2007, Ontario's forests supported a $15.3-billion forest sector.
“The forestry sector is a key economic driver in northern and rural Ontario. Adding the business sector of forestry to my ministry allows us to focus on strengthening and building this important industry in these difficult economic times.”
“Stewardship and sustainably managing our forests has always been one of the most important responsibilities of my ministry. This realignment allows us to focus even more on our role of ensuring that Ontario's forests remain healthy and sustainable.”