Transforming Ontario's Forestry Sector
McGuinty Government Taking Next Step To Make Forest Industry More Competitive
Ontario intends to introduce legislation later this year that would modernize its forest tenure and pricing system. This would help re-energize Ontario's forest sector by creating new jobs and attracting investment while ensuring Ontario's forests continue to be managed sustainably.
This new proposed system, if passed, would establish two governance models for managing and harvesting wood from Ontario's forests:
- Local Forest Management Corporations (LFMCs) 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.
This 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.
Transforming and revitalizing the forestry sector is part of the Open Ontario plan to create jobs and economic opportunities in Northern Ontario.
- Introducing legislation follows several months of consultation on the proposed framework released last April.
- Crown timber is currently harvested from nearly 40 Sustainable Forest Licences spread across northern and eastern Ontario.
- Since 2004, the McGuinty government has committed to the largest-ever provincial investment in the forest industry in Canada by making $1.1 billion available through various past and present programs to assist the forest sector.
“This comprehensive overhaul of Ontario's wood allocation system would help build a strong forest industry in today's global economy. It would help create investment opportunities and opportunities for jobs and economic prosperity.”
“During consultations last fall, the government heard loud and clear that many Ontarians wanted change. Our approach contains many of their recommendations, including more involvement by local and Aboriginal communities as well as the separation of forest management operations from the mills where warranted. I am pleased that our government is moving forward on tenure reform.”
“We want to thank Minister Gravelle for carefully considering our concerns regarding tenure and pricing reform. The proposed path forward is a positive development and provides much needed certainty for operating mills, while creating opportunities for new investment in the sector. We look forward to working constructively with the Ontario government to implement and evaluate the various tenure systems that will evolve across the province over the next several years.”