Promoting Sustainable Development in Far North
McGuinty Government And First Nations Reach Important Milestone
Cat Lake and Slate Falls First Nations and Ontario have released a draft community based land use plan that identifies areas for protection and sustainable development in the Far North.
The Cat Lake-Slate Falls Land Use Draft Plan describes the importance of ongoing traditional use and identifies:
- Boreal forest areas for protection, including areas with key ecological features such as habitat for endangered species and waterways
- Areas suitable for carefully managed sustainable development in tourism, forestry, mineral exploration and mining.
The Far North Act provides a foundation for First Nations and Ontario to work together as partners on land use planning in the Far North. This is also part of the Open Ontario plan to support the region's economy and environment.
- One community based land use plan has already been completed and two other land use plans have also been drafted.
- Four other First Nation communities are making significant progress towards the preparation of a community based land use plan and 25 First Nation communities are engaged in discussions with the province regarding land use planning.
- The Far North makes up 42 per cent of the province's land mass.
- The recently passed Far North Act supports the eventual protection of at least half of the Far North or approximately 225,000 square kilometres through community based land use planning.
“I am delighted that we are able to celebrate this important milestone in land use planning in the Far North which is a result of constructive collaboration between our government and Cat Lake and Slate Falls First Nations. I am proud of the partnership we've been able to develop which will help communities in local job creation, strengthen the local economy and protect our environment.”
“With this Draft Plan, we are moving closer to achieving our communities' desire for a strong, vibrant and sustainable future for our people. Land use proposals are guided by our traditional knowledge and principles, respecting the land and all life that's interconnected.”
“While the Draft Plan identifies substantial areas for protection, it also provides for sustainable economic development opportunities that will contribute to a strong future for our communities and meaningful opportunities for our youth.”