Struggling Northern forest communities need voice on tenure
April 8 /CNW/ - "By shutting out the North, the Ontario government has just put another nail in the coffin of our province's once-thriving forest sector," says the leader of Ontario's largest forestry union.
That reaction from Kim Ginter, Ontario Regional Vice-President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, upon learning that the Liberal government has voted to limit hearings on forest tenure in Northern and rural municipalities, including Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins and Pembroke.
"These Northern Ontario communities have been hard hit by the forest crisis and they need a voice at these hearings. Decisions about tenure need to be balanced by the interests of the community and the workers. By shutting them out, the take away message is that the Liberal government is not serious about revitalizing the forest industry in a way that benefits Canadians."
"The Liberals in Ontario have taken a page from the federal Conservatives by ignoring the concerns of forestry communities and workers."
Despite recommendations from opposition parties to hold a series of hearings in Northern and rural municipalities, the provincial government overruled the proposal and voted to limit hearings to Toronto on Monday April 11th and Wednesday April 13th.