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Ontario will proceed with tenure reform


January 21, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The Government of Ontario intends to introduce legislation later this year that would modernize its forest tenure and pricing system. This new proposed system, if passed, would establish two governance models for managing and harvesting wood…

The Government of Ontario intends to introduce legislation later this year that would modernize its forest tenure and pricing system. 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.

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The new rules are intended to 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 introduction of this legistlation follows several months of consultation on the proposed framework released last April.

The Ontario Forest Industries Association has spoken out in favor of the proposed changes to Ontario’s wood allocation system. “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,” says OFIA president Jamie Lim.

Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, says the proposed legislation does respond to some concerns raised during the public discussions held last fall. “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.”

Crown timber is currently harvested from nearly 40 Sustainable Forest Licences spread across northern and eastern Ontario.


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