THUNDER BAY, ON – June 29, 2010 ----The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) has outlined its position on the “Proposed Framework to Modernize Ontario’s Forest Tenure and Pricing System”. The reform proposal outlines three main elements: 1) New Local Management Corporations; 2) Competitive Markets; and 3) A new revenue model. The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry is accepting responses on the proposal until Tuesday, June 29th.
President Anne Krassilowsky commented, in a news release that, “NOMA recognizes that the views of our members are diverse in regards to some specific details of the proposal for Forest Tenure Reform; however, we are also confident that there are many principles that are commonly shared that are vital to the revitalization of the forest industry. We also encourage each municipality to express their views on this issue based on the best interests of their community.”
The NOMA resolution reads as follows: “The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association calls upon the province to ensure that any reforms adhere to the following principles:
• Accommodate the business needs of the existing operating users both large and small, the dormant ones who are waiting for the market to return in order to restart their facilities and encourage new entrants, particularly value added in order to protect the existing job base and encourage new job creation in the forestry sector;
• Encourage fuller use of the forestry resources and promote the sustainability of the harvest;
• Reduce government bureaucracy in order to obtain and retain greater competitiveness with those outside Ontario;
• Permanent protection of Ontario’s 26 million cubic meters of sustainable industrial fibre; and
• Move quickly to clarify the considerable ambiguity around the existing proposals in order to stabilize future forest sector investments.”
NOMA represents the interests of municipalities from the City of Kenora in the west to the Township of Wawa in the east. It provides leadership in advocating regional interests to all orders of government and other organizations.