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Conservation organizations call on all MPPs to pass law to conserve northern Ontario forests


Ontario’s largest conservation organizations strongly support the passage of the Far North Act and call on all MPPs to vote for the bill on 3rd reading. They support Bill 191 because it will ensure that First Nation community plans precede development and that the conservation of cultural and ecological values is pursued in conjunction with economic development.

The legislation enshrines commitments made in 2008 by Premier McGuinty to conserve the boreal forest, plan for future development, and increase the role of Aboriginal people in decision-making within their traditional territories. This legislation advances these goals and includes the provision for a new joint provincial-First Nations body to aid in the implementation and regional coordination of planning. This will be among the best northern land-use planning laws anywhere in Canada and will help conserve one of the world\'s most important carbon storehouses, helping in the fight against climate change.

The groups recognize that further dialogue between First Nations and the provincial government is required to address outstanding treaty and governance
issues in the region and encourages the Ontario government and First Nations to begin these discussions as soon as possible.

For more information please visit www.borealopportunity.ca and contact:

Janet Sumner, CPAWS-Wildlands League
416 971 9453 ext. 39

Monte Hummel, WWF-Canada
(416) 489 4567 ext. 7223

Pierre Iachetti, ForestEthics
(604) 816 2034

Rick Smith, Environmental Defence
(416) 670-9521

Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature
(416) 768-9795