Monday 22 August 1994

Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, Bill 171, Mr Hampton / Loi de 1994 sur la durabilité des forêts

de la Couronne, projet de loi 171, M. Hampton

Lakehead University, members, faculty of forestry

Dr Reino Pulkki, chair, forest management department, faculty of forestry

Dr Gary Murchison, associate professor, faculty of forestry

Abitibi-Price Inc

Malcolm Squires, division forester

Lakehead University

Dr Connie Nelson, dean of research and graduate studies

Hill's Greenhouses Ltd

Herman van Duyn, president

Environment North

Don Smith, president

Bruce Petersen, chair, land use committee

Chris Clark, chair, water quality committee

Atikokan Loggers and Citizens Organization

Larry Guillet, chair

Buchanan Forest Products

Glen Swant, chief forester

Hartley Multamaki, coordinator, planning and development

Weldwood of Canada Ltd

Rick Ksiezopolski, woodlands manager

Friends of the Forest

Lucie Lavoie, member, steering committee

Gordon Whiteley, member, steering committee


*Chair / Président: Brown, Michael A. (Algoma-Manitoulin L)

*Vice-Chair / Vice-Président: Daigeler, Hans (Nepean L)

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

*Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L)

Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

Bisson, Gilles (Cochrane South/-Sud ND) for Mr Wessenger

Carr, Gary (Oakville South/-Sud PC) for Mr Arnott

Hodgson, Chris (Victoria-Haliburton PC) for Mr David Johnson

MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton ND) for Mr White

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Sorbara

Ramsay, David (Timiskaming L) for Mr Grandmaître

Wilson, Gary, (Kingston and The Islands/Kingston et Les Îles ND) for Mr Mills

Wood, Len (Cochrane North/-Nord ND) for Mr Morrow

Also taking part / Autres participants et participantes:

Wood, Len, parliamentary assistant to Minister of Natural Resources

Clerk / Greffier: Carrozza, Franco

Staff / Personnel: Yeager, Lewis, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 0907 in the Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay.


Consideration of Bill 171, An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario / Projet de loi 171, Loi révisant la Loi sur le bois de la Couronne en vue de prévoir la durabilité des forêts de la Couronne en Ontario.

The Vice-Chair (Mr Hans Daigeler): We're continuing the hearings on Bill 171, An Act to revise the Crown Timber Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario. Good morning, everybody.

The first presenter isn't here yet. However, we have one business item that I would like to deal with before we perhaps ask the second presenter, because they're here, to sit at the table. Mr Wood, on behalf of the ministry, would like to make a proposal to the committee regarding our trip to Fort Frances.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): Tomorrow afternoon, I understand that we're leaving here at around 4 o'clock and we'll arrive in Fort Frances around 4 o'clock, which will leave about an hour to get into the hotel rooms. Then we have a two-hour tour planned which will mean three or four stops in the woodlands operations so that we can see the different types of silviculture that are out there and different prescriptions and give you a chance to talk to some of the foresters out in the bush. We have that scheduled. If there's no opposition to it, we'll proceed with those plans. As I say, everybody should be back in their hotels by 7 o'clock, Fort Frances time.

Mr David Ramsay (Timiskaming): I think all the support staff should go also.

The Vice-Chair: Anybody who wants to go can come along. Is this agreeable to the committee? I think it's a great idea. We appreciate the effort that is being put forward by the ministry officials to arrange that on short notice. Please go ahead. We're all looking forward to a worthwhile tour. Has the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce -- has anybody arrived there in the meantime? No?


The Vice-Chair: Perhaps we will then ask, since the Lakehead University representatives are here, Dr Reino Pulkki, acting dean of the department of forest management to come forward. I understand you have several of your colleagues with you. If you'd like to take a seat, perhaps I should just, for the benefit of the people in the audience and for your benefit as well, explain a little bit about the proceedings. Over here are the government members, the parliamentary assistant, Ministry of Natural Resources and the official opposition and the third party at this end.

You will have half an hour to make your presentation. If you would like to leave some time for questions and answers at the end, we'd certainly appreciate that; perhaps 10 minutes.

We also have Mr Lewis Yeager from legislative research, who will be listening very carefully and will prepare a report for us at the end; Pat Girouard from the Hansard services; and in the background, for the recording services, Greg Didiano from the Queen's Park broadcasting service.

If you would like to introduce your colleagues first please, Dr Pulkki, then go ahead with your presentation.

Dr Reino Pulkki: Good Morning. I'd like to introduce my colleagues: Professor Richard Clarke and Dr Gary Murchison from the faculty of forestry at Lakehead University.

Our presentation entails about four pages of comments made by different faculty members. The following does not form a faculty position but is a collection of comments made by faculty members who reviewed Bill 171 and the draft manuals and regulations. The comments are individual in nature and do not necessarily reflect the views of all of the people involved.

Generally, it was felt that the initiative taken by the MNR is very positive. Although the following comments are related to areas where concern was raised, they are meant to be constructive rather than critical. I have listed on the paper there people who have given different comments.

One of the first things that came up almost by all was that since the act deals with sustainability of crown forests in Ontario, there should be a definition of "sustainability" contained within the act and not within the regulations or the manuals.

The act deals with "forest ecosystems" but a "forest resource" is defined as plants. This does not follow current thought in forest management planning or current developments throughout the world, where you're dealing with plants, animals, recreation, aesthetics, water, a whole host of different things. Current forest management should be a holistic view of the forest and not just looking straight at plants.

The definition of "forest operations" is unclear. For example, "use of a forest resource for a designated purpose" is some of the terminology in the act. Does this mean that using a forest resource to provide habitat is a forest operation? This is not very clear. Also, the definition could omit or include certain operations, depending on the interpretation. A possible alternative definition could be as follows: "all in-forest operations and activities related to the harvesting, renewal, maintenance, improvement and protection of a forest resource."

The definition of "forest resource processing facility" is too broad and easily misinterpreted. For example, a processor is a machine which performs at least two functions on a tree. Therefore, do all in-woods full-tree chippers, not to mention stroke delimbers, slashers, delimber-buckers and harvesters require licensing as forest resource processing facilities? The act should specify in detail which facilities are in question.

The act states that an RPF has to approve a forest management plan, but the minister may approve it, reject it or approve with modifications. The qualifications are not stated for the MNR personnel required for the above process. It should also be pointed out that the environmental assessment decision 62(b)(ii) requires that any alterations of the plan by the ministry be approved by an RPF. This is not mentioned anywhere in the act or in any of the regulations or manuals.

The class environmental assessment decision, on page 81, also requires that the plan author be a registered professional forester. This is not mentioned in the act or in any of the draft planning manuals. There is only an aside, within a caption box -- I presume the caption boxes are going to be removed from the manuals -- which states that a forest management plan will be prepared by a registered professional forester with the assistance -- and then there's a whole group of different people. There's a large section dealing with the plan author and responsibilities, but the RPF requirement is not mentioned anywhere.

The entire act contains a considerable number of, "The minister may...." This leaves major sections and responsibilities throughout the act open to the discretion of the people involved and the minister accountable for very little.

Subsection 13(1) is very unclear. In the act it states, "If preparation of a forest operations prescription is required by the Forest Planning Management Manual...." This leaves it very open and the question becomes, is a prescription required or not? A better reference could be the, "The forest operations prescription shall be prepared in accordance with the Forest Management Planning Manual." If there's any cases where it's not required, then those could be listed.

On clause 31(3)(a), there is no time given in regard to prior notice to a licensee in regard to changes to their licence. It just says that the minister will inform them about changes.

Subsection 32(2): How will changes in corporate ownership be handled? I see that as a very difficult problem, because stocks are trading continuously on the market. It seems quite unreasonable that a corporation would go to the ministry and ask for the right to take over another corporation.

Subsection 32(3) is a continuation of 32(2). This subsection's purpose is unclear as it refers to the regulations. This subsection deals with omitting certain cases. I was wondering, does this change over time or is it discretionary, depending on the individual or corporation?

Subsection 39(2): In regard to exemptions, research projects should be added. This one was in regard to certain situations where prescriptions are not required; for example, a forest fire -- you have to get it out. In some cases, having an entire operating plant to do a small research project really doesn't make too much sense.

The two trusts may be an improvement over current practice, but until it is made clear how they will actually work and be administered, they can only receive qualified approval. For example, the minister "may direct" funds to the forest renewal trust but payment "shall" be made to the forestry futures trust. The working of the fund is vague. What's the real purpose of the forest renewal trust fund if payments are going to be permissive?

In both cases, the minister "may" establish the trust. This should be "shall."

Subsection 48(2): Forestry research should be added to the list of uses for the forestry futures trust fund. This would be research in the operational nature of how different forestry operations would be done sustainably.

Paragraph 48(2)4: The statement leaves an idea that the fund could be used for whatever the minister decides appropriate. The question is, is this what is intended?

Section 51, and this refers back to the definition of "forest resource processing facilities," can lead to considerable confusion and bureaucracy due to the very vague definition of a forest resource processing facility. Under (14) in the regulations it states the minister "may not" require a forest resource processing facility a licence for facilities using less than 1,000 cubic metres of forest resources per year. Quickly, it comes out under what conditions? Why would somebody require it? Why wouldn't somebody require it?

If a forest owner has his own sawmill or fuel wood operation operating with wood from their own woodlot, or perhaps their neighbour's woodlot, what's the rationale of having an annual licence to run that little sawmill or whatever and still pay a fee for it every single year? That's a lot of bureaucracy.


Subsection 53(1): Any operations done in the forest will have some impact or short-term damage to the "water, soil, plant life or habitat for animal life." This states that no operation shall do any damage. This statement's just too vague and subject to wide interpretation, since there's no definition or outline of the appropriate level allowed.

In regard to offences, are people still allowed to remove one Christmas tree per year without committing an offence? By reading the act the way it is, it seems not to be allowed. "Offences" should make provision for remedial/restoration action prior to the fines.

Subsection 66(1) refers to the manuals. They should be prepared; "and kept current" should also be added to the requirement of preparing the manuals.

Subsection 84(1): This is in reference to workers' compensation fund payments. This should read, "If...forest resources are harvested or used for a designated purpose under the act at the request of or for the licensee, then" the person's responsible for the compensation rates. To give you an example, if someone is licensed to harvest blueberries commercially, it doesn't make sense that a licensee licensed to harvest timber is responsible for them to the Workers' Compensation Board, or even vice versa. The way the act reads now, the major licensee would be responsible.

All forest users need some assurance that the manuals, particularly the Forest Management Planning Manual and the Forest Operations and Silviculture Manual, will reflect sound research and scientific principles. Somewhere the act should recognize the need to have regulation based on scientific evidence and professional expertise and not just reliance on manuals.

There is no mention of independent audits in the act, as specified by the Environmental Assessment Board.

The following comments deal with the draft manuals. We realize that they're very draft, they're initial manuals in quite a draft form, but anyway, page 21 of the regulations reads, "`Productive forest area' means an area with rock barrens, muskeg or lands covered by water." We assume this should read "`Non-productive forest area.'"

All the guides and manuals listed in the Forest Operations and Silviculture Manual must be readily available in one complete package. As it is, many if not most of the guides are very difficult to obtain and require excessive effort to procure individually. I know from my own personal experience a number of those manuals are out of print and you cannot obtain them.

The FOSM, as presented, is very limited in its usefulness. Basically, it is just a directory referring the reader to other manuals and guides.

There are conflicts between the sections dealing with wasteful practices and the requirements for leaving large woody debris on the ground and standing for habitat purposes. These conflicts need to be resolved in the manuals.

The first impression of the Forest Information Manual is one of a major effort in centralized control of information and its availability. Careful consideration must be given when applying universal systems, models and data requirements for the entire province. Otherwise, a straitjacket is placed on the overall information system and forest planning and development, since the conditions are so variable throughout the province.

In the Forest Information Manual, on page 14-9, sawdust is missing as a product. It's assumed that it's grouped into hog fuel, but sawdust is also used as a raw material for, for example, linerboard and medium-density fibreboards. Bark also is a product by itself as a soil improvement, soil additive or for landscaping.

Comments were made earlier in regard to the Forest Management Planning Manual and RPF requirements.

At the beginning of the Forest Management Planning Manual and in the act, forest management plans, forest operations prescriptions and annual work schedules are presented. However, after page 46 the manual refers almost entirely to timber management plans. This is not consistent with the new act or focus on sustainable forestry. It almost gives the impression that they took the old Timber Management Planning Manual and moved it into the Forest Management Planning Manual.

In addition to the silvicultural system used, another useful piece of information in the reporting would be the harvesting method used; for example, full-tree, tree-length, cut-to-length.

On page 158, section 4, of the Forest Management Planning Manual, "The methods of harvesting and logging are to be identified." For all practical purposes they're the same thing. Probably "harvesting methods" would be the most appropriate term to use. Just drop the logging out of it. In the Forest Management Planning Manual, pages 253 and 254, wider road corridors allowed in more sensitive areas does not make sense. It would be expected more detailed planning and thus narrower road corridors would be required in areas of concern.

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our formal presentation and we're open to any questions that you may have in regard to this.

Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): Gentlemen, thank you very much for a very comprehensive review of the material. You've certainly given us a great amount of food for thought here.

One point: During the beginning of your brief you indicated that there was current development throughout the world regarding forest ecosystems. I'm just wondering if you could maybe give us some examples of where that development's taken place and maybe some places where we can get further material on that.

Dr Pulkki: One good example perhaps is in Minnesota, where they just went through a generic -- what was it called? It was a generic environmental impact statement, where they reviewed all aspects of forest management and the impacts of forest management on everything from soils to animals to recreation to the economy, and everything. Especially on the western coast in the US, there's a very strong drive towards total forest ecosystem management and not just looking at timber. There's a strong move in that direction also in the Nordic countries, Sweden and Finland. Those are just some examples.

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): As critic, I'm very happy to get a presentation like this where it clearly enumerates the problems or the concerns that you have.

One of the things you haven't mentioned: In the school of forestry you must also look at the competitiveness of the industry etc in the scheme of things. Has there been any analysis by the university of the impact of these regulations on the competitiveness in Ontario's forests, in particular in the northwest?

Dr Pulkki: There has been no real research directed specifically at these regulations, because they are so new. But there is research going on on the impacts of perhaps the requirement for more intensive forest management and how will that reflect on competitiveness.

Mr Brown: Have you been having a look at the impact of the results of the EA hearings?

Dr Pulkki: Not on a specific case, no.

Mr Brown: We had one of your colleagues visit us in Espanola, Professor Duinker. He was making many of the points you're making here. He talked particularly about sustainability and was having some of the same difficulties I think you're expressing here.

Do you have a preferred definition for "sustainability," if we were to put it in the purpose clause of the act? Because, to be fair, this is an issue that is raised time and time again by the full spectrum of presenters before us, from the lumbermen to pulp and paper companies to environmental groups. It's one of the difficulties that we're having, kind of trying to get our hands on this Jell-O.

Dr Pulkki: I guess I could give one, from one of our faculty members: "`Sustainability' is not defined, although it is the essence of the act. Does it mean meeting the needs of today's population without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs, as stated in the Brundtland report? Or is it similar to the dictionary definition of sustain: keep from falling or shrinking, especially for a prolonged period?" He also goes on: "Or does it mean the principles of sustainability outlined in Direction '90s?"

None of the faculty members really gave a definition of "sustainability." I guess it could be put together if we had time to do it. But there are a number out there and I guess people just didn't feel like coming up with something new. I don't know if anybody has a preferred one.

Mr Brown: I just have one last question. You make the point, "The definition of `forest operations' is unclear." We have heard from various presenters who believe that forest operations may include tourism outfitters, it may include canoeists, may include hunters and anglers, may include a whole variety of people or groups, and that in the view of certain presenters they should be charged in a similar fashion for their use of the resource as the operators involved in harvesting. I'm not sure what the ministry intends, but is there a view on -- I mean, that might be one reason that it is as broad as it is.

Dr Pulkki: I guess I could give my own personal view. If the major forest resource use for an area would be canoeing, that is, the forest resource is canoeing for that area, they should be liable to whatever fees it requires for operating in that area. You're forfeiting income from other uses so they should be responsible to cover that income requirement. I don't know if my other faculty members have --

Mr Brown: So perhaps the broader definition is more appropriate?

Dr Pulkki: Yes.


Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): Thank you very much. As has been mentioned, this is an excellent detailed presentation and we appreciate the time that you put in so quickly to get that done with fairly short notice.

Lakehead has a very good reputation, as you probably know, in the area of forestry management. Up to this point, I'm wondering what type of input you've had with the government. As this bill was being written, did any of the experts from your department have any contact with the government? What has happened up to this point with your input into the bill?

Dr Pulkki: I don't think there's any faculty involvement in the actual act, but Dr Murchison has been involved with some of the manuals and I guess he could give some comments.

Dr Gary Murchison: I've attended the various workshops, both on the forest products and on the timber productivity and, most recently, on the writing of the manual regarding Bill 171.

Mr Carr: Good. I don't know if you are familiar. It came out last week that I think the government committed to having another workshop, at least one, because of some of the concerns. Hopefully you'll still be involved in that and be able to participate as well.

Dr Murchison: Based on conversation with a government official last week, I expect to be going to that workshop in Toronto in October.

Mr Carr: Good. Okay, great. As we've heard from various people, the bill is very vague. I don't say this of this government, but all governments do that for a number of reasons, not the least of which is it blunts opposition to a bill when you can talk to both sides and say, "Don't worry, this is what we really need." Again, I don't say that to be political because all governments of all political stripes do it. It's an age-old technique, unfortunately. But what happens as a result is that you get a very vague bill and the regulations are extremely powerful. All governments will say that the reason we do that is to allow for the famous word "flexibility" because things change.

Knowing the industry as well as you do, can you see any reason that we should keep so much into the regulations to allow for the flexibility or do you think it is far too vague right now as we stand with putting so much into the regulations?

Dr Pulkki: The way I read the act, it's way too vague as it is. It should be more detailed in some of the key points; for example, sustainability, the definition of what processing facilities are, what the minister is required to do and not just may, especially in regard to the funds and how they should be used and for what purpose.

Mr Carr: As Mike mentioned, everybody has talked about definition. Everybody has made that point, I think, and is very concerned about it. One of the reasons I think it hasn't been included is because it's very difficult to get a consensus, as you know. You mentioned three or four options, but even you said, "Even our faculty really didn't nail it down." It makes very difficult because people are saying, "We want the government to come up with a definition," but they really can't give us a good one of their own. They've mentioned the various ones.

My feeling is that the reason it isn't in there is because there are three, four, five, six or 10 definitions that various people have come up with but we really can't get one that everybody would be flexible enough to move with. Is that one of your feelings? With the various concerns of so many of the groups, whether they be citizens' groups or industry, that have come forward, do you think we really can get a consensus that we could put in there that everybody would be happy with? Because there would have to be a lot of give and take. There's a broad range. Do you think we could get one that everybody could live with?

Dr Pulkki: You could get a definition. It would make the majority of the people happy, but there will always be somebody who's not happy.

Dr Murchison: One thing that came out at the discussions at the workshops was that there was a great deal of emphasis on defining "sustainability" and also a major emphasis, or certainly a raised emphasis, on trying to include diversity or some definition of "diversity" or at least addressing diversity directly within the act, those two items.

Again, the people attending it, I don't think some of the people who presented those arguments necessarily knew how to address them. One suggestion that came up was that to define the scope or the scale at which you expect to meet diversity requirements. It's probably very easy to do it on a province-wide basis. It may not be so easy or may be unrealistic to even consider doing it on a stand-wise or very localized basis.

So if there was some definition of the scope or the scale on which you're trying to operate -- for instance, on a working-circle basis or a management-unit basis or on a district level or on a regional level -- then I think that might help you come up with acceptable definitions of "diversity" and "sustainability."

Mr Carr: My last question is a very simple one. As some of the details were coming out, there were some people when we were up in Kapuskasing who said that with some of the concerns outlined, we probably shouldn't pass this bill as it stands right now. Notwithstanding some of the improvements that you listed here, I take it from your opening introduction that you still think this bill would be better than the status quo, that even if you don't get some of the changes you talked about, we would still be better off by passing this bill than we would be staying with the status quo. Is that your expert assessment?

Dr Murchison: As long as there's no weakening.

Dr Pulkki: Yes, as long as there's no weakening in the intent. No, if a lot of our comments could be taken into account, I would be happy with it.

Mr Carr: Good. Thank you. Good luck.

Mr Wood: Thank you for an excellent presentation based on a lot of knowledge that you've used. It's quite obvious that you've spent the time to go through the manuals and the regulations and the act.

I want to touch a little bit on sustainability and the ecosystem and find out from you if you feel that can be explained in the manuals -- if it would have to be necessarily explained in the act itself, or if the manuals and regulations would be sufficient as we're rewriting the manuals.

Dr Pulkki: I would feel the definition of "sustainability" in the act itself would be best.

Mr Wood: There are a number of amendments that you have suggested, and in some of them it looks like there are words that were omitted. The word "non" I guess should have been in there on the third page that you're talking about there. It seems like that was omitted.

I just want to touch on another area. Under the timber act right now -- and we've had presentations in some of the other communities -- the government or the minister can shut down an operation if there's damage being done in the operations in the bush, compared to the new act, which spells out penalties and up to a $1-million fine for refusing an order. I just want to get a comment from you on which you think is the best way of dealing with that.

Dr Pulkki: The old act gave very little power to the ministry to control operations. The new act allows the minister to work in phases upward, to first give a warning and get the operator's attention a little bit more strongly before you get into the fines. So I see the procedure outlined in the act as a better one as opposed to the old system in the Crown Timber Act.

Mr Wood: In your opinion and in listening to the presenters, with some of the amendments that you've brought forward and some of the other presenters, do you feel this is legislation we can live with for a number of years to come, that it's something that has to be done?

Dr Pulkki: I see it as a large improvement over the old Crown Timber Act, and we could live with it into the future, yes.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We certainly appreciate the effort you have taken to make your views known to the committee. I'm sure it will be very helpful both for the government and for the opposition.

Dr Pulkki: Thank you very much for the opportunity to give our presentation.

The Vice-Chair: We are in a bit of a strange situation here in that the next two presenters aren't here yet. The presenter for 11 o'clock is here, or the representative of the presenter. However, at one point members of the committee had requested an opportunity to pose some questions of the ministry officials, and I'm just wondering whether perhaps, since we have actually more than an hour free, we can either do that now or perhaps proceed with the Lakehead University representative. What's the view? Would the ministry officials be ready?

Mr Wood: No, we were kicking this around there, that we should hit for a week from today in Toronto.

The Vice-Chair: In Toronto?

Mr Wood: Yes.

Interjection: Mr Squires is here, from Abitibi-Price.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. Well, let's just finish this one, then. Mr Mammoliti?


Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): It was just my understanding that when somebody had cancelled out, at that point we would proceed with asking the questions. It's not my understanding --

The Vice-Chair: I would follow the committee, what they wish to do, but members of the committee had expressed the desire to pose some questions to ministry officials, and we had sort of informally agreed we were going to do that whenever the time would be available. But the parliamentary assistant tells me that --

Interjection: My suggestion would be to wait.

The Vice-Chair: -- from a staff point of view it would be better next week, if that's agreeable, Mr Brown.

Mr Brown: It certainly is agreeable with the opposition that we wait until the ministry feels prepared to answer the questions we're putting forward. However, both Mr Hodgson and myself, in our opening statements, expressed a large number of both concerns and questions.

I was wondering if the parliamentary assistant could indicate to us that the ministry will in fact be replying in detail to the questions and concerns we raised, because quite a few of them were questions of fact and we were looking just for some answers. If in response to our statements the ministry could provide us with written answers, it would be very helpful to us as we consider this bill.

Mr Wood: Yes, I believe we can do that. On the timing of it, I'm just going to have to reflect back on Hansard and some of my notes and maybe have a discussion with yourself and Chris to update. I think this can be done for sure.

The Vice-Chair: Okay, so with the agreement of the committee we'll aim for some time during our hearings in Toronto. Since we do have a full agenda, we'll have to wait and see whether there are any cancellations, but I'm sure we'll be able to arrange something, even if we have to start earlier.


The Vice-Chair: The next presenter, whom I should make very clear is not late, but our committee is early -- you were scheduled for 10, so don't feel bad at all, because we had one cancellation so we started with the second presenter and therefore we finished a little bit earlier. We'd like to continue, then. Obviously, I guess it is agreeable with you already to make your presentation now.

I understand you're Malcolm Squires, division forester, representing Abitibi-Price. You have half an hour. If you'd like to leave some time for questions and answers at the end, it would be much appreciated.

Mr Malcolm Squires: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I'll try to be precise and on time. I welcome this opportunity to present Abitibi's views on Bill 171.

Abitibi-Price has been a proactive forest manager in Ontario since the early years of our company. However, we are most proud of our achievements since 1980, when we signed the first forest management agreement in Ontario. We believe our achievements since then on the Iroquois Falls and Spruce River forests, the latter located north of Thunder Bay, are second to none in the province. They have both twice received very favourable comments from two five-year review committees.

These FMAs were made possible by an amendment to the Crown Timber Act supported and encouraged by industry. We believe the next level of improvement in forest management is achievable through similar government-industry cooperation in drafting effective legislation. Indeed, we bargained in good faith with Mr Bob Carman during the past two years in an attempt to help make that possible.

Abitibi-Price strongly believes that Ontario must have forest management legislation that meets the long-term expectations of Ontario's citizens and world markets. To achieve that, the legislation must provide the resource manager the ability to make wise land-use decisions that sustain the forests for the benefit of all of us. We therefore applaud the government of Ontario for initiating a process of drafting new forest management legislation.

Despite our agreement that new legislation is needed, we draw your attention to the following specific sections of Bill 171 that we feel need change.

We draw your attention to section 18. The requirement to provide information to the minister in section 18 is not yet defined. The Forest Information Manual requirements should not require the industry to provide information that may be of a proprietary nature. The industry should not be required to provide unlimited information to government or the public. Such requests will probably become excessive if there are not clear limits placed in the regulations or the manual.

Subsection 29(2): The proposed wording implies that licence holders will pay area charges for all lands, not just productive lands, as is the current situation. The 1993 doubling of area charges was hard to absorb, but now to find we may be expected to bear additional increased costs in this area seems excessive. The nature of this and other inherent potential cost increases leaves us with the uncomfortable feeling that government really does believe we are a cash cow despite mill closures and cutbacks. It also makes us wonder how much additional cost is hidden in not-yet-disclosed responsibilities that may be passed on to us through the regulations and manuals.

We caution you as legislators that forest management licensees and companies in Ontario are at the limit of costs of the type we cannot ourselves control. Additional government-levied costs could very possibly be counterproductive.

Section 50: The requirements for issuance of a licence for forest resource processing facilities are too broadly defined. As written, mobile chip harvesters, and potentially other harvesting equipment, would require licensing. This severely limits flexibility and we feel it is not realistic. Indeed, we cannot understand what valid reasons government would have for requiring licensing of such machinery. From an operator's standpoint, it adds to the paper flow and process that is already excessive, but more importantly, it has the potential to reduce operating efficiency, interfere in the routine decision-making activities of business and allow government to influence the choice of machinery and system. Our competitive position could be severely eroded by such undue interference.

Section 55: The provisions for increased severity of administrative penalty expose the resource manager to the potential for inconsistent or unfair treatment by junior levels of the regulatory agency. It is our position that all penalties should be assessed based on acts and regulations and subject to due process.

Section 55 leaves room for a large volume of nuisance fines based on differences of interpretation. A successful lobbyist could avoid the fines, whereas a licensee without the capacity for lobbying would have to bear the cost. Making all fines subject to due process puts the onus on the Ministry of Natural Resources to be certain the charges are sound and non-discriminatory.

There may be other specific sections which change can improve. However, we depend on the collective wisdom of the industry to bring them to your attention.


We do have some general comments in addition to the specifics.

Yes, we believe new forest management legislation is necessary in Ontario, but resource managers must be able to develop new techniques as experience and knowledge are gained. With change there is always risk; however, overemphasis on enforcement and stiff penalties will discourage resource managers from trying new techniques, as the price for failure will be viewed as excessive. In the long term, this may systematically cause Ontario to fall behind in the development of new and innovative forest management.

There is little incentive or reward for the licensee in Bill 171. If the legislation is too punitive, it will cause forest managers to become evasive and possibly wasteful. Some operations could stop far short of the penalty line to ensure the line is not crossed, while others could "make hay while the sun shines," before restrictions become even tighter. The legislation should rather appeal to the resource managers' innovative spirit and desire to excel. We need positive incentives that encourage us to stretch, to test the limits, to explore new methods that are in harmony with the dynamics of the resource we are trying to sustain. The most powerful incentive would be to give us a sense of ownership in the new forests that results from our extra efforts beyond those necessary to achieve the minimum requirements.

We want to be challenged to seek some appropriate higher level of achievement. Some consideration should be given to formal recognition of excellence for those forest management institutions that give Ontario a reason to stand proud when forest management is scrutinized by the world.

The current draft of Bill 171, through potentially excessive information requirements -- that's through sections 16 to 18 -- may add to the already burdensome process of timber management planning. Licensees could be required to absorb unknown cost increases through these and other additions to process.

Licensees who assume regeneration responsibility, invest in the infrastructure and development of the forest, and maintain the asset for the public benefit over the long term should be encouraged. This should continue to be done, as in current forest management agreements, by ensuring access to wood supply through secure long-term tenure conditional on performance. Such security of wood supply should promote increased investment in existing and, where appropriate, new facilities to secure their sustainability. We can see no section in Bill 171 which clearly gives us such comfort.

We would much prefer to submit to the demands of world markets for more environmentally sensitive harvesting and renewal than to have it legislated. We expect that world market demands for sustainable forest management will be far ahead of legislators' ability to change regulations and manuals. For that reason, the act, regulations and manuals should be so constructed as to ensure licensees will not be hampered by process in responding to rapid change.

In conclusion, we repeat: We applaud the government of Ontario for beginning the process of drafting new forest management legislation. However, we are concerned that the attempted rapid development and passage of Bill 171 is a mistake. Not enough time is available in the schedule for sufficient input from practising resource managers. These same forest managers are busier than ever trying to adjust to a daunting array of new government initiatives, non-government pressures for change, and unprecedented change in their own organizations and still maintain quality forest management. We must listen to those who are experienced and examine the potential impact of the legislation on those who will be required to respond to its intent.

Let's not engage in party politics and jealous turf wars among forest users, or hastily pass this potentially damaging but yet potentially empowering Bill 171. We have an opportunity to place Ontario at the undisputed top of world forest management. Let's go for it, but go for it together. We thank you.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. On page 3 you talk about section 18 and the different requirements of a reporting nature. As the critic for Economic Development and Trade for my party, I spend a lot of time, and you're not alone as an industry. What a lot of businesses are saying is that it isn't any one thing; it's an accumulation of all the information that governments require. Unfortunately, I think a lot of businesses feel that sometimes it's information that goes into the hole and isn't used and you spend a great deal of time preparing it.

What will it mean for you, in terms of cost, to prepare to comply with section 18? Right now they've left it so vague that you don't know. But how much, as a company, would you say the regulations cost you in terms of time to fulfil requirements?

Mr Squires: On information alone, you mean?

Mr Carr: Yes.

Mr Squires: I'd have to agree with you: At this point, we really don't know. That's part of the thing that concerns us, that there's nothing to put limits on the amount of information that will be required. It looks like just an open-ended blank cheque at the moment, so we caution you as legislators to ensure there are definite limits put on it.

We know there's information required. A lot of it is readily available already within the industry's databanks. A lot of it the government will never require. It's information that we feel necessary because we're close to the ground, we see what is needed, and we use that information. Your concern that information not be used is a very critical one. Any information that is collected must be collected with the purpose of using it.

Mr Carr: You may have come a little bit late, but I asked the people from Lakehead University, because they had some suggestions that they put forward, basically whether the bill was better than the status quo, and they agreed it was.

When we were up in Kapuskasing, Spruce Falls Inc came before this committee and basically outlined some of the changes, but said if changes aren't made, this bill is worse than the status quo. The chap who came from Spruce Falls Inc basically said to me, "If we don't get the changes, it shouldn't pass."

What is your company's position, recognizing that you have some concerns and voice some of them? Do you think passing this bill is better than the status quo, or, if you don't get the changes, do you think this bill should be defeated?

Mr Squires: The existing Crown Timber Act, which has enabled the minister to establish forest management agreements, has definitely caused an improvement in forest management in Ontario, primarily through timber management. However, we understand it has handicapped the minister to enable him to take action relative to managing the other areas of the forest, beyond timber. We agree it's necessary to tackle that aspect of it. Indeed, the Environmental Assessment Board on timber management recommended that by the year 2000. We're seven years from that. That's part of the reason I focused on haste. I think we are being hasty.

The bill has a lot of strength in it; it's got a lot of potential. I try to emphasize that. I think the key in what Abitibi-Price is proposing here is that we think, yes, we should pass a bill, not necessarily in the current sitting of the House, but we should be working together on it, making sure that this bill, or a form of it, is exactly what Ontario needs, and we should do it together. So to answer your question as to whether this bill should pass, we think a form of this bill should eventually pass.

Mr Carr: A short question: Obviously being one of the big players and big employers, up to this point what has been your involvement with the ministry with regard to the regulations? Have you been part of the process in giving your input from your standpoint to what came out in the regs? Did you have any input whatsoever?

Mr Squires: Yes, we have. In fact, I am sitting on the operations and silviculture manual committee at the moment. It came a bit late in the game, but better late than never.

Mr Carr: Thank you, and good luck.

The Vice-Chair: Do you have a question?

Mr Chris Hodgson (Victoria-Haliburton): No, I don't, thank you.

Mr Carr: My time is up anyway.

Mr George Dadamo (Windsor-Sandwich): On page 4, you're talking about section 55 and you say that it "leaves room for a large volume of nuisance fines based on differences of interpretation." You go on to say, "A successful lobbyist could avoid the fines, whereas a licensee without the capacity for lobbying would have to bear the cost." Could you explain that to us, expound on it a bit?

Mr Squires: It could be explained at various levels. I am sure most people realize -- I am sure legislators realize -- that a large company has the capacity to talk to people and get its arguments heard, whereas a small licensee may have difficulty. It just doesn't have the financial resources to get there. I don't use "lobbying" there in a sense of wrong; I use it in a sense of information exchange. The more people are aware of the problem, the more they can respond to it.

In my past, I have seen instances where there has been potential for charges being wrongly laid, but fortunately through communication they've not been laid because there's been a mistake, an honest mistake, sometimes on the side of the ministry, sometimes on the side of Abitibi. But through having people on staff that can talk to the Ministry of Natural Resources people, very seldom does something happen. In fact, I can boast that in the entire period of Abitibi-Price's FMA here at the Lakehead, we've never had a charge.


Mr Wood: Thank you very much for the presentation that you brought forward here. You've made some of the same comments that some of the other people have made. You have operations in Manitoba, I understand?

Mr Squires: Yes, we do.

Mr Wood: And you have trust funds that are set up in Manitoba?

Mr Squires: That is correct.

Mr Wood: And how does that seem to work?

Mr Squires: We're quite happy with it.

Mr Wood: You're quite happy with it?

Mr Squires: Yes, we are.

Mr Wood: So you would be very similar to what we're trying to establish in Ontario?

Mr Squires: In many ways.

Mr Wood: Okay. Thank you.

Mr Ramsay: Thank you very much for your presentation. You've brought up a point, and it's the first time I've seen it in our week of hearings last week, the first time I've seen it in all of these hearings, and I'm really pleased to see it. I'd like to explore it a little more. On page 5 you're referring to the punitive fines that are there and start talking about, why not start to reward excellence and why not challenge the industry to, as you say, stretch, to see what we can do and to allow us to be risk takers and embrace new technology and innovation? I think that's sort of the language and the tenor of new legislation of the future, and I think what we're seeing here, especially in the section you allude to, is the old "command and control" idea of government that we just command people and control people rather than give people incentive and reward excellence. I think that's an excellent point.

Do you have any sense of how one could incorporate that, rewarding excellence, any aspect of that you think we could be putting in there in any concrete way, whether it's in the legislation or just part of MNR policy to sort of give that recognition?

Mr Squires: I have not really thought that through clearly, I admit. It could be something of a monetary nature, but I don't think that's what's appropriate. I think what's appropriate here is something that enables the forest manager to take the next step, to assume a higher responsibility, to get them freer of government regulation. It recognizes that the forest manager has taken on a responsibility, has met the requirements, and can now operate without -- I was going to use the word harassment, but we don't receive that. But interference where you don't need it -- honest interference, but it slows you down.

Mr Miclash: Malcolm, you ended off by saying let's go for it, "Let's go for it together," in terms of government and industry working together. Section 12 of the bill talks about local citizens' committees, and what I'm looking for is just some of your ideas on how these might be established and how they might function to work together with government.

Mr Squires: We are currently redrafting our timber management plan, which hopefully will get passed before this new legislation. We've got a time frame of 1995. In that timber management planning, we are appointing a local citizens' committee, and that committee is being appointed jointly by the Minister of Natural Resources and Abitibi-Price. We both put down the type of individual we're looking for -- when I say type, I mean a background as to what interests they have, how they've behaved in public, do they take the responsibility seriously -- and go beyond that, then, to get down to the individuals. In some cases, the company has proposed the individuals; in some cases, the Ministry of Natural Resources has.

Until we test that and have it behind us, I'm not sure I'm the appropriate person to give you good advice on that. Other companies have experience behind them.

Mr Miclash: I was just going to say that we did hear sort of an outline of a committee that was formed in Espanola, and they were very happy. Actually, we had somebody from the committee do a presentation; a lot of positive comments from industry and people throughout the area about how this committee functioned. We're actually looking for input as we go along, of course, as to some of the positive things that are happening in terms of this committee, so we'll certainly be looking forward to what comes about of what you're saying you're going to be developing. Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, we do have time still.

Mr Brown: Always a pleasure, Mr Squires. As we think about this bill, one of the things of course that is a key to the bill is the trusts. There are two trusts identified in the bill. But my question moves more towards the residual value tax and how that's viewed by the ministry or by the industry itself. It seems to me that you're given the extreme -- well, the doubling of the area charges that you alluded to in your brief, an increase in stumpage charges and perhaps with this bill you've a further increase. That residual value tax which isn't dedicated to forestry at all goes off to Never Never Land in the general funds of the province of Ontario.

I'm wondering what kind of impact you believe it might have on the industry and on northern Ontario in general, because that's where the crown forests in particular are, and what rationale there could be for placing a value on the wood above what we already deem it to be.

Mr Squires: I have to confess to not really knowing the full extent of Abitibi-Price's approach to that second trust, the residual value one.

Mr Brown: That's not a trust. It's a tax.

Mr Squires: Yes. I do know any additional tax would have a negative impact on your desire to move ahead and get better markets to make more money. So there's that impact of it.

However, Abitibi has talked with Bob Carman through the negotiations and we have negotiated in good faith, acknowledging that this is on the table, and we've been willing to work with it, but it's not one that we go out and openly embrace.

Mr Brown: Do I have some more time? If I recall correctly, you also manage considerable private land.

Mr Squires: Seven hundred square miles right here at Thunder Bay.

Mr Brown: Of which I believe you've been seen by the general society as doing a good job of managing your own land.

Mr Squires: I hope we are.

Mr Brown: Yes. Well, that's my information anyway.

Comparing the costs of doing business on your own land compared to what you would be doing business on crown land, any thoughts for us? You talked about tenure. There's no more tenure than owning the land.

Mr Squires: Okay. We have been practising timber management on the private land of Abitibi here at the Lakehead for quite a number of years, since we acquired it in 1962 from the railway. In 1975, we engaged then Professor Ken Armson of the University of Toronto to do a detailed analysis of that land base, which he did on behalf of our board of directors. He recommended more intensive timber management and we started in 1976, at about the same time he started his study for the Ontario government to determine whether or not FMAs were practical.

Since 1976, we increased the level of timber management. Up to about 1983, we held it at about a level, up through to 1985, when we started to take advantage of the NODA fund, or COFRDA, I'm sorry, at that time, Canada-Ontario joint forestry agreement. But during a five-year period, about 20% of the money spent came from the COFRDA account and the other 80% was company. That terminated in 1991, so we're now on our own.


To answer your question, we have been practising a higher level of timber management and now forest management, we feel, on that private land than we are on our FMA, at less cost. No matter how you look at it, what ratios you pick of looking at it, we are doing a better job on our private land than we are on the FMA.

Mr Brown: At less cost.

Mr Squires: At less cost. Some people look at the land saying it's a superior land base, and we agree it is; however, there are things that we're doing there, have been able to do, free to do, move quickly to make change, whereas on crown land we have a difficulty of moving quickly. All of our innovative trials have been done on our private land for that reason.

We've developed direct seeding of jack pine to near perfection. When we use a bract seeder, direct application of seed, you can fly over those seeded areas and they look like plantations with even spacing of tree seedlings. We've eliminated planting of jack pine from our silviculture. We now seed and we get as good a plantation as if we had planted, at about one third the cost. That sort of innovation potential exists for crown land if we had the freedom to work on it, the flexibility. We think it's possible.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you. That will have to conclude your presentation. We certainly appreciate your appearance before the committee. You've sparked considerable interest in your comments and I'm sure that it will help the committee as it continues its deliberations.


The Vice-Chair: The next presenter, Mr Stokes, I believe is not here. However, the presenter for the Lakehead University is here. The president has sent Dr Connie Nelson, dean of research and graduate studies. Dr Nelson, if you'd take a seat. If it's agreeable with you, we'll continue at this time with your presentation. We do have a written copy here and the clerk will distribute this right now.

Dr Nelson, I think you were here earlier. You have half an hour. You know what the process is, with some time for questions and answers, but it's not checkoff, you know. Welcome to the committee and please go right ahead.

Dr Connie Nelson: As the Vice-Chair has indicated, I am here on behalf of Dr Robert Rosehart, president of Lakehead University.

Lakehead is very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this committee hearing process that reviews the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

Minister Howard Hampton has signalled in his press release of June 1, 1994, that this enabling legislation is far-reaching in its vision, allowing us to adapt forest practices to different ecosystems and to use new technology and information as it becomes available to improve our forest practices rather than following a cookbook approach.

Embedded in this overview of the act by the minister are the implications that this act is providing a more flexible framework for looking at forest resources that goes far beyond the issue of timber. While on one hand, this act will hopefully provide a smooth transition for existing operations and agreements, and I realize there is a lot of concern as to how and if this can happen, there are the larger questions posed as to the responsibility for generating the new knowledge and technologies that will be required to both guarantee the long-term health of forest ecosystems and sustain communities, industries and jobs that depend on the forests for their economic stability.

While the act does not specifically reference any responsibility for the generation of the new knowledge and technology needed to ensure sustainable forests, Lakehead University wishes to go on record as strongly suggesting that the forest futures fund does provide the vehicle for this essential research to be accomplished. The forest futures fund spells out explicit reference to providing guaranteed funding for renewing forests damaged by fire and other natural causes. The fund will also provide money to regenerate land that has been harvested by a forest company that goes out of business.

Furthermore, implied in these statements is the need to have the scientific knowledge on how best to renew the diversity of ecosystems that comprise our boreal forests. This requires both continuing basic and applied research. When we further consider that the act provides the policy framework for moving far beyond the perspective of forest resources as solely timber, it means that pioneering scientific groundwork into ecosystem management will be essential. Again, this larger perspective on forest resources requires new best practices based on multiple uses and users and new technologies that provide for these integrated uses and allow a variety of forest harvests, including timber, pulp and paper fibre, and other specialities, that is, medium-density fibre and oriented strand board, as examples.

As forest resource planning requires a long-term, stable commitment of a guaranteed resource supply and funds for renewal, so do research programs need stable funding in order to explore best practices, best methods and develop new technology. A continuing concern in meeting these needs is the uncertainty with respect to concurrent funding from both the federal and provincial governments. As well, we feel it necessary to point to the current lack of funding for the Lakehead University based chair of forest management and policy. Research requires both appropriate and highly skilled human resources and sophisticated, up-to-date equipment that can only be sustained with a long-term commitment of funding. Therefore, we encourage the minister to give serious consideration to using the forest futures fund for research purposes, and thereby provide a stable base for future research.

If we assume that the minister is in agreement that a significant portion of the forest futures fund should be exclusively devoted to research, we suggest that a decision-making body for utilization of these research dollars be composed of all stakeholders, that is, the university scientific community, professional foresters, industry, technology-oriented forest businesses, ministry personnel and a representative of the community advisory bodies.

We feel this approach is essential, because the new act requires that the licensees have an enhanced responsibility for forest renewal, and thus must have input into the types of research needed. Furthermore, because of the complex array of expertise required to achieve this new paradigm of broad-based forest resources, the decisions for what research is needed go far beyond traditional approaches.

The heart of forest economic activity and development is in the north. Lakehead University has a long-term commitment to its northern mandate to assist the ongoing viability of northern economic activity. Research is an important component of the university's mission. The university and its researchers recognize the responsibility to transfer new discoveries and technological advances to society at large for its further development. For example, the university has already demonstrated its partnership success through LUSTR -- the Lakehead University seedling technology research co-op -- and working with both private nursery growers and industry in creating new scientific information that has improved the viability of seed stock for forest renewal.

CNFER -- the Ministry of Natural Resources Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research -- is located on the Lakehead University campus. Through this association, university faculty members and CNFER members work cooperatively on many projects which promote multidisciplinary, long-term research on the forests of northern Ontario. Another important example of technology transfer is the need to ensure that the manuals, particularly the management planning manual and the silviculture manual, reflect sound research and scientific principles.

It is evident that the tie between scientific research and professional practice is essential. This link from new knowledge to forestry education has been continually nourished at Lakehead University from the inception of the original Lakehead Technical Institute, where forest technology was one of the programs on which the institute was founded. Over the years, undergraduate diploma and degree programs and master's programs have been developed to meet emerging needs. The university has the only undergraduate professional forestry program in the province and offers a diploma in integrated forest resources management.


In addition to its undergraduate programs and a master of science in forestry program, the faculty of forestry provides the only graduate professional degree -- MF -- in Ontario. This program ensures in these times of rapid change in forest management that both professional foresters and others with forest resource responsibilities can obtain the advance training required to deal with complex ecosystem environments. The development of academic programs continues with plans for a joint PhD in forestry with the University of Toronto.

Complementing these various forestry programs is the expertise found in the disciplines of biology, geography and outdoor recreation required to meet broad-based forest values, including wildlife, environmental issues, recreation and ecotourism. In addition, the university is active in the continuing education of professionals working in forestry through the Ontario advanced forestry program which is based at Lakehead University and offered in conjunction with the University of Toronto.

In summary, this new act is going to require that Lakehead University work very closely with the ministry and industry in ensuring that the appropriate training and research is available for ready transfer to meet the conditions of sustainable forest resources, as set out in the forest licence arrangements. The university looks forward to building on the already established partnerships with the Ministry of Natural Resources and regional forest companies in supporting research links that are of mutual benefit to all parties.

Minister, the forest futures fund can provide the essential support needed to sustain the types of research activities necessary to ensure your act does indeed achieve its purposes.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much for coming forward with your excellent presentation. We've heard various presenters over the last week and today, and some of the comments are that there hasn't been enough time out there to develop the legislation, the regulations, the manuals. I just want to get some comment or feedback from you as to how much involvement you have had with the industry, with MNR. Can there be proper amendments brought forward, the revisions to the manuals, in a timely fashion, the legislation that we're looking at, with amendments, third reading, some time before Christmas? What would be your view on that?

Dr Nelson: We have a long-term relationship of working very closely with both the ministry and the forest industry. The thing that's going to be important is that there is some funding provided to ensure that this happens. We know that some of the manuals are out of print and they have not been reprinted. The forest, if we look at it, as the new act defines it, it's going to demand a brand new way of looking at things.

I think the critical thing is, are we going to sit back and just wait for the act to be passed, and then just frantically try to deal with these manuals or are we going to do a very sort of proactive position and begin right now to say, yes, these manuals have got to be upgraded to meet the needs of this new ecosystem. What I was trying to demonstrate was, I think we've got the partnership track record to do this, but there has to be the commitment. There has to be the go ahead to say, yes, these manuals do need to be upgraded.

The way the act is written, it's very dependent on those manuals, and right now some of them are not even in print, you can't even get a copy of them. So this is an issue. It's interesting the way the act has been written, and I think you hit on a very critical issue and the university is signalling that it is very willing to make a commitment to help with this, but we're going to have to have that commitment to do it.

Mr Wood: Along the same lines, workshops are going to be commencing the end of September into October in updating the manuals. I just want to get a sense from you that if that follows through and we get all the partners around the same table and working on different portions of it and proofreading it and the various amendments, should Bill 171, in your opinion, proceed into legislation, into law?

Dr Nelson: I think the bill is moving us into the direction that we need to go, but it's not going to be without a lot of pain, because we're not used to thinking of forests in this particular way. These workshops will help, but if we're really going to model ecosystem paradigm or a way of thinking, that means we must practise that in putting together the manual, and the manuals can only go so far. We're really treading on pioneering ground, and I think there will have to be a way in those manuals to continually reward people for gaining the knowledge that we'll need to look at this multi-use forest.

Yes, the manuals need updating, but if we sit back in December and say, "Well, the manuals have been updated," I think we're missing the far-reaching vision of this act because it goes way beyond timber.

I liked what Malcolm Squires was saying about the approach to excellence, because I think there has to be something built into the manuals that continues this best practice approach to a perspective on forest resources that we've never walked before in this province.

Mr Wood: I take it this is one of the reasons why there is a transition period built in, that as we convert from the timber act of 1952, which is 40 years ago, to a two-year transition period and also a five-year transition period for licensing, that there's not a great impact overnight as the law is passed.

Dr Nelson: Right.

Mr Wood: It'll have an impact overnight as a transition period. You can comment on that if you want.

Dr Nelson: We have the existing FMA agreements, and we have to be very careful that in this transition we don't lose ground, that we keep very viable forest companies. But at the same time, I guess from my perspective what I'm trying to argue is, we'd better get visionary right now and get that research base that we need to ensure that once we pass through that transition, once we've got into looking at forest resources in this multi-use way, then Ontario is really ready to do it. Otherwise, we're going to fall flat.


Mr Wood: Some of the exercises that have been going on -- the Bob Carman exercise, as it's known now -- have been taking place for a couple of years, I guess, and trying to consult and get everybody around the bargaining table and get a dialogue going there in the direction that we're heading with Bill 171. I'm sure you've been involved in some of the discussions or heard what is going on. How is your feeling of this dialogue? Has there been enough to bring people together?

Dr Nelson: I think the dialogue is there to move the act forward, but I'm trying to say something with more depth to it. There's one thing to reach the kind of agreement we need to go forward and there's another thing to make sure that we've got the right kind of information to make the accurate decisions.

I think we've done a very good job of making sure the right stakeholders are at the table but those stakeholders have got to be fed with proper information. I'm saying we've got to do better there. The instability of funding, I don't think has allowed us to ensure that all the information we need is at the table.

Mr Gary Wilson (Kingston and The Islands): I just wanted to check on this level of funding. You said you needed a significant portion. Can you put a figure on that significant portion?

Dr Nelson: I wanted to do that but then I thought, we don't really know what the forest futures fund is going to hold.

Mr Gary Wilson: All right. What about other jurisdictions, either other provinces or even countries, and the ties of the users of forests and research bodies like universities? Are you aware of any arrangements that might be helpful here?

Dr Nelson: We put about $2 million into research in a broad base, if you think of tourism to biology to forestry right now, and I think we're just scratching the surface. If there was $10 million, we would cover everything. If there was $5 million a year, we'd begin to do an ample job, particularly if we could take that $5 million of Ontario provincial money and then match it to federal dollars and private sector dollars.

But we're just scratching the surface right now and it's frustrating when you see that this is still -- in spite of software development, technology development, forestry is still the biggest exporter in Canada. It's our major industry, and yet, as the dean of research, I can tell you we don't put enough money into the area that is still our bread and butter. That's why I'm here, to try to say that, look, we've just got to seriously tackle this. When I read through the act, and speaking with the president, I thought that this forest futures fund is exactly the kind of fund, and the minister seems to have the ability through this act to make those kind of decisions, if the will is there.

Mr Brown: Thank you very much for coming, Dr Nelson. Always a pleasure to see a representative of Lakehead University, and I know my colleagues and I enjoyed your guided tour that we had last year.

I'm thinking about what you're saying. We know that Lakehead has a reputation of excellence in terms of its forestry school, not just in Ontario, but across Canada and, indeed, the world. I'm trying to think in my own mind about the funding you may have received over the past five years because clearly the revenues from forestry to the province of Ontario have increased dramatically. The provincial Treasurer has seen the benefit of a doubling of the area charges, increased stumpage. A tremendous amount of money is now flowing into general revenues under the existing situation that wasn't there two years ago.

At the same time, we've seen a constant withdrawal of the Ministry of Natural Resources from the field. I think the figure is 30 million trees are now planted less than what was happening in 1990. There's a significant withdrawal to people -- we hear all the time from the people with cutting licences that they don't receive assistance to the degree they used to. So did the money go to you?

Dr Nelson: No. Our biggest source of money is still at the federal level through Forestry Canada. We've actually helped the ministry by making the ministry personnel -- like it's in for adjunct professors at Lakehead University. It makes them then eligible for federal funding. So we've got a long way that we could go in ensuring that the provincial government is putting funding into this.

I sat on the URIF, University Research Incentive Fund, for six years and it was only near the end of that tenure on that term that we were able to convince that body that forestry research should be funded that way because it wasn't being funded any other way. URIF is one potential way, but I think it's in competition then with software technology and everything else. I think what we really need is a very dedicated fund, and I think the forestry futures fund could do that. I would like to say that there has been a lot of funding but there really hasn't, and not at the provincial level.

Mr Brown: When we talk about the trust funds, there are essentially two trust funds. You're talking about the forestry futures one; the other relates to forest activities, regeneration and that kind of thing. There's also a component that just goes directly to the Treasurer of Ontario, or the Finance minister. There's a dollar that just goes to them automatically, which I guess we assume is to pay for the administrative costs on the ministry's part.

You may have heard me speak to Mr Squires about the residual value tax that the ministry is also placing on forest products, and that again goes directly to the consolidated revenue fund, perhaps never to be seen again in northern Ontario where it was generated. I'm wondering if some mechanism for that money could be placed into supporting the research and to encourage an industry that is certainly, in Ontario, still one of the strongest exporting industries --

Dr Nelson: Absolutely.

Mr Brown: -- and to northern Ontario, especially the northwest, it is the industry.

Dr Nelson: If we really wanted to tag those kind of reserve funds and stumpage fees more closely to the research, probably in an ideal world we'd take the stumpage fee and slice off a portion of that stumpage fee and put it into forestry research, and take the reserve fund at the industry level and put it into technology, transfer kind of research. I think we could divide it that way. Definitely there's a lot of opportunity out there for matching funds, but we're not being smart about it. The way we've been smart is to hook up with people like the private seedling nursery growers and go after URIF funds and federal dollars under NSERC, our industry partnership. We've been able to triple the amount of funding into the university by going after these matching funds, but it requires partnerships.

You're on to something I think we need to explore. When the money comes in from stumpage fees and from the reserve fund, we need to be able to tag a certain proportion of that directly on to research, and I think that needs to be research in the broadest sense. If we're going to look at forest resources, we need to look at everything from natural resource management, ie ecotourism, down to our more traditional approaches in timber management. We need all of it.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Miclash, a quick question, please.

Mr Miclash: Maybe a brief comment more than a question: Dr Nelson, you've given us a presentation that was not heard yet in terms of research and, as my colleagues have indicated already, this is certainly an important aspect to forestry, especially here throughout the northwest. I would just like to say that I will be looking forward to some amendments when we do get down to the futures fund in terms of this. Hopefully the government will be listening at that particular time and we will see some of the dollars flow back into the area for what you've indicated. You've given us a very important case in terms of research, and I just wanted to thank you for this presentation.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you, Dr Nelson, for coming. We opened the hearings in Sault Ste Marie last Monday and I mentioned in my opening comments this need for a scientific base to decide what's going to be sustainable. This act speaks to sustainability in two different ways: one is that it's going to sustain the ecosystem in the forest as a whole; it's also going to sustain the communities, and that's got economic benefits to jobs. But there's no base to decide how many trees you can cut that will be sustainable, or what you can use this ecosystem for and have the moose population remain sustainable. There has to be a scientific base of data.

I thought about the futures fund being used for that, but the problem I have with using that fund is that it's estimated to be $6 million this year. That's a little bit less than half of the area charge. I think that's basically where the figure comes from, although we'll have to ask the ministry exactly. That's generated off of stumpage fees.

We're being sustainable in the forest industry and it's a large part of our economy and it's crucial to northern Ontario. I come from an area where we call ourselves northern Ontario but it's not really, it's Haliburton, three hours north of Toronto. We have a mixed economy of tourism and logging. You add another cost to the price of producing lumber in Ontario, no matter how you look at it, and if we're trying to sustain the whole ecosystem that generates jobs in tourism -- and then also, the lumber industry has corporate tax and personal tax, a variety of sales taxes that are generated by the multiplier effect.

What we're asking for is a base of knowledge, scientific data, so we can prove that we're being sustainable to the world where we sell our product. That cost should be borne by all the taxpayers in Ontario. That's like education itself; we bear it, but that's a part of the infrastructure of a growing economy, so future generations can have the skills to compete in the world.

To take that out of the futures fund -- I realize where you're coming from, you want to have some source of funds that you can plan scientific projects for in the future. But surely there's got to be a better way than taking it off just one component of the forest ecosystem.

Dr Nelson: I can't think of a better way to start. The philosophy that you're expounding is one that society is going to really have to grapple with, but I think it's going to take us another 10 years to do it. In the meantime, I think you have come up with a very visionary act, but unless you've got the scientific base, it's going to flounder. The philosophy you're expounding is the same as we're going to face with water. It's not going to just be trees in the forest, but it's going to be water. We're all going to have to pay for it, but I don't think we have the time to wait. We've got this bill, we've got this futures fund and I think in the next five years we better make that commitment and say, "We can't wait."

If we can, down the road, do this larger look I think it would be very powerful, because if we can get everybody to have to commit to forest resources, we'll have a very powerful base, but being realistic about it, we can't wait for that, we just can't. We can't afford --


Mr Hodgson: I'm not suggesting we wait for it. We're quibbling about dollars here, the $6 million, and you're talking about a substantial portion of that being used --

Dr Nelson: Yes, I'd say $5 million.

Mr Hodgson: That's rather substantial. But on the FMAs, what's your reading on this? You've been bold enough to process the forestry research. The way I saw this bill evolving was that the government's role was going to be to set standards, the industry or the people who use the forests were going to actually do the work, the ministry would enforce it through the penalties and have independent audits that would report to the Legislature to tell the world that: "Yes, this is being met. These standards are being met."

Would that not save the Minister of Natural Resources a lot of money? That money could be used for the crown units on drawing up inventories so that -- affordable for smaller producers to actually have work plans based on scientific data. You're not seeing money being generated there on the savings to the ministry that could be put towards partnerships with your university or other universities?

Dr Nelson: Again, maybe down the road, but you're not going to see that kind of savings come -- and I doubt if you're going to see that kind of savings in 10 years. Don't forget, you're not asking people to do things the same, you're asking people to do things differently. I think in that change you're going to have to be doing parallel activities. You're going to have to continue to ensure that the existing economic activities in the north are sustained. We can't afford not to have them sustained.

At the same time, we're asking people to move past those and look at new uses of the forest, but we can't destroy the one while we go after the other. I think any saving that companies are going to have in that way better go into some of these new uses of the forest. In the meantime, we've still got to have the scientific base. You've got your timber, you've got your potential other new uses parallel.

There should be an encouragement in the act for these new licensees to explore, experiment, to give them the flexibility. We have to be careful this act doesn't unduly punish people, but rewards them for trying new innovative things. In the meantime, you've still got to have the scientific base for it.

I think we need all three going at once. Being realistic, my experience with any new venture is it ends up costing you more in the short run. In the long run I think we might have a -- I think we will, but in the short run I think we'll fool ourselves if we think we're going to save money. I don't think so.

That's why, again, I think I've got to go back to this futures fund. I think it really at the moment is the only option. Maybe we put a five-year limit on it. Maybe we say for the first five years that this fund be almost exclusively devoted to research and at the end of five years we re-evaluate it. I'm not opposed to what you're saying in the long run, that the larger society should have a commitment to those forest resources, but you're not going to get it tomorrow.

Mr Hodgson: What was it Keynes said about the long run? We'll all be dead, but in the short run we've got to make sure that this works.

Dr Nelson: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Dr Nelson, for appearing before the committee. We certainly appreciate the obvious interest that the university is showing in this bill and the special role that Lakehead is playing with regard to anything relating to our great natural resource of the forest.

We actually have a bit of time. Mr Stokes, who was scheduled earlier, has called. He got the dates mixed up. He'll be appearing on Thursday. River Lake Timber Ltd, scheduled for 11:30, is not here yet, but I understand that we do have a gentleman here who would like to make a presentation even though he had not contacted us beforehand. Seeing that we have a bit of extra time, I would suggest, with the agreement of the committee, that we listen to him. It's Herman van Duyn, the president of Hill's Greenhouses. It's a tree seedling growing company. He's also the vice-president of the Ontario Tree Seedling Growers Association and president of the Thunder Bay Tree Seedling Growers Association. Is it agreeable with the committee that we hear Mr van Duyn? Agreed?


The Vice-Chair: We can actually give you half an hour, Mr van Duyn, since the next presenter's only scheduled for 11:30, and we do have to, of course, wait at least until 11:30. You will have half an hour, and if you leave some time for questions and answers, we'd appreciate that.

Mr Herman van Duyn: I'm not really sure if I need a half-hour. I also appreciate that you fit me in the schedule unexpectedly. I didn't read any material that I had to book in advance but I understand that was the case.

As you see on my little note, I represent several hats and in that purpose I'd like to make a few comments. I'm also in the chamber of commerce from the city of Thunder Bay, in the environmental committee. Mostly I deal with forestry issues. I've been sitting in on the Abitibi-Price committee about the model forest proposal which was initiated by the federal government.

I've been a month ago involved in the drafting of the manuals from this particular bill, which I'd like to make my first comment on, especially the silviculture manual which, as you're aware, they'll be still working on quite a bit. I thought the manual itself is very vague in a sense, but I'd like to see minimum and maximum standards, for instance, that aerial seeding -- there is not a specific amount of trees being pointed out. You could end up with 30,000 or 60,000 stems per hectare or so which isn't really spelled out if the manager has to thin them out or do something. We like to see a minimum standard, a maximum standard for reforestation, also with target.


Personally, I don't feel that sustainability is good enough. I'd like to see Ontario heading to a net increase of forest, in other words. That's my personal opinion from Hill's; I'm the president and I'd like to see a bigger, all-out effort to surpass or have a net increase of forests as a target. Like Mr Squires says from Abitibi, if a company goes all out and does a little bit more than is required, there should be some kind of a reward for the forest company; rather, that is, more timber licences or quite a few other things, I cannot really say. My personal feeling is that sustainability is not even good enough, we have to aim for a net increase in our forests.

The way I see we can reach that is to get more involvement of private land owners. I haven't seen too much about it in Toronto with the manuals. I'd like to see more private land owners getting involved somehow. There's quite a few thousands of hectares of abandoned farm land, for instance, that could be planted, could be making a timber value, in a portion of Ontario. Don't forget, when we work out now in terms of silviculture, we don't have any usable resources there for the next 40 to 50 years or, maybe for timber value, even longer.

What we do now is -- I almost feel it is urgent, as a seedling growing person. I almost produce 100 million tree seedlings for northwest Ontario. I'm the first in Ontario to have that view. I think we'll achieve that goal next year to have 100 million trees produced in our facility. I'm pretty proud about it. The last years have been very choppy. I've seen the steady erosion of funding for silviculture, especially at the planting level. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we have to plant everything. There's all the other methods that should be in place and should go hand in hand with it, but lots of times I have seen one portion of the silviculture program get eliminated or shunted aside to do something else, and then a couple of years later you have a big setback and all of a sudden you have to catch up again.

The trust fund finally gives us some kind of a security of funding, although I understand that the crown commitment to the trust fund is not as high as it should be and the minister of the day himself acknowledged last year already that the crown lands are very severely underfunded. There's not much activity going on, just cutting the trees, and for the rest we still have what's supposed to be an interim policy about natural reforestation still in place. We, of course, feel that's a terrible policy; don't forget I am a grower.

The trust fund will give us some security, but there is still a penalty-driven incentive -- the same struggle as the forest companies, there's a tremendous amount of benefits. For instance, when we tender on seedlings, the lowest price goes. Basically, for instance -- the university, where we put a certain amount of research dollars in it, it doesn't give us much room to bid on a contract because if you go too high, you lose out to a competitor who doesn't do any research, who doesn't give a hoot and the lowest price goes.

We emphasized to the minister quite a few times already that also quality should be recognized. There should be some kind of an incentive written in the tender process, and that is basically not only for seedlings. I hear a lot of comments about scarifying tenders and still more.

For instance, I grew some tree seedlings this year for Minnesota state forests. If I produce a good seedling, automatically it's been rolled over to an extension of next year, up to a maximum of two years. In other words, I have the security of a next contract if a do a good job, but after two years it's getting eliminated. I think that is fair because it will give other growers an opportunity to bid on it again and say, "Well, if we better ourselves, we probably can match that type of a seedling."

This is a small contract with Minnesota. We are the first growers for the United States. I'm quite happy about it, but I still like to grow for Ontario. A big portion of our seedlings are being grown for Abitibi-Price.

We usually follow our seedlings in the forest. In the fall, we go out and visit the plantations, sit down with forest companies, dig those things up and see how the behaving is, try to work some things out that don't look correct. All that stuff has to be within the price frame of a tendered or a negotiated price with the FMAs.

As I say, the trust fund will give us a little bit more security. You have to understand that we grow seedlings for the crown by tender process. The forest companies, however, are free to negotiate with the growers and set the price between them. With that portion of money, they have to do the silviculture program.

As I say, sustainability, I felt, is not even good enough. I'd like to see the minister coming out and slam his fist on the table and say, "Now we're going to aim for a net increase of forests." I feel there's more pressure on our resources; it's going to get worse.

On Saturday night they showed on TV that average house pricing, the lumber alone, is costing an average of $15,000 more. If you plant seedlings now or we go for the sustainability part here, 50, 60, or 80 years from now, what's a house going to be? There's a big concern with the present government about availability of housing. I feel this whole silviculture process affects that. What are we going to do? For a politician it's not that easy, but we have to look decades ahead and it is pretty hard to do that. Lots of times I felt things are getting chopped, especially the last couple of years, for the sake of saving money. Wherever that money went, I think we're shooting ourselves in the foot if we do that.

Ontario, I feel, doesn't have to behave as a Third World country in silviculture. The people who are; they're all itching to go ahead. I very seldom see it in forums like this. I'd rather be at my nursery in my boots and grow trees like heck and see you go out in the fields. There are lots of people who are restricted. We have frustrations, as you can see; lots of good things too, but the last years, we have been very frustrated with the whole process.

I agree with Abitibi that we have to have a very strong act. I was wondering about this act: How much was politically driven and how much is actually in there that is good for the forest? What is practical? I have seen already lots of impractical things. Lots in the act is penalty-driven for the forest companies. I'd like to see for growers some kind of reward when you do an excellent job.

Too many "mays" for the minister, as Abitibi mentioned. I had the same problem already for months. I like to see lots more "should be's" and "shall be's" than the "mays" of the minister. The minister has exceptional powers in this act -- way too many. I think there should be a little bit more responsibility for the crown and the minister to do his things. It seems to me that all the onus is going to the current FMA holders and the crown is getting totally neglected in it.


I'm going to apply for a local citizens' committee. I'd like to be in there. My concern about this is, are those people knowledgeable enough? A forestry company has to defend itself against people who are not all that knowledgeable and they have to explain every little step they take: how time consuming it is; how costly it is for a forestry company.

On the other hand, we might have to have people keeping a check on a forestry company, but my experience was that it can be worked out. It takes lots of work to do it, but it can work out. Local citizens' committees: I have a book from the French Revolution and the same local citizens' committee -- I saw the same name -- and in the end those people are busy chopping off heads, you know. What is going to happen with the local citizens' committees? Are they going to be constructive? Are we going to have an increase in forestry, or if that's going to be the case, I'd like to see that more defined in the manuals maybe.

The research component: There is not much room for research. We are price-driven. Because of the cutbacks there is a tremendous excess of greenhouse space. We're also facing interprovincial trade. It means that some of the tenders are going out to Quebec, for instance. We are not allowed to bid in Quebec.

I was successful two years ago winning a tender in Alberta. When I wanted a tender this year, they told me straight out that they have enough growers. "We're not interested in going beyond the provincial border." At the end, that's it. You just simply don't get the tender and you've kind of lost. Maybe with a lawyer and a proper court I would have gotten a tender, but it's pretty hard to win something like that.

When Ontario was advertising the few trees we grow here, it's down closer to 100 million than 130 million or 120 million. For next year, it's pretty grim, what's going to be planted. The Environmental Assessment Board pointed out already to the minister the disappearance almost of the black spruce and slowly we are eating up our most valuable species, and they had a big concern about it. I feel that is one of the most important species we should concentrate on in this part here around Thunder Bay.

We heard, for instance, that jack pine can be seeded with machines for a third of the cost of planting. We agree. We say, let's move forward and implement those things and not just put one thing aside for the other and then five or 10 years later we're facing that we have to catch up with a certain component of the silvicultural methods we are using.

I believe that those portions should go hand in hand, and it will indeed cost money. The trust fund is there. But if the money will be there, it is still not enough. The crown itself is way behind in funding for silviculture and I'd like to see it up.

I have no written presentation, but I felt I had to say something and make you aware of my concerns. I just leave myself open for questions.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr van Duyn. We appreciate you sharing your views with us because this is what the hearings are all about, and if we do have an opportunity to accommodate people such as yourself, we gladly do that.

Mr Miclash: I thank you as well for your presentation, Herman. I like what you had to say in terms of the local citizens' committees. I note you've been heavily involved in a good number of committees, organizations, associations, as well as the chamber. I was just looking for input from you in terms of what you would see the makeup of these local citizens' committees as being and what kind of a mandate they may be looking at, should the minister go ahead and, as it says in the act, section 12, he "may establish" these local committees. I'm just looking for a little bit more input as to what you might see.

Mr van Duyn: Okay, I'm not even myself really clear about what the minister wants from the local citizens' committee and what mandate. I haven't seen any of late. I'm kind of concerned that a local citizens' committee, for instance, in a smaller place doesn't have the knowledgeable people to draw from.

I'd just like to point out the model forest proposal we did with Abitibi was not too bad because we were drawing from Thunder Bay and area; in other words, we had university professors in it. Everybody was in that. What kind of base can a community such as Raith or Geraldton -- I don't want to knock those communities down at all, but are those people available?

My concern with the local citizens' committee is there's not enough knowledge in there. You have to have at least a professional forester in there. But then there's the question, if that board, for instance, is 10 people, is that professional forester having to defend all the time, explain his interpretation of silviculture or other parts?

He might be too busy giving explanations of what it is or what has to be done than actually looking at the steps they should be doing, in other words, the practical stuff. The last thing you want to see is some kind of a court where one person has to defend something about something else.

As I say, I hope to get into a local citizens' committee. I can represent the chamber of commerce in it. Lots of times you're dealing with highly professional people. I know in the past that even the public is kind of leery about the MNR. I was the same thing 15 years ago, before we started growing trees, but I've discovered that in the MNR itself there's a tremendous amount of knowledgeable people. On the forestry issues they went through all these steps. They have lots of dedication behind them.

The problem is the MNR is usually perceived as being not really impartial. They say, "Oh, you guys are on the side of the industry," which is not really true. There's lots of dedicated people in the MNR, and I think they got a tremendous amount of flak a while back and there still is that kind of suspicion: Is the MNR the right tool to do it?

I would say yes, because they have the people there. There are just tons of them. I would almost say there is too many. I can't afford it with my private company. But, anyway, the knowledge is there. The MNR has a tremendous knowledgeable bank. I'd like to see some kind of research tool and some kind of a library that is open to the public, because you will need it with the local citizens' committee.

The local citizens' committee will have answers and they're going to have to plow through manuals. I got one with 800 pages five days before we came to Toronto. They said, "Look through this." They worked on it for two years and then say, "Give us your comments." Is that fair? I really don't think so.

This stuff takes time and it's going to be -- I want to cut my answer short. I have still a struggle with it. I don't know what the mandate is going to be, what kind of powers the local citizens' committees are going to have, if it is an advisory board or not. I'm in the blank.

Mr Miclash: Sure, and I appreciate that. I think we are asking the same questions but we're also asking for input from people such as yourself who have, as you indicated, actually previously sat on these committees. You have that knowledge of what the committee will need beforehand and exactly what you can get into.

Mr van Duyn: A citizens' committee should be advisory. I don't think they can have the powers. Of course, they should be able to ask a forest company about the plans and why they're doing it. There's no doubt about it. I don't know how they've done that, if they need any more powers or not.


Mr Miclash: So you're saying that we have to serve in an advisory capacity type thing.

Mr van Duyn: Sure, and the better the local citizens' committee, if there's more people in there from different backgrounds, like tourism, the native people being there. You have to have those points all together to come to a conclusion.

Mr Hodgson: I really enjoyed your presentation.

Mr van Duyn: It was a little bit off the cuff.

Mr Hodgson: I also got the impression that you'd rather be working. We don't get a chance very often to see people actually working in the field. You've had a lot of years of planting trees.

You mentioned that the trust funds give security and predictability, these trust funds that were brought in, in Bill 160 earlier this spring. They outline how they're to be used in general terms. That's an improvement I think that everybody's in agreement on, that it gives some security and some long-term planning predictability to funding.

I just want you to follow up on a comment you made about the private lands. You'd like to see some predictability in the regeneration of private land forests. You're aware that the forest management tax rebate was cut so that the incentive to replant was taken away a few years ago. Do you have any comments on that?

Mr van Duyn: That's part of the frustration I have because it has been an ongoing thing for the last years, a little thing here, a little cut there, and where does it leave us? The land is there, we can do it. People ask me why, if I go to my old country, they say: "What is happening there? You're planting 100 million trees on the 20 million."

You hear that before we cut the same area as Sweden. Sweden puts in 600 million trees. They have a net increase of 10% in the forest. Scandinavia, eventually, when they start cutting plantations, they will advertise it and before you know it they say: "Look at Canada, they're still cutting boreal forest and we have plantation wood. How about it?" They might get $50 a tonne more for pulp. There might be another billion people in Europe, saying, "We like toilet paper from Sweden rather than from Canada," things like that. They will advertise. I feel we're getting behind and it is not necessary.

Mr Hodgson: How do they do that? In Ontario right now we take about 25 million cubic metres of wood from the forests, about five million of that comes from private lands. We're going to say to the world that all the products coming off of Ontario forests are from sustainable forests, yet there's no incentive to replenish 20% of the forest.

Mr van Duyn: You are exactly right. The private lands are totally neglected. Sweden is 80% or 85% privately owned, and you see the results.

Mr Hodgson: When you say a net increase in the wood supply, do they have a base they're starting from? They'd know what sustainable is in terms of cubic metres of wood production?

Mr van Duyn: Yes, pretty good. They have a good indication of what they have. I don't even know if Ontario has that.

Mr Hodgson: It's not mentioned in this act or in the manuals that I can find that there's any base to define sustainability in terms of timber extraction.

Mr van Duyn: In the years we're discussing about forestry and we have talked about what is in Ontario, I don't think we ever have got very clear answers. Various committees have looked into it to see what's available, and that is pretty critical too, because what can we afford to cut, what can we do? We have to look at it. If you don't even know what we have, what kind of steps can we do to improve it?

Mr Hodgson: How do we know where we're going if we don't know that?

Mr van Duyn: How do we know where we're going? This bill is perceived by industry, and I think we're in a good direction. It doesn't necessarily mean that it has already two readings passed.

Mr Hodgson: I think everybody's agreeing with the broad principles of the bill. We're just trying to hear your input.

Mr van Duyn: I'd like to see more specifics and I'd like to see more details, more practical stuff and more incentives for industry to go all out and do a heck of a deal rather than just do a job. I just heard before, and this is scary, that the company on private lands does a lot more than on crown lands. In other words, we should be up to standards or there should be a reward to those companies.

Mr Hodgson: I brought this up in the House a number of times and, in fairness, the minister has assured us that in early fall he'll have a template out to address the private land situation, and again in Sault Ste Marie, it was reiterated by Mr Len Wood, the parliamentary assistant, that that would take place.

Mr van Duyn: For private land funding, for instance, I could see three- or four-way participation. It doesn't have to cost that much. I'd like to see federal government money going in that, which is of course in the COFRDA agreement that is totally down the drain. Federal money, I don't know where it is. We have not a clue. We've never seen it that lower level anyway. But I'd like to see some federal money go in there.

The private land owner either has the land available, maybe there could be money from the mills, make a direct deal with private land owner, plus the Ontario government, so we have three- or four-way funding in there. It doesn't have to cost that much, I feel myself, but what we have to point out to the private land owner are the benefits he gets out of it.

We talk about 40, 60 or 80 years from now. It's very tough to invest in something that pays off a lot later. We should point out to the private land owner how many cubic metres he can get off a hectare, how much revenue is probably expected. I'd expect that the pressure on the resources, and we can see our prices going up already in lumber, is going to keep on continuous. Once in a while it might be stagnated, but the resources involved are going to be scarce around this world.

We know that in 30, 40 years from now, there'll be another three or billion people on this earth. They're going to look at Canada. Can we still be able to set aside certain portions just for recreation or tourism? There's going to be a tremendous pressure. There's lots of value there, I think. We can do it; the expertise is there.

Mr Hodgson: I was just going to make a quick, little comment. You mentioned private lands: old, abandoned farms going back to woodlots. The incentive is, as you are aware, they get a tax rebate on an old, abandoned farm as agricultural land. They wouldn't get it if they planted trees. If you cut the trees, throw some corn down, you get the tax rebate, and if you don't -- that's all. In the interests of time, I'll let you proceed.

Mr Wood: Thank you for coming forward at the last minute and talking off the cuff and giving us some ideas and suggestions. I agree with the comment that you made to the third party. I myself don't know where the federal government is putting money into forestry, other than some of their parks, I guess, federal parks. But I agree that there should be more money coming into Ontario from the federal government and we'll have to talk to our cohorts on that.

I want to get into a little bit on your involvement with the silviculture manuals and your involvement with the chamber of commerce and the seedling growers. Just a comment, or you can comment after: When we were -- myself and Howard Hampton, and prior to that Bud Wildman -- touring around, some of the foresters at companies were saying: "Give us a free hand to look at a stand of wood and we'll regenerate it after harvesting. We might do it through aerial spraying, we might do it through natural regeneration, we might do it through careful logging, we might do it through planting seedlings. But find some kind of a mechanism through trust funds being set up, then just leave us alone. If we do the silviculture and the stand comes back afterwards, we'll get rewarded for it. If not, we're not going to get any money out of the trust fund for that thing."

Being a seedling grower and being involved in the writing of the manuals there, I just want to pick your brains a little bit on how you feel on four different kinds of silviculture manuals.

Mr van Duyn: That's a good point. I talked about it too, because it is a scary part. I don't think we can do that. There has to be a minimum standard description for the forest companies. If you give a free hand, what I know just the last couple of years is the makeup of forestry is changing, environmentally alone. Big spruce stands are being cut and they're coming back in poplar and birch because the funding is simply not there to plant them back, so we're altering the state of the forest. It's not showing up as much yet, but it's certainly going on.

I think if you give a free hand, it's like seedling growers. I mean, there are some guys who barely produce the minimum seedlings within specs, but there are also guys who go for the target or better than that if they can, and I don't think we can do that, give a total free hand. There have to be minimum standards at least, and they have to be written in the act, that the forest company is at least abiding by that.

Otherwise, I can see -- and this happens with private land owners, I know, a lot. Guys farm in the summer and cut in the winter. All they do is cut, there is nothing else going on, so I'd like even to see some of the -- I don't know if it's possible to write in some guidelines for private land owners who are cutting quite a few acres here, 100 acres here, 200 acres there, but it all adds up if we do that 1,000 times over.

I feel unless a company has really proven a good track record -- we could then relax maybe a little bit more, but I would have a very close scrutiny of the company, at least have minimum standards. If a company excels, I would say: "Fine, you're doing really good. Some of the things we give you there, we can leave you alone." Because for the forest companies as a whole, the wood supply is very critical, and so long as the supply is there the company will be here too.

One point I forgot to mention, and I put down earlier in an editorial I was writing for the seedling growers, is that if we drive the companies out of Ontario, globally I can see there will be a lot more environmental damage. They will go to countries where there are less standards than Ontario. I feel we can work with the companies. The companies have an understanding of what is going on here. We don't necessarily have to go around the world to say, "We have the strictest environmental laws here and don't have any companies." It just simply don't make sense. I feel we can work together and do the things we have to do.

But going back to your question, that's a scary thought, to say just -- I know that the managers like it and maybe some proper guidelines can be written in -- but also I think we can't see anywhere in the manual that the forest manager has to have a certain knowledge or education. It should be. I was also involved with the Scaling Manual, that I'd have to be a licensed person. I'd like to see the Forest Operations and Silviculture Manual assert that certain things like that should be written in too; in other words, it should be at least a professional forester.


Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): I just wonder if I could take the opportunity to comment on a couple of things with you. You touched on citizens' committees and how the structure of citizens' committees would be put together. The reason the word "may" is utilized in the legislation is because the minister has two options: the minister can appoint a citizens' committee or he can appoint a forest management committee, which are two different functions.

In regard to the citizens' committee and how the structure is on all of those committees, it's spelled out in the class EA. There's a guideline by which the regulations would be developed, and obviously the people on those committees would be those who are reflected within the forest of use. In other words, whatever cottage association would be out there, whatever forest companies would be out there, whatever jobbers would be out there etc would be the people on that citizens' committee. That is being worked on.

The other thing, just as a point of clarification, is you talked about the changing forest, and you're right. One of the things that was found not through the EA but through the forest audit was that a number of species, namely, black spruce, were changing and going into poplar. Maybe that lends to the need for better tendering of our stock.

The question I have for you is, you talked about the need to develop a system where you reward growers. In the discussions I've had with growers in my area, they talk about: "Well, you know, that's how the market works. If you do a good job, you'll get more contracts. If you don't do a good job, you won't get contracts." Do you feel that that's not enough, that there should be something spelled out in the legislation?

Mr van Duyn: Yes. I know it has to be spelled out. I like the Minnesota idea that if I bid on a military contract, for instance, and I do an excellent job, automatically I have the next year a similar contract. In other words, I'd be awarded already by not having to tender, although I can also recognize that it has to be fair for other growers. People scarifying to better themselves will say, "This fellow is doing that for three years and we believe we can do the same."

As soon as you make it any lengthier then a one- or a two-year -- I would go on an annual rollover no longer than two more times, in other words, you have the contract for basically three years, but still it can be taken away if you just --

Mr Bisson: So you'd like to see some sort of an automatic renewal if you do a good job for one year?

Mr van Duyn: Yes, on an annual basis, for instance. I wouldn't say the minister "should" but the minister "may." When I have a contract, I like that there are lots of "mays" in it, because it gives me flexibility. On the other hand, I contradict myself when I say there also should be some "shalls" in this Bill 171, because there are a tremendous amount of "mays." I was just flabbergasted.

When I plowed through it, I thought there could be a little bit more responsibility for the minister, that the minister "shall." The act is very penalty-driven as it affects forest companies. I know when they do something wrong they should have to face the music, but the question is, what if you do something right?

We had that same question when we grow our seedlings lots of times. I'm pretty proud of the seedlings we grow. We have a very good product. That's basically what we've been told, and that's it. The next season I start all over again. I felt there should be some kind of reward, which privately in my case is usually -- I have not had all that much trouble to hunt up a contract while I believe maybe some other guys have.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you for sharing your views with us. I'd like to ask again, it being 11:30, is anyone here from the River Lake Timber Ltd? I think we should probably wait for another five minutes or so before we recess for lunch. This committee stands adjourned until 11:35.

The committee recessed from 1127 to 1134.

The Vice-Chair: Could we take our seats again. I'd like to ask again, is there anybody here from River Lake Timber Ltd, Jeff Spittlehouse or anybody else? Seeing none, this committee stands adjourned until 1:30 in the afternoon.

The committee recessed from 1135 to 1333.


The Vice-Chair: Take your seats, please. Welcome back. We're continuing the hearings on Bill 171. This afternoon the first presenter is from Environment North, the president, Don Smith. Mr Smith, if you'd please have a seat. Please introduce the members of your delegation. You will have 30 minutes, and please leave some time for questions and answers at the end. Go right ahead.

Mr Don Smith: I'm Don Smith, president of Environment North, and I have with me several colleagues. Bruce Petersen is on our board of directors. He's mainly interested in the area of land use. He's been a member of the Brightsand local forest committee and the Wabakimi boundary committee. He pulled together the brief, so he'll be the main spokesperson.

Chris Clark is involved with the Lake Superior Alliance. He's on our board and his main interest is in water quality. He also took a bit of forestry when he was in university. He fights fires with the city these days. John Boulter is also on our board and is with the police, the city. His main interest is in energy matters.

Maybe just a few words about Environment North. We're a volunteer general environmental advocacy group; no staff, entirely volunteer. So whatever gets done gets done by volunteer forces. Our membership ranges from 200 to 500, depending on how well we do the membership drive that year. It hovers around 300 right now I guess. As I said, our main areas of interest, land use has been one of them, water quality is a big one, energy and of course waste reduction.

I'd like to turn it over to Bruce Petersen to present our brief.

Mr Bruce Petersen: We've put in front of you the brief that I'm going to present at this time, and I hope that will be of use to you. The members of Environment North care very much about the sustainability of our forests. We live in the north, and while we understand the importance of the employment provided by timber extraction, we worry about the impact of such extraction upon the natural environment.

Ontario encompasses some 1,068,200 square kilometres of land and water. In its first or natural state, our province had outstanding diversity of biological components and landscape features.

Today, 465,000 square kilometres has been designated as commercial forest where timber extraction is taking place. That represents 43% of the area of this province. Much of that area has already been cut, and we must hope that the second forest will sustain the biological, social and economic benefits of the first.

The replacement of the Crown Timber Act by the Crown Forest Sustainability Act clearly indicates an awareness that we can no longer manage our forests for timber extraction alone. Gone from the wording chosen is the old focus on timber alone, on only those issues related to the extraction of trees for commercial and industrial purposes. The proposed new act designates the forest as its focus, suggesting that a broader range of objectives than just timber extraction will be addressed. These objectives are to shelter under the umbrella of the word "sustainability."

At the outset of its mandate, this government issued a superb statement of principles in MNR's Direction '90s. In it, the government affirmed:

"MNR Direction '90s presents a major shift in policy direction that will guide our resource management activities in the 1990s. Sustainable development is the cornerstone of MNR's new direction."

Now, I know from contacts with local ministry staff that this document is a source of inspiration and encouragement, but in the introduction to it, Bud Wildman, the then Minister of Natural Resources, cautioned, "The process of developing sustainability will present challenges to us and other resource stakeholders as we move together from rhetoric to real meaning."


Public cynicism about government makes this warning particularly significant. Governments must say what they mean and mean what they say if they are to regain some degree of public trust.

In its review of Bill 171, the Ontario Conservation Community, a coalition of Ontario's major environmental and naturalist groups, pointed to a major deficiency in the proposed Crown Forest Sustainability Act:

"Currently the act does not define, nor make reference to a definition of forest sustainability. The world has spent the last 10 years developing definitions based on the biological imperative inherent in the concept of sustainability. It is almost unthinkable that an act, titled as this one is, and dealing with a biological entity such as forests, could become law without such a definition."

How can a piece of legislation support a goal that is not defined?

Confusion already exists inside and outside the Ministry of Natural Resources as to exactly what its main mission is in the stewardship of our resources. Clearly, the public expects that its first priority is not simply the support of timber extraction.

Even the ministry's document Hard Choices -- Bright Prospects, a report with recommendations issued in June 1993 and subsequently adopted by cabinet, while it is the effort of labour, industry and government representatives alone and lacks any public participation, acknowledges the following:

"The public began to demand greater influence in the development and application of forest policy. It called for sustainability in resource management -- a guarantee that today's use will not damage the integrity of the resource or compromise the options of future generations. It demanded management of resources on an ecosystem basis, a major step beyond the sustained yield timber focus of the past."

The next sentence points up a problem. "In Ontario, as elsewhere in the world, few knew how to practise true ecosystem management -- because that had not been a public priority." The fact that few knew does indicate that there are people around who are conversant with this approach to forest management, and it seems to Environment North that these are the people we should be referring to in assisting us to define "sustainability" and to get the whole process going in a direction we all can understand.

Environment North has participated in local citizens' committees and other MNR partnership committees and found both vision and commitment among local ministry managers and staff in finding ways of managing our forests for a broad spectrum of ecological values. Most have taken MNR's Direction '90s seriously and have worked hard to implement its principles in practical ways at the field level. Often, they have faced resistance from the forest industry, which has not given approval and support to the principles of MNR's Direction '90s.

In the current climate of reorganization, staff reductions, budgetary cuts and income reduction, local ministry staff have maintained an amazing commitment to their jobs. They deserve a Crown Forest Sustainability Act that defines the term "sustainability" and that gives clear and unequivocal direction and legal support to achieving and to monitoring that objective.

Environment North supports the OCC brief in its call for inclusion of a purpose section that has been taken word for word from the forest policy framework adopted by the Ontario cabinet. This purpose section, then, would define the term "sustainability." Its inclusion would be consistent with the public statement of Howard Hampton, the Minister of Natural Resources, upon the April 6, 1994, announcement of the first Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests:

"I intend to produce new legislation for crown forests based on the principles found in the Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests. This policy sets out a vision for forest management which considers all forest values, and not just timber."

The minister's addition to Bill 171 of a purpose section drawn from the policy framework would prove that he and this government are moving from rhetoric to real meaning. The provision of this clear definition of "sustainability" will improve public confidence and support morale within the Ministry of Natural Resources itself. It's always easier to do a task when no ambiguity exists as to what the job really is.

Environment North supports the other suggestions for improving the Crown Forest Sustainability Act made in the OCC brief. Time is not available to comment on all matters contained in that brief, but one issue of pressing concern to Environment North must be mentioned, and that arises from subsection 31(1), amendments to forest resource licences, and subsection 32(4), withdrawals from harvest.

For nearly two years now, Environment North has participated with other stakeholders on the Wabakimi park boundary committee. This committee must make recommendations concerning the boundary of the present park. It hopes to devise a consensus option to present to the ministry regional director. Expansion of the park might involve withdrawals from several licence areas.

Subsection 31(1) and subsection 32(4) could make expansion of this park and the completion of a protected area system or the establishment of other sorts of reserves on crown land subject to any objection that the forest industry might raise. We suggest that the wording be revised to clearly maintain for the minister the options he requires to accomplish such withdrawals.

The passing of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act could be a major achievement for the present sitting of the Legislature. In the view of Environment North, that promise can only be achieved by, firstly, the inclusion of a definition of "sustainability" based upon the Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests -- which, by the way, local people had a great deal to do with; the co-chairs were Dr Peter Duinker from the Lakehead school of forestry and Margaret Wanlin, a local consultant, so we local people do have a great interest in what is done with that report; it's approved by cabinet, and we certainly hope that the efforts of these fine people are taken into consideration and are used, as the minister did promise when the report was initially released -- secondly, the changing of wording to ensure the ability of the Ontario government to settle aboriginal land claims, create new protected areas or recreational reserves or to designate crown land for other non-timber purposes; and finally, a clear and enforceable framework empowering MNR managers to attain the cooperation of the forest industry in achieving the objectives outlined in the definition of "sustainability."

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. We appreciate it; it was very good.

On page 4, you talk about the definition of "sustainability" under the Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests. You're one of the few people -- I shouldn't say "few people." A lot of people have come in and said they don't like the definition, but they haven't really given us an example, and you're very definite.

My understanding is, though, that a lot of the people involved in the industry, for example, some of the people like Abitibi-Price, a lot of people who have come in, would not find that acceptable. I'm wondering how we balance what you want with what a lot of people in the industry want. They're talking about a definition which is different than yours. How could we put that definition in if in fact people like -- and I think --

Failure of sound system.

Mr Carr: -- in Len's riding -- say we need a definition, but they would not support this definition. How could we put that in the bill when in fact there would be industries that could not support it?

Mr Petersen: I would think that the strategy I would adopt, Mr Carr, is to ask the industry to produce their own definition of "sustainability" in order that it could be put out in a public forum and we could understand what they mean themselves by "sustainability."


Certainly, for long-term benefits, the forest must be sustainable, and their economic interests can only be supported by the renewal of the forest in such a manner that there will be long-term supplies of fibre. I'm afraid, from my experience, that the industry's primary concern -- and, of course, they've been under a great deal of pressure economically recently -- is merely to get wood for the present into the woodyard, and the sustainability of the forest has not been a significant concern.

I can give you a specific example of that. As was indicated, I sat on the Brightsand local citizens' committee. There was a five-year review done in 1985. The review is by an independent committee. There was one former MNR employee, one former company person and a professor from Lakehead University. One of the suggestions made in the five-year review was that discussions be undertaken and studies done, since the mill required 90% furnish from black spruce for its newsprint, on the availability of black spruce from this particular unit. No such study was ever done.

So I think the objection to a definition of "sustainability" might come from that desire to avoid long-term planning. I think that we must think about the future. We know the difficulties that our young people are now having in getting jobs, and if in the future the forest resource is not going to be there sufficient to sustain the jobs that presently exist, we're going to be in deep difficulty. So I would suggest that this committee should request the industry to provide them with a "sustainability" definition.

Mr Carr: I agree. I don't know if you were here, but I asked Abitibi-Price about that as well. A lot of people seem to be saying, "That's your job." I think one of the reasons that the bill didn't touch on this issue is because they couldn't get a consensus. As I mentioned this morning, what happens with governments -- and I don't say this to pick on this government -- when they can't get a consensus before, they leave it very vague so that they can blunt opposition on both sides.

Let me ask you this: You've worked and dealt with the industry. If there is compromise on both sides, with a lot of work on both sides and a little bit of give and take -- and I asked Abitibi-Price this today, and they said they thought they could get an agreement that a lot of people would live up to or could agree to -- do you think we can get a consensus on the definition that both you and the industry can live with?

Mr Petersen: I think there must be, objectively, a consensus which can guarantee the health of our forests on a broad spectrum of values, both for the benefit of the people of the province as a whole and for the forest industry, which of course is important economically to us. I think a forum would have to be established within which that debate could go on. It would be interesting then to learn what the view of the forest industry really is relative to sustainability.

Mr Wood: Just a follow-up on that. I guess going back almost four years ago, when I was the parliamentary assistant to Bud Wildman, we talked about the ecosystem and the sustainability of the forest. From my understanding now, it's gone back even prior to that. Floyd Laughren and Bud Wildman in opposition, or when they were in the third party, talked about getting ways and means of updating the timber act to go into the future.

We've heard comments coming out that you could give an explanation of sustainability which could take in 300 pages, or we could have a brief definition of "sustainability" in the purpose clause and then a broader explanation of it in the manuals, which would be regulated. I'm just wondering what your preference of that would be, which area.

Mr Petersen: I would think that the definition of "sustainability" should go in the purpose area. This is the suggestion of the Ontario conservation committee. That is where legal definitions of that sort generally appear within an act, and then it can be worked out in detail in the remainder of the act and the regulations.

Mr Wood: Two of your recommendations cover sustainability and the cooperation of MNR managers and the industry working towards a definition of "sustainability," and number two, you're talking about setting aside lands for recreational reserves and crown land for other purposes. Right now, timber companies, the pulp and paper industry pay area charges on a lot of this land. If there are areas set aside for purposes other than forestry, like remote tourism, recreation of other kinds, who should be paying for the area charges to maintain that? Do you have a particular view on that?

Mr Petersen: I heard that criticism in the news media, and at first I thought that it was a red herring drawn across the whole issue of sustainability. The forest industry is the major user of 43% of this province. There are, of course, mining concerns, which occupy much less area. Remote tourism, I think that they do use the lakes for hunting and fishing purposes, and there are licences which are collected in order to offset that use. Perhaps more user fees should be applied to those particular uses of the land base. Where parks are concerned, the people of the province as a whole benefit, and certainly the daily rate for use of the park has increased significantly, and I think that's been taken care of. So I still consider that as a red herring.

Mr Wood: The other comment, it's not really a question, but some of the comments that I and Howard Hampton have been making is that there are basically 50 communities out there that are totally dependent on the renewable resources that we have out there, and sustainability of that is to make sure that we protect jobs, protect communities, protect the forests out there, protect the wildlife and try to create some jobs.

As we announced about a month ago, three new operations will be starting up in northwestern Ontario, and we're hoping to get some more from what were considered to be waste species, poplar and birch, that are now going to go into new operations. That's just a comment I wanted to make. That's one definition of what we feel sustainability has to do in the long run, no matter what definition is finally drafted into the legislation or manuals.

Mr Petersen: Might I pose a question for you? In the enlargement of these enterprises, has the government determined what the biological limits are within the forests that we're taking these from? This is of concern to me, and I think there is research going on that has used satellite technology to review just how much cut has really gone on within the province. I hope those results will come out and give us a better fix on what is biologically possible and sustainable, because I think a lot of these towns that build up are single-industry towns and they don't have any safety parachute once those resources are gone. With the kind of technology that we have developed within the forest industry, we are increasing on economies of scale where we lose jobs as a consequence of the technology, and the return to the people in terms of jobs is becoming ever decreasing in number.

I have statistics from Statistics Canada which indicate that across Canada, from 1978 to 1989, the amount of wood cut was doubled; the number of jobs provided was halved. So I think we have, in terms of sustainability, another issue here which is not addressed: What kinds of jobs are we going to require per hectare of wood cut? That's an important issue for unions and also for Environment North and people of the north.

Mr Wood: Sure. There's no doubt that studies are going to have to continuously go on to see how we can protect jobs, create jobs and sustain some of the other jobs that are out there. What you're saying, I'm not going to argue with it, because I had almost 30 years working for Spruce Falls and I know the manpower they had 30 years ago compared to what they have now in the woodlands and in the mill.


Mr Brown: I too enjoyed your presentation, very well put together, and I share your concern with the defining of the term "sustainability." I also have great problems knowing what an ecosystem is, according to this bill anyway.

I guess the government's suggestion, if I can kind of bottom-line it, is that in the regulations and in the manuals, that is sustainability. If you take them in total, this equals sustainability.

My question to you is, according to your definition, your preferred definition of "sustainability," do the regulations and the manuals equal sustainability?

Mr Petersen: Mr Brown, unfortunately I haven't seen the regulations or the manual. We made a request at the beginning of last week, and that hasn't come through the mail yet.

Mr Wood: They haven't posted it.

Mr Petersen: The postal service, I guess.

Mr Brown: Blame it on the feds, Len.

Mr Petersen: In my discussions with Ray Riley, the assistant deputy minister of operations before he retired, we were addressing the definition, within the old Crown Timber Act, of "sustained yield." Since Direction '90s says there's a major policy shift, I questioned him as to what impact that had upon the working definition, within the ministry, of "sustained yield." He said in a letter to me that there really was no change but, similar to what you were saying, that within the ministry itself all sorts of initiatives were being devised to address water quality, to address -- the one issue that he did raise was woodland caribou.

You may be aware that the minister has set aside the need to devise a provincial policy on woodland caribou, but within the northwest region the ministry is endeavouring to set up an interim strategy for regional purposes because the habitat of this particular animal is being pushed farther and farther north.

There is a policy memo the ministry has brought out that there is supposed to be no across-the-board decrease in the number of animals as a consequence of timber management.

Of course, establishing the number of animals as far as woodland caribou are concerned is very difficult. The more research we do the more we find, which doesn't mean there are more, but there may even be less.

Mr Riley was suggesting that he supported that entirely, and that was one of those efforts they were making in a practical sense to achieve sustainability, in this instance, of woodland caribou, for example, within the regulation and the kinds of policies that they were working with.

I find Direction '90s is a superb statement of general principles. People have told me it's just motherhood. Well, motherhood's pretty important too. I find that local ministry people at least, by and large, have caught a vision from that, and that's what I would see as being the importance, within the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, of achieving some sort of definition -- and of course the cabinet has already approved one that is found in the policy framework -- some sort of general principle that will inspire people out there. I think we all need that kind of inspiration, and certainly that seems to be what general business administration theory is moving in the direction of.

Mr Brown: I'm sorry that you haven't had an opportunity to see the manuals and the regulations. They are available and have been for about a week or two. But I think that's the kind of question we as legislators need to know: Do the regulations and the manuals fit the definition that you believe is the appropriate one for sustainability? If they don't, then we've got a problem. If they do, maybe the government's right and it shouldn't be defined, but the regulations and the manuals do it themselves. I'm not convinced that's the right view, but it seems to be the one being articulated by the government. The other question I have to ask you --

The Vice-Chair: We're almost at the end.

Mr Brown: Almost at the end, so we have time for a question. The timber EA I've talked to speaks to an availability of about 50% increase in cutting in this province, but we don't really know what the government's view of that is, other than that the EA has reported and the government has adopted the recommendations of the EA. What is your view?

Mr Petersen: Mr Brown, I have read portions of the EA hearing and I'm not certain how to answer that. One of the things that I ran across was the fact that an exact inventory of wood supply is not available. There are computerized programs which suggest wood supply availability. I think they are questionable, and my impression is that there is far less wood out there than the EA hearings would lead us to believe. Certainly, one of the things we have asked for as an entire committee, the Wabakimi Park boundary committee, is that if there were any withdrawals for the purposes of park expansion, some mitigation would be provided by the ministry. Company people have questioned the availability of mitigation for a withdrawal for park expansion. That leads me to wonder just what exactly is out there. Nobody likes to hear bad news, but I sometimes fear cod fishery scenarios.

Mr Chris Clark: I have something I'd like to add. I'll be brief.

My name is Chris Clark. We talked this afternoon about ecology. We talk about sustainability and we talk about it in human terms. I would simply just like to read a short quote from a book:

"When the hunter goes out in the rain forest to seek food for his family, does he expect to control nature? No, he imagines that nature is beyond him, beyond his understanding and beyond his control. Maybe he prays to nature, to the fertility of the forest that provides for him. He prays because he knows he doesn't control it. He's at the mercy of it.

"But you decide you won't be at the mercy of nature. You decide you'll control nature, and from that moment on you're in deep trouble, because you can't do it. Yet, you have made systems that require you to do it and you can't do it and you never have and you never will. Don't confuse things. You can make a boat but you cannot make the ocean. You can make an aeroplane but you cannot make the air. Your powers are much less than your dreams of reason would have you believe."

We deal with the natural world, and it is from the natural world we will have to draw the definitions of "ecology" and, most importantly of all, "sustainability."



The Vice-Chair: The next presenters, the Atikokan Loggers and Citizens Organization, are here, I understand. Mr Larry Guillet, please have a seat. Also I should say, for any presenters who are interested, as you probably have seen, we do have facilities for simultaneous interpretation, so if anybody wants to use French the opportunity is being provided. You have half an hour, and please leave some time for questions and answers. Go right ahead.

Mr Larry Guillet: Mr Chairman, panel members, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Larry Guillet. I'm chairman of the Atikokan loggers organization and I'm also an independent logger. I'm here today to bring your attention to a few of our concerns regarding Bill 171.

(1) The first matter of concern pertains to the local citizens' committee, page 6, section 12, also page 32 of the forest planning manual draft. I refer you to the committee composition which includes -- I don't know if you have this. I went to great pains to receive it myself. In the composition of this local citizens' committee, section (l) says "small independent loggers."

We, as an organization in Atikokan, tried to get on one of these citizens' or advisory committees. It was a resource management advisory committee. I applied as a citizen and was turned down by the manager of the Ministry of Natural Resources because, I was told, I had a vested interest in the forest industry. There's a copy of the letter right here. That is our first concern.

(2) The second concern, the opportunity to remain independent contractors. I refer to subsections 13(2) and (3) and 23(2) of the proposed bill, if we could just go through this for a minute. I'll not read it all because it's right there in front of you. Our basic concern with these two sections and basically the whole bill in general is that it is going to take away our right to be independent contractors. The way it's going to do this is that every independent contractor, no matter if he's a 1,000-cord contractor, a 20,000-cord contractor or more, will have to have a registered forester to produce his management plan. A small contractor will not be able to afford this.

What we are being told and what is recommended to us by the Ministry of Natural Resources is that we form co-ops. If you form a co-op you are no longer independent; you rely on someone else. The word "independent" is self-describing. If we cannot be independent we're not going to operate. If you take away the small independent contractor, you're going to reduce jobs in Ontario by a great, vast amount.

Howard Hampton himself said, in the Hansard report that I read: "...200,000 jobs in Ontario...40%, in southern Ontario...Nearly 50 communities in northern Ontario depend for their economic health on forest industries.... Those 200,000-plus jobs produce nearly $12 billion in forest products for our economy." This is a great, great dollar value for a government that's seeking more money. To lose even part of that, can they afford it?

(3) Unit allocation: It's not even mentioned in this bill. An example: Large companies go into a block. They find that one section, they're told, has X number of cordage. If they find that it is not there, they can move to another block. A small contractor goes to his allocated tract of land and the wood is not there. He has to go back to the Ministry of Natural Resources and tell them: "The wood's not there. I need another block." This process takes four to five months as it is right now. The way the Ministry of Natural Resources is cutting back, with this new bill you're looking at eight months. That man has to sit around for eight months. He has employees and those people are sitting around for eight months. They either go on UIC or go on welfare. If they go on welfare, that's another drain on our taxes.

The system has to be simplified. Planning requirements, meaning lost time and all this, the time of delay has to be shortened. One way I can suggest would be to give the district manager a little more power to intercede, to allocate a new parcel of land, and I refer to section 41 of this Bill 171.

(4) Matters of tenure: They're not mentioned in this bill. An example that I can give you is that companies such as Domtar and Abitibi that have large forest management areas have dramatically downsized their operation, yet still hold a tenure to these tracts of land or areas which are not being harvested. These tracts of land, FMAs as they are known, should revert back to the crown for redistribution to smaller contractors or other companies, which in turn would generate more employment.

(5) Stumpage: The new stumpage system is not mentioned anywhere. The biggest stumbling block that we have is two words, "residual value," a real problem. If residual values are implemented in the forest industry this will leave the door open for any and all other aspects of free enterprise to be taxed unfairly. Residual values are a tax and there's no way of getting around it and we cannot afford it.

(6) Roads: No mention of roads anywhere in Bill 171. There is mention in the draft. I refer to page 282, appendix 18 in the amendment package, and all that is is that anybody who is going to operate under Bill 171 is going to have to fill out road reports. Who's going to build these roads? The contractor? The Ministry of Natural Resources? The contractor cannot afford to build roads -- six miles to a stand of timber. The money's not there. Maintenance and building of roads should be made very clear in this document.

I'm jumping all around here because I had very little time to prepare for this, I'll tell you right now.

Section 48, and I'll read this one because it's really short:

"1. The funding of silvicultural expenses in crown forests where forest resources have been killed or damaged by fire or natural causes."

Under the new stumpage system implemented by the honourable Minister of Natural Resources he would set up a trust fund. I understand from this clause that moneys to regenerate forests killed or damaged by natural causes are to come out of that trust. You're telling me in this that out of the stumpage fees that we pay, we have to pay for things we cannot control. We cannot control Mother Nature. This funding of silviculture should come out of another source, not out of the stumpage fees. That pretty well concludes our concerns.

In conclusion, I would like to thank this committee for allowing me to air a few of our concerns. However, I would like to have been given more than two working days to prepare for this. I received this draft Thursday night at 9 o'clock. I'm working 260 miles away from my house. I have no way of preparing anything. I received Bill 171, the actual document, Friday on my way home, thanks to Lyn McLeod's office.

In closing, I would like to thank this committee for letting me sit here and get the feelings off my chest, and a few of the concerns of the fellows I represent.


Mr Wood: Thank you for coming forward and giving us your views on some of the concerns that independent loggers have out there, especially in your area of Atikokan.

I just want to answer one of your concerns there as far as the forests that are damaged by fire and wind. It isn't the stumpage fees that'll be going into that trust fund. Approximately 50% of the area charges that are assigned out there now would go into that fund and the fund would build up for that particular purpose.

You've touched on quite a few different areas as to how the small independent person should survive out there. I'm just really going to throw that back at you and say, what do you think we should do or what amendments should we bring out in Bill 171, or the regulations and that, which would address your concerns?

You made a comment that you don't think co-ops would work or that large associations are the answer. I just want to get feedback from you as to what amendments you'd like to see or how you think we can address your concerns. We heard from independent contractors around the Cochrane area and I'd like to hear your views as well on how you think we'd be able to address your concerns.

Mr Guillet: Are you looking for an answer pertaining to co-ops specifically or are you looking for an answer to everything that I suggested in general?

Mr Wood: Well, I'm looking as --

Mr Guillet: I cannot answer unless you say one specific thing. Let's take one thing at a time and then maybe I can answer or give you some suggestions, but I can't generalize.

Mr Wood: Okay. If there are 20 independent contractors out there who are all having the same problem -- and it seems like that's what it is, because I've had the discussion with you on at least one or two occasions over the last number of years -- how can we, as the government, make your situation something that you can live with?

Mr Guillet: Co-ops won't work. You put 20 loggers together in one room and you're going to have a fight. I'll tell you that right now.

Mr Wood: Okay.

Mr Bisson: So much for cooperation.

Mr Guillet: They are independent for one reason only. It's probably because they can't get along with anybody else.

Mr Wood: But it works for doctors and lawyers and --

Mr Guillet: Doctors and lawyers are a different breed of people.

Mr Wood: They can have co-ops and unions and --


Mr Guillet: The thing is, Bill 171 repeatedly states that you will have to have a recognized forester do your management plan.

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Guillet: Most of these independent contractors over the years have been doing their job, doing it well, with very little harassment. Actually, "harassment" is not the right word. They've been doing their job well with cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry of Natural Resources could supply a forester to do the management plans or do it in forms, blank forms, in a blank form situation like we're going into. I can give you -- "This is your crown management unit and these are where your road's going and this guy signs it." If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and you have a situation here where it's not broken. It's obviously being well done.

Mr Wood: That's not what --

Mr Guillet: I can give you another example. Leon DeGagne in the Flanders management unit has been doing his job and doing it well for years. Now, in this Bill 171, he's going to have to hire a forester. He hasn't needed one, but the Ministry of Natural Resources is telling him now that he's going to need one. There has to be some give and take here.

Mr Wood: I understand what you're saying. I don't think --

Mr Guillet: I'm probably not coming across. I would have liked to have more time to prepare.

Mr Wood: But I --

Mr Guillet: And another thing: If a contractor has to grow, under Bill 171, to survive, he goes to the moneylending organizations. The government passed a bill earlier this year or in 1993 concerning borrowing money off banks, with 10% down and a government-guaranteed loan. Most banking institutions won't honour that. It is not worth the paper it's written on. As far as banks are concerned, a logging operation is a high-risk endeavour.

Mr Wood: I know my partner Mr Bisson wanted to ask a question, so I'll leave my time for him.

Mr Bisson: I was just curious. You were raising the question of foresters doing forest management plans as normally the case, but under the act -- if I understand, you're an independent operator.

Mr Guillet: That's right.

Mr Bisson: Do you presently do your -- it's done by the crown?

Mr Guillet: We don't have to have forest management plans presently.

Mr Bisson: You're on crown units, right? Your trees are on crown --

Mr Guillet: Yes.

Mr Bisson: Just by way of explanation, the forest management plan is done by the ministry and that's what would happen under the act.

Mr Guillet: That's not what it states in the act, Mr Bisson.

Mr Bisson: The two licences under the act, section 23 is what you would now consider an FMA, or an order in council, and section 24 would be like a district cutting licence that you have presently. If the operator chooses that he or she wants the ministry to prepare the forest management plan, or, as Mr Wood suggests, they come together under a co-op to be able to do it that way, it's entirely within their purview to do so. But the bottom line is what we need to correct. We need to make sure that we have the money there and the mechanism to do the reforestation on crown units that presently doesn't happen at times. That's basically what we're trying to do here, along with some others, just by way of clarification.

Mr Brown: We certainly appreciate your coming today. I recognize the difficulties that you have with the tight time frame, so to speak. We've all had some difficulty, a major difficulty in digesting the material that has been provided in the short period of time that's been available. Your industry, I think, is one of the most problematic to sort out under this bill. I've asked a lot of questions, as have several members of the committee, trying to determine exactly how it will work for the independent loggers. Seeing as you've already been hit over the last few years with huge increases in stumpage fees, you've had your area fees doubled and at the same time you've received, if I'm correct, less support from the Ministry of Natural Resources, how do you think this bill is going to impact on your bottom line?

Mr Guillet: The bottom line? It's going to kill the little contractor. The intermediate-size contractor, if he wants to survive, will have to grow. This means he'll have to go to banks to borrow more money. The big contractors will get bigger. The small contractor will cease to operate.


Mr Brown: One of the issues you alluded to is the issue of allocation, who gets what, and one of the things that's interesting is that this government talks about a competitive process, I believe. The problem with talking of a competitive process is that they provide us with no criteria to evaluate the competitive process, so we're not very clear over here in the opposition about what it is you're being competitive on. Could you give us some suggestions about allocations and how you would like to see it done so the people of Ontario get value from their resources and we can continue to employ people in the best possible way in the forests?

Mr Guillet: I refer to the example I gave of Domtar and Abitibi. Domtar has vast FMAs. They have one little mill in White River. If they have FMAs and they're not using them, these FMAs should resort back to the crown. An example would be, the trapper who does not utilize his trap line will lose it. It reverts back to the crown. The same should happen with large companies. If they're not using what they have, they should lose it. It could go back to the crown and it'd be distributed to the smaller independent contractors, which in turn would generate more employment. That's a primary example. Does that answer your question, Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: Yes, thank you.

Mr Miclash: Larry, I thank you for the presentation as well. I think you've represented the independent logger throughout the north quite well in your presentation.

You were talking a little bit about roads, something we haven't heard anything about as of yet. I'm just wondering if you could maybe elaborate on what happens today in terms of the building of these roads into areas you have to access and what you might see should be happening in the future.

Mr Guillet: Well, for years, we in the Fort Frances-Atikokan district were paying what is called a bonus in our stumpage fees. This bonus was supposed to go to road maintenance and roadbuilding. The Ministry of Natural Resources doesn't build any roads any more. They do not even maintain the roads they have. The onus is on the contractor to build roads, which in turn are used by the tourist outfitters, citizens. He has to fork out the money to build them. Roadbuilding is the highest expense a contractor has. We have to have stipulation of who -- we need help, and, Mr Wood, you can bring this back to Howard. We need help with roadbuilding and road maintenance.

Mr Wood: When's the last funding you got for roads?

The Vice-Chair: You go talk to Floyd. Mr Miclash, are you finished?

Mr Miclash: Thank you.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you, Larry. When you go last, a lot of the issues have already come up. I enjoyed your talk. You talked about a number of things we're in total agreement on. As a party, we've been looking at ways to make our economy more competitive, and as you mentioned, the small independents are a major part of our economy, at least in the area I come from and all throughout northern Ontario.

You talked about the tax on these residual values -- you're against that -- and the citizens' committees, the fact that there's no specification of criteria for selection or of what their mandate will be and how much power they'll have. I was interested in hearing your ideas on the roads. I've had some experience of building those. They are expensive.

But I'd like to just have one clarification. You went over it rather quickly. This is the idea of this unit allocation. If you've been given an allocation and the species is not there, then you have to apply to get another allocation and it could take five months while you're still paying payments on your truck or whatever.

Mr Guillet: That's the way the situation is now.

Mr Hodgson: Is there not an inventory that identifies what type of trees are on crown units today?

Mr Guillet: There is inventory, but this inventory is so outdated that in a lot of situations -- it happened to one fellow in Atikokan just this year. The ministry allocated him a section on an OIC, order-in-council, licence. He went into the area, and the wood had all been cut.

Mr Hodgson: The wood had been cut but they issued a licence for him to cut it again?

Mr Guillet: That's right. He had to sit around, sit around until finally he was hired on by another contractor. The data that the Ministry of Natural Resources have at this stage right now in a lot of instances are outdated. The Ministry of Natural Resources is steadily cutting back, and if you wait five months now, what is going to happen two years down the road? With the cutbacks going on in the Ministry of Natural Resources, you'll be looking at eight months minimum. It's a great concern.

In that area I talked about, licences run from April to the end of March, April of one year to March 31 of the next year. Invariably, the licences are late. A lot of times contractors are sitting around in June still waiting for a licence to be signed by the Minister of Natural Resources. This process should be speeded up. A contractor shouldn't have to lose a day. He should end up one licence on March 31 and be able to start on his new licence April 1. Time lost is money lost.

Mr Hodgson: Do I have time, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: You have time for one more question, if you want.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. You're saying that the inventory we have on what exists on the ground is outdated. Yet we're told that there's an extra supply of trees, that we can open new mills. This must be an isolated case where we're not sure what the inventory is, because we're told that it's going to be sustainable for the future. What area do you represent? That's the Atikokan loggers --

Mr Guillet: I represent Atikokan loggers' association.

Mr Hodgson: Okay.

Mr Guillet: Do you want my personal opinion?

Mr Hodgson: Yes.

Mr Guillet: This is not the opinion of the Atikokan loggers' association.

I don't know where they're getting the wood for their new mills, the availability of the wood. The wood may be there. This brings us back to this problem of growth. The wood may be there --

Mr Hodgson: But you can't afford to get it out.

Mr Guillet: -- to sustain three new mills in northwestern Ontario, but I do not have the data to say that it is or it isn't.

But I do know that you have two problems. Roads are the biggest problem. If the wood is there and it's accessible -- the high percentage of the accessible wood would be surrounded by regeneration. If the contractor goes in to log off the poplar and the birch and he runs over any regen, he's going to be fined and fined heavily. He's caught between a rock and a hard place.

I hope it works. I'd be happy as anything to see three new mills go up in northwestern Ontario and be producing.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is Buchanan Forest Products, Mr Glen Swant. Have a seat, please, and introduce yourself and the gentleman who's with you. You will have half an hour. I think you were here, so you know a little bit the procedure. Please leave some time for questions and answers at the end. Go right ahead.

Mr Glen Swant: I'm Glen Swant. I'm the chief forester at Buchanan. Hartley Multamaki, to my left, is the coordinator of corporate development.

Mr Hartley Multamaki: Let me say that we're pleased to be here today and able to make a presentation to this standing committee. Buchanan Forest Products supports the need for this new legislation and we understand what necessitates bringing it in. The Crown Timber Act has remained relatively unchanged for a great number of years and we see that there is the need for a change.

We'd like to point out that in the past it was the Crown Timber Act and it's now being changed to the forest management act. There has been a certain amount of uncertainty, I guess, out there as to whether it's timber management or forest management. I guess as far as the forest products industry goes, industry is going to end up bearing a great deal of cost for what's now being called forest management, and I think we need to keep that in mind. I also think a lot of the other use programs that are out there are going to depend on the forest industry to bring them about.

Our organization also supports the principle of sustaining the forest products industry, sustaining the jobs that go along with it and sustaining the communities that are associated with the forest products industry. We also strongly support the concept of sustaining the forest that supports the industries, jobs and communities.

Our position with respect to this bill is that we want to make sure that it's right before it's passed, that in fact the bill itself has all of the t's crossed and the i's dotted before being brought through for third reading. We'd like to see it redress some of the inequities that are out there in the forestry sector. We know these have built up over a number of years and we recognize that's part of the reason for bringing this bill forward.

One of the things that disturbs us is the short time frame that's being allowed to bring this bill to completion. We really see that there's more time required, particularly for our technical and professional staff to review and determine the impacts this bill will bring in. We see that the manuals that are associated with the bill are an integral part of the bill itself, and they seem to be in an unfinished state. We would like to see that corrected prior to third reading, and we would like to know that industry will be an active participant in all stages of the preparation of both the bill and the manuals. I think we all recognize that industry is going to be impacted to the greatest single extent. We'd also like to know with respect to the manuals what changes are being contemplated if the manuals should be in an unfinished state when the bill passes.

Another point we would like to see addressed is a definition of the industrial land base for the forest products industry, both in terms of volume and in terms of geographical extent. We recognize that the volume component could possibly be dealt with through the timber production policy, but again it's in an unfinished state as well. We see that as being critical to the continued operation of the forest products industry. We have to know where and how we can operate in this province.

It also brings up the point of licensing. It's our understanding that the existing forest management agreements will be reconfirmed through long-term licences and the remainder of the licences, company licences and order-in-council licences, will be essentially reduced to a five-year term. The company licences concern us to a great degree, because in the past they've traditionally been 20-year licences and a number of companies have accepted that as a long-term commitment to wood supply.

As a sawmilling company in northern Ontario, we see the concept of best end use as being vital to our continued operation. We really see that sawmilling byproducts are an integral part of that equation, that they should be considered to be the first priority for pulp supply or fibre supply. We also see the need for licensing the various wood-processing facilities that are out there: sawmills, pulp mills and so on. I think we need to know where these facilities are, how much they're using and so on.

This leads in to the question of surpluses, or non-utilized fibre, in the forest. We feel this non-utilized fibre should be made available, I guess with the condition that it be used in the most effective and efficient manner possible. I really think it should benefit industry in the province and it should benefit the people of the province, and it should be used in that fashion.

One of the concerns that has been raised at the field level by our field level staff is the issue of a loss of flexibility or a reduced level of flexibility. A number of the technical and professional staff have indicated to us that with the passage of this bill, their hands will essentially be tied in a number of areas.

One of the areas they've brought up is the pre-harvest operational prescriptions. It is of concern to these staff members because they feel that they will be tied in to a program and not have the ability to adjust it based on operational considerations at the time they're implementing a program. I think throughout the bill we have to rely on the field staff being able to deliver the program. They're highly trained, they tend to know what they're doing and I think they should be allowed to operate in a technical and professional manner.

Along the same lines, I think they should be judged by their peer group whether or not they are delivering the program they said they would, and the judges, the auditors, the monitors and the reviewers should all be qualified to judge exactly what they're doing, whether they've done it and where they have had problems.


Throughout the act, it talks about infractions and penalties, and we find that, first of all, it's confusing. An example of that is sections 55 and 61. There seems to be a fair bit of overlap between the two. If you look at the sections, it talks in terms of there being $15,000 penalties for one infraction and in section 61 a $1-million penalty for the same infraction. Issues like that I think need to be cleared up.

The other issue is, we don't see penalties as being a very progressive way of dealing with the whole situation with infractions. We really see it as a situation of punitive measures. We would like to see the option for restorative techniques or restorative methods being applied where an infraction has occurred. In other words, rather than simply issuing a penalty, collecting the money and walking away, we would much prefer to see that the problem is solved. The problems and the infractions you see out in the field really are a biological problem, and money isn't going to solve that. Work in the field will, or in some cases may, and we see that there should be the option available for the government to allow for restorative action where this is taking place.

The other thing is, the seriousness of the infraction should be reflected in the bill, and we should look at things like frequency, impact, the magnitude of the problem and so on.

I think another important point is the costs. We really need to look at what the cost of implementing this bill is going to be, and that's in terms of direct cost to industry and direct and indirect cost to the people of Ontario. I'm not sure we have fully examined or reviewed the cost of bringing this bill in. I think there's every indication that it's going to be significantly more expensive for the industrial forest users and that industry will carry a much bigger burden of the cost.

I guess, as an aside, we also see that the Carman exercise has some influence on this bill, or vice versa. It would have been nice to have had an answer from Mr Carman on the new business relationship, as we would expect it will be reflected somehow in the bill itself.

In closing, we have a number of what we would consider to be relatively minor comments, not of an extremely serious nature but areas where we need clarification. We have questions, comments and so on, particularly with respect to the various manuals. We recognize that they're in an unfinished state and that a lot of these may be cleared up over the next several weeks or months, and it's our intention to follow this up with a brief discussing each of those minor issues. We don't feel it's appropriate to bring that up at this forum.

Thank you very much. We really appreciate being invited here today to make a presentation. If you have any questions, we'd be happy to answer them.

Mr Swant: I'd just like to add that for those of you who don't know, the majority of our wood supply is not licensed directly to us. It's licensed directly to pulp companies or whatever. Our wood supply is unique in Ontario in that we operate through arrangements with other companies, either exchanging raw products or byproducts and so on and so forth. So what you do to the Ontario painting will affect us regardless of what you do, so you have to take that into account when you start looking at licence situations. That's all I wanted to say.

Mr Miclash: Glen, you touched on a little bit of the cost of things that you're going to incur in terms of Bill 171, and you've also indicated that you really haven't had a chance to go through the manuals thoroughly, but what are some of the things you see right off the bat in terms of 171 and the cost to both your company and the effects that will have on jobs throughout the area?

Mr Swant: If you look at just computer programs for recording data, we have a number of programs that we use that are not recognized by the government. They provide the data. They give you the information that's required, but they're not the programs that are listed in the manuals. So for us to convert our computer programs to that sort of information is a big cost to the company. In that manual, if you look at the information manual, there is a list of the information that's required, and beside each one is the computer program it's required to be recorded on. We don't like that because we record information in one way, and I know other companies record information in other ways that are not on that list, but the bottom line is, that information gives you those data that are required. You know what's happening out there.

Mr Multamaki: Another example of that would be these pre-harvest inspections, or prescriptions. We presently have staff who do field inspections or field surveys on those areas we intend on harvesting. Again, that portion of the manual is not completed yet, so it's not a definitive answer, but we see that there would be additional costs, but it's our feeling there's no requirement for the additional information. We don't see any real purpose in that for our use, and that's a direct additional cost.

Mr Miclash: You may be interested to know we've requested, actually, a cost-benefit analysis of Bill 171 from the ministry, and of course we'll be looking forward to that before we get into clause-by-clause and getting on to, again, how it's going to affect industry and jobs in the northwest.

Mr Ramsay: I just want to comment on the point you just made about the computer programming. I don't know why the government's in the business of telling companies how to do things. I think we should as a government certainly require you to adhere to plans and do the planning and certainly set some standards and principles, for sure, that you should adhere to, but I think we should allow you the creativity to find a way to do that and just set the guidelines. So I really agree with that point. That's something we'll be pushing here.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you for coming in today. I just want to follow up on something that Mr Ramsay just referred to. My vision is that the government will set the standards and then there will be an audit afterwards and enforcement and the industry will have to do the hands-on work. As was mentioned, we've asked for the cost-benefit analysis not only in terms of the MNR and its projected budget for the next few years, but you're suggesting a cost-benefit analysis for the industry. How long would it take you to do that?

Mr Swant: First you'd have to give us the completed manuals, the last versions --

Mr Hodgson: Exactly.

Mr Swant: -- so we know exactly what it is. We could do that if we were asked to. It might take two, three months.

Mr Hodgson: It should be considered before we pass a bill that would have an impact when we're trying to keep this industry competitive with the world. It's just in the last little while you've been able to get back on your feet through a number of setbacks.

But I want to go back to this thing -- and this is something we've been asking for for a number of days now -- about a "need to define and identify the province's industrial land base both in terms of volume and geographic location." Now, if you're going to define volumes in a geographic location, I'm thinking in terms of a standardized program like the GIS, geographic information system, or something like that. That requires a standardized format for everyone to input their information. Now, that's kind of contradictory to what you're saying, that you have different software for inputs.

Mr Swant: No. When we're talking about land base, what we're concerned about there is we make a five-year timber management plan or a one-year annual work schedule and we rally up the loggers to go cut it and the ministry decides there's some value that has to be protected, you know, at the last minute.

Mr Hodgson: Oh, I see. Okay.

Mr Swant: We're saying that we can't run a business, we can't do forest management, we can't sustain the forests in an ad hoc manner. It's impossible for us to plan, it's impossible for us to be long-term thinkers if there's no long-term strategy entrenched. If we don't have a land base that gives us that long-term stability, we can't do it. So that's what that means.

Mr Hodgson: Specifically, how do we implement this? If we were to amend this act, what sections would you see us adding, or would you be able to provide us with your recommendation for specific amendments? I realize you haven't seen the manuals yet.

Mr Swant: I think we could, but there's another initiative that's going on, a timber production policy initiative is going on right now, and as I understand it, it's not complete. It is attempting to define the land base. That's why we're wondering why this act is going ahead when there are so many other initiatives like Carman and the timber production policy out there.


Mr Multamaki: And I think when you look at the timber production policy initiative, there is a land base that's being used to produce those volume figures, so I guess there's something out there that is determining what at least the starting point is for land base.

Mr Hodgson: Okay, but can you see any damage that would result if we waited until we did some of these things? How long do you envision that would take -- next spring, to have the Carman exercise complete?

Mr Multamaki: I think it would be wiser to wait and deal with a number of these issues prior to passing the bill. It's our position that we really should get all our ducks in order, you know, finish up the manuals and deal with some of these initiatives and then bring the bill in supported by that base of information, particularly with respect to the manuals.

When you ask about land base, in theory the land base is identified, at least at the field level, during the timber management planning level, and yet the manual is not complete yet. That may be a section that's worth looking at with respect to the manual.

Mr Bisson: Thank you very much for your presentation. I'd like to come back to the question of fines, because that's one of the issues that's been raised by mostly larger FMA holders and other people in industry. As we know, presently under the Crown Timber Act there are a couple of mechanisms that the minister has in order to get people to comply with the existing act. Part of that is either levying a fine -- and I'm not the expert; it seems to me it's five times the crown dues -- or you can suspend the licence for an FMA, which is all the way up to the extreme type of thing.

You made a comment in your presentation that what you would rather see is a system of progression, I guess, if you lack a better term, where if there's an offence you don't go from levying a fine to suspending a licence overnight. There's got to be some sort of demonstration as to things having been progressively getting worse.

The comment I'd like to make is that that's what's envisioned in the act. Maybe for your clarification we can make it a little bit clearer, but what is intended is that section 53 deals with the repair order: If there's been a violation of the licence either under section 23 or 24, there's a repair order that's issued. If for some reason the person who holds the licence doesn't want to do it, then we can go to the court and we can say to the judicial system, "We want an enforcement of that order." If for some reason it keeps going on, then there are two levels of fine, and I think this is where we're getting into the bone of contention. There are administrative penalties and there are also offences under the act under section 61. I think we're seeing them as one and the same, but they're not.

I think what would happen in 99.9% of cases -- I don't see an outfit out there, Buchanan, Abitibi, Malette or anybody, ever getting to the point of even getting to section 61. I don't know of any cases in the past where FMA holders have been so offside or off base when it comes to managing their FMA agreements that it would even get to that. But what is intended, and maybe we can clarify that -- I guess I'd roll that into the question -- is that you have administrative penalties, and that's the five times crown dues up to a maximum of $15,000, or if, let's say, there's really a flagrant abuse of the licence under section 23 or 24 where a person willingly goes out and causes damage, there is a stiffer penalty.

I guess my question to you is, I agree with you that we have to have a step, but you're saying the step is too high?

Mr Multamaki: I guess originally the way we looked at it was it was confusing. We weren't sure how that step or that determination was going to be made: nowhere that I know of. Our understanding is that we don't see any process in there or anything that tells the person administering the act, "This is when it's appropriate to use this charge." For example, is there anything to stop somebody from going right to the $1-million charge?

Mr Bisson: First of all, it would have to stand up in court. I guess where the confusion comes in, and I've sat down with the legal branch at the ministry, is that if you look at section 61, it talks about offences, and when we talk about offences we're talking about the judicial system. If you lay a charge under section 61, it would have to stand up before the courts, so if I'm the Minister of Natural Resources and I want to charge you with a $1-million fine and I'm out to lunch, forget it; it's not going to make it through the courts. So maybe what we need to do is go back and take a look at making that a little bit more clear to you. If that's done, does that meet your --

Mr Multamaki: Yes, that's part of the issue, the confusion. We're confused on how, when and where those two sections are going to be applied. They seem to us to be one and the same.

Mr Bisson: That's not what the intention is.

Mr Multamaki: If that wasn't the intention, then that's fine. It may just be a clarification issue.

The second part of that issue is the restorative aspect. As foresters, we very strongly feel there should be some opportunity to correct the wrong, the biological wrong.

Mr Bisson: Yes, and that's what section 53 is. That's the intent, that --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Bisson.

Mr Bisson: Okay, sorry. Go ahead.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much for the presentation you've brought forward. I'm sure that some of the questions are going to be clarified, as you said in your last comment, by the ministry people. But I'm just curious as to the second-last paragraph. You're saying "the best end use" and I want to get an idea from your organization as to what size of wood you feel should go through a chipper and what size should go through a sawmill or another operation before it goes through the -- should anything above four inches or anything above five inches go through a sawmill and only the small wood go to chippers or for pulp and paper? I just want to get a comment from you on that.

Mr Swant: If you look at the history of sawmilling in this area, it used to be only the big logs that went through the sawmill. Now we take everything down to -- Crown Timber Act, the old Crown Timber Act -- a four-inch top. What we're aiming at here is that we would like to see all the wood go to a sawmill and the chips go to a pulp mill so that what you are doing is making the most out of every tree that's out there in the forest. That's what we're aiming at.

Mr Wood: The reason I asked that question is because it was on the front page of the Thunder Bay paper yesterday, and I notice that you have it in here, that the big logs are causing brownouts and power failures in one of the chipping operations around the area here. I notice you've covered it here as well.

Mr Miclash: Mr Chair, on a point of information: Before they leave I thought maybe I ought to bring this up. We were talking about a cost-benefit analysis, and I'm just wondering if the parliamentary assistant can tell us where we are in terms of the cost-benefit analysis in terms of Bill 171.

Mr Wood: As far as I know, there is not one being produced. The request was put through. In the two or three years that we went out and talked to the industry -- I mean, the feedback we're getting from foresters is that a bill of this type could be a saving to the industry in a lot of cases and that by coming up with long-term contracts with seedling growers, coming up with long-term contracts on other areas, their actual cost could be a lot lower than what it is under the existing legislation right now. I haven't had a chance to get any further feedback from ministry people to say that it's otherwise than that, Frank.

Mr Miclash: Would you not agree that that would be important for us to see before we went into clause-by-clause?

The Vice-Chair: I think, Mr Miclash, you can certainly make the request --

Mr Miclash: I appreciate that. It's been made.

The Vice-Chair: -- but this will conclude the presentation by Buchanan Forest Products. Mr Multamaki and Mr Swant, thank you very much for appearing before the committee. As you indicated already, you are going to submit some further comments to the ministry. If you wish to share that with the committee as well, please forward it to the clerk.



The Vice-Chair: The next presenter is Weldwood of Canada Ltd.

Mr Rick Ksiezopolski: My name is Rick Ksiezopolski, with Weldwood of Canada Ltd. I'm a woods manager there. I'd like to thank you for providing us with this opportunity to come here. This is an important piece of legislation and we certainly would like to take this opportunity to provide our input.

What I'd like to do is just introduce our company. Weldwood is a major Canadian manufacturer of forest products, with logging and forestry operations in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. In Longlac, Ontario, Weldwood of Canada has operated a plywood plant since 1965 and a waferboard plant since 1974. We've been a secure employer throughout this period, and at this time are the largest employer in the Longlac and Geraldton area. These two mills employ a total of 400 people, of whom 350 are union members and 50 are staff.

In our woods operations, our main contractor employs about 80 persons, of whom 70 are unionized. This operation currently provides approximately a third of our 500,000 cubic metre total requirements, the balance of which is derived from purchases both locally and east to Chapleau and Foleyet and west to Fort Frances and Kenora. We estimate employment derived from this supply at approximately 160 persons.

These benefits do not include the multiplier effects within the various communities throughout northern Ontario within our wood supply area, the most significant of which is the transportation function as it pertains to the Canadian National Railway operation. We move some of our logs and most of our finished products, amounting to approximately 3,000 rail cars per year.

As part of our strategic plan, it became evident that our facility had to diversify our product line in order to remain viable. Our waferboard facility is competitive in good market conditions; however, its ability to compete is diminished when compared to larger existing and proposed facilities. Our plywood facility is competitive in the specialty overlay market, particularly because of our integration to maximize wood fibre to both mills.

In order to maintain our Longlac operation, and hence employment of the 400 persons, we have developed a new product called Longlac Multi Core, which utilizes a waferboard core with aspen cross bands covered with a hardwood veneer overlay to produce a specialty product of superior quality. Detailed marketing analysis has shown much promise in this product. When fully operational, we anticipate additional employment opportunities, as our plywood facility would be operating on a seven-days-per-week basis as opposed to the current five-days-per-week basis.

The reason I gave that background is just to give you a perspective on where our industry stands. Being a poplar user as opposed to some of the spruce and conifer people, I believe we bring something different to the table.

What I'd like to do is just provide some brief general comments on the legislation, and then some specific comments to the specific parts of the act.

In general, we are in support of the general principles of the act. Our company is committed to responsible stewardship of the forest resources, and this act, we believe, is a step in the right direction. However, some minor amendments are required to clarify the intent of the act, which will alleviate some of the uncertainty you have probably heard and will probably continue to hear.

The forest industry has recently been inundated with various initiatives in which we have had the opportunity for input. It was disappointing that this legislation, which is the most important initiative, provided us with little to no opportunity for this input. I believe much of the uncertainty that you will hear in my presentation and others in the industry could have been avoided if the industry and other groups had been consulted prior to its introduction.

Throughout the proposed legislation, significant powers have been conferred to the minister and his/her designees. This opens the process up to subjective interpretations or at times political pressures which may not be the best for the forests. These powers further contribute to the uneasiness felt by the industry.

Much of this enabling legislation is dependent upon the referenced manuals. We are currently reviewing these draft manuals. However, the minister's ability to revise these manuals does create uncertainty for future requirements.

Now I'd like to discuss some highlights from the respective parts of the legislation.

I believe a definition of "sustainability" is required. At a recent workshop in Toronto, much discussion took place on what is meant by "sustainability." This term is used throughout the legislation and contributes to a great deal of the uncertainty within it. To resolve this matter, we suggest that a committee, as recommended in the class Environmental Assessment Board ruling, be struck to define and establish clear and measurable goals for sustainability.

Other terms such as "forest ecosystem" and "forest resources" used throughout the legislation also need to be clarified in order to improve the effectiveness of the legislation. Clarification is necessary to lessen the opportunities for subjective interpretation and to clearly delineate the industry's management responsibilities. All definitions used throughout this legislation must be clear and concise.

Management planning and information: In subsection 13(2), we support the certification of operations prescriptions by a professional forester. During the past few years, the consistency of forest management decisions has diminished as decisions have been made by persons not having a set standard of expertise. In subsection 13(3), the certification by persons specified by the ministry contradicts the EA board ruling, which solely places the responsibility on professional foresters.

We are also very concerned with the open-endedness of sections 16 through 18 dealing with records, inventories and information. We have not reviewed the Forest Information Manual; however, the minister has the powers to change these requirements even if this manual was acceptable.

We can accept surveys, inventories and the like as they pertain to the timber aspect of the forest. However, surveying to ensure sustainability, which is not even defined, creates too much of a grey area, and hence our concern. In addition, we do not have the resources or skills necessary to perform these functions, which, when this legislation is passed, will create a liability with respect to penalties.

The forest management agreements under the Crown Timber Act have generally worked well except for the disposition of wood species not utilized by the forest resource licence holder. We fully support the new provisions proposed in this section that allow for the disposition of these species.

In our situation, we are fully dependent on third-party arrangements on FMA or company units. Providing the flexibility to obtain forest resource licences on top of existing licences will allow for better security of our wood supply, and thus maintain and enhance the employment opportunities in our mill and woods operations.

Some may claim that allocating a number of forest licences to the same management unit may create significant problems for forest management and that there needs to be clear control and responsibility for decision-making. We believe this can be overcome through various partnerships and through the use of local citizens' committees.

However, all forest licences must have a secure tenure in order to maintain the viability of the industry. We believe this act should clearly state the terms of the forest licence, which should be similar to the FMA system where it's 20 years, renewable every five years, on an evergreen basis. This will allow for responsible forest stewardship while minimizing the uncertainty.

In section 29, the application of area charges on a forest resource licence should not be on the total area of land under licence. Only the productive forest land should be considered for area charge payment.

Trust funds: We support the trust fund concept, as it allows for the direction of funds to forest renewal activities without having to go through the treasury. The current provincial fiscal situation has already strained this renewal activity.

We are concerned with the residual value stumpage system as proposed, as it will have a tremendous impact on our business. Our facilities are older, with higher costs due to dated technology, physical location and labour intensity. The ongoing Carman exercise should result in the clarification of this part.

Forest resource processing facilities: Clarification is required as to what is meant by "increase the productive capacity of a facility." Productivity improvements are essential to survival of a business. Most capital investments are justified and prioritized on productivity improvements. It is not clear to what level permission is required to allow for these improvements.

Remedies and enforcement: The proposed section is very punitive in consideration of our industry's current track record. We are very concerned when the role of the crown representatives changes to monitoring and policing. This will create uncertainty and it will become a more subjective and judgemental process as compared to the current legislation. Clarification of terms within this section is required due to the legal implications. As a responsible steward of the forest, we would like to be judged by our results, as opposed to being penalized.

I thank you for providing this opportunity to listen to our concerns, and I hope you can incorporate some of these suggestions into the final draft.


Mr Carr: Thank you for your presentation. This may be a difficult one for you to answer. I'm going to put you on the spot a little bit. You mentioned you operated in three provinces: British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. A lot of companies have come in and talked about the competitive issue of this bill, and we certainly know how the industry over the last little while is facing difficulties. If you were to rate the provinces by ability to compete, how would you rate the three provinces? Could you do that? And where would we fit in with those other two provinces in terms of being competitive? How does Ontario fare?

Mr Ksiezopolski: That's a tough question, Gary.

Mr Carr: I told you it would be up front.

Mr Ksiezopolski: Basically, because we are, again, in all the three provinces, we communicate a lot. We're headquartered in Vancouver also, so we get a lot of the information from over in that neck of the woods.

Basically I think BC has a different situation on its hands where they've been -- I better be careful here -- overharvesting, or not managing their forests on a sustainable basis, whatever that means. I believe because of past practice, they have come into some problem areas. So the new act that's being proposed there and the code, I think, the forest code -- I don't know the exact terminology -- is quite strict. In terms of wood costs right now over there, pulp mills are being shut down as we speak because there are no chips available. I know one of our operations had to take about a three-week shutdown because of lack of availability of wood.

Jumping over to Alberta, they are new in the forest management field -- "new" is a relative term -- because oil was driving their economy for a long time. Within, say, the last 20 years, just to pick a number, not to be exact, they have had some opportunities to view different types of forest management scenarios. Their FMA or forest management system is a lot different than ours. However, they've just gone to a residual value stumpage.

So from the competitiveness point of view, certainly British Columbia, because of probably their specific situation, would be number one. Ontario and Alberta would almost be a tie. I can't split the difference between the two. I just know based on wood costs right now.

Mr Carr: One last question: You mentioned you were at the recent workshop in Toronto when discussions took place on what is meant by "sustainability." I imagine that was quite a discussion. We've had some big concerns come forward from various people. Having sat in on those workshops, do you think it's possible for us to get a definition that can keep everybody happy?

Mr Ksiezopolski: No. You can't get one. You get different characteristics that are measurable, but how would you find one to satisfy everybody's requirements? Just looking around this table here, I don't think we could find one if we had to sit down and try.

Mr Hodgson: I want to follow up on page 7 of your report. You've got, "The forest management agreements under the Crown Timber Act have generally worked well except for the disposition of wood species not utilized by the forest resource licence holder."

Two questions come to mind there. Are you suggesting that third-party agreements or other types of arrangements should have tenure in terms of species not utilized by the original person, or are you getting to something like the best end use question?

Mr Ksiezopolski: No matter what, the forest should be there for the best end use, however that's defined. When I was out in Alberta, and you see where both parties are licensed species on the same unit and you watch how that's managed, it works quite well. Proposing a different tenure system -- what makes it difficult when you are, say, an aspen user and the forest sometimes is managed for conifer, what happens is that aspen is the wheat of the species per se and it regenerates naturally and sometimes some prescriptions are given where we could probably do a lot better with it, although it does come back by itself and it's quite vigorous, and certainly in that species that's sustainable. But I believe that by allowing third-party licences we could introduce some different management techniques, from the point of view of managing the aspen resource, to allow us to get a product that's even quicker than it has been in the past.

Mr Hodgson: Should they be given tenure?

Mr Ksiezopolski: Yes.

Mr Bisson: I appreciate your presentation. I thought it was well thought out and an honest approach to how you see it. I question, though, one thing, and that's the question of multiple licences. Depending what side of the fence you find yourself on when it comes to multiple licences, obviously we're going to deal with it in a different way.

If you go into a multiple licence agreement with an existing FMA holder today or a section 23 in the future, how would you plan for who pays the area charges and how would you plan for who does the forest management plan and who carries it out? How would you do it?

Mr Ksiezopolski: Basically, the area charges are pretty straightforward. Whatever systems you have, you have mapping and you can sit there and say, well, poplar is this per cent or this much area, and conifer or spruce or whatever the species are, are so much, and it's just a matter of how you'd do the final billing. I think that's a straightforward process.

What was the second question, Gilles? Sorry, I lost it.

Mr Bisson: The second question is in regard to the actual forest management plan.

Mr Ksiezopolski: Basically, that's where I suggest a partnership type arrangement where you look at companies, if the forest management planning -- again, I haven't reviewed that manual fully, but I believe it's become almost a five-year exercise by the time this is finished where it's continuous. And it's just a matter of dedicating resources, a forester, working together on computer systems to ensure -- it's just providing those resources as a team or however else.

Mr Bisson: So you see it as you'd have to get into a partnership with the existing licence holder --

Mr Ksiezopolski: That's right.

Mr Bisson: -- and between the two of you haggle it out. Do I have time for a quick question?

Mr Ksiezopolski: It doesn't have to be a separate corporation or anything if you do it within the existing structure.

Mr Bisson: Let's say that the minister -- I hate to use the word "deems" but I can't think of another one offhand. But the minister assesses through his field staff that a particular licence holder has more wood than is necessary for his or her operation, and therefore there might be some wood available to go to another operation such as yours or another. Would you prefer the competitive bid process or would you prefer that the minister weighs each application for excess wood and makes a decision based on the socioeconomic, biological etc, etc, criteria?

Mr Ksiezopolski: I would choose the weighing of each option, because in each case there's stories -- like, one time it might be good as a competitive bid, the other time it could be good because the minister has to make a decision.

I look at some situations I'm facing where the land base has been reduced to such a level that it could jeopardize some employment opportunities for my woods people. What do I do? I hope that could be taken into account by the minister, as opposed to -- I've got to maintain employment as an objective.

Mr Bisson: Does the parliamentary assistant have a question? No?

On the question of sustainability, I'll tip my hat. My mind is that I'm a little bit leery of defining "sustainability" in the act, and I'd like to hear your views on it. I feel that if we try to define it too closely in the act, it might just box us all into a situation we may not want to be in, because the technology changes and all of those other things that we understand. Do you favour going into the regulations to define "sustainability"? I know that's not what some groups would want.

Mr Ksiezopolski: It comes down, sustainability -- as I say, just working in that one workshop, it was quite interesting because you can't find a clear definition. Everybody has a different perspective. I wouldn't be surprised that somebody could read those manuals and say, "Oh, they're still managing for timber only." Somebody could look at them and say, "Oh, this is a balancing."

I suppose you should try making it, again, as clear, concise and measurable as possible. Maybe through some measurement characteristics within the manuals it might be able to help, but you'll never -- would I want it in regulations?


Mr Bisson: In the manuals would probably be the better --

Mr Ksiezopolski: Manuals -- it has to be there, at least. It depends. If, for example, forest companies have to go and measure songbirds or moose populations or fish, where's the balance? That's the uncertainty. If you listen to most industry people, they're uncertain as to what the direction is when you talk forest ecosystems and things like that.

Mr Bisson: If you find a fish, point him in my direction, please. I haven't been too lucky lately.

Mr Wood: Just a brief comment or question: I notice in your second-last paragraph you have a sentence saying you'd like to be judged on results as opposed to being penalized. Comparing the existing legislation that is there right now, the Crown Timber Act, the penalties are there where an operation can be completely shut down versus the penalties that could be assessed, up to $1 million, for refusing a direct order to halt operations until things can be worked out. How would you compare that existing legislation now to what we have in Bill 171?

Mr Ksiezopolski: What seems to happen -- and I hear the question. If you look, the current Crown Timber Act has its codes -- five times crown dues and so on and so forth -- and those are generally acceptable. I think they work well, because when the situation does happen it's more often by accident than anything else. Ourselves, we're going to be entering into a training program for our operators to start working with them to -- I won't say start thinking about but to start understanding what we're doing out there, because I believe we haven't done that good of a job from that point of view.

With respect to the comparison, it's the grey area that causes me a lot of trouble, where it becomes an interpretation. We could sit here and the legislation's made, but it's the person in the field who has to do the actual fining or draw the lines where, "Oh, this is a penalty, this isn't a penalty." That's what causes me a lot of the concern, the interpretation of the act, what certain things mean.

Mr Wood: There's no doubt it's new legislation. Yes, that's what I think.

Mr Ramsay: I very much appreciate your presentation and I'd like to explore, like others have, in a little more detail how you think we could facilitate the different companies cutting in the bush.

You've said that basically you derive most of your fibre from third-party licences. As you know, sometimes there's a bit of conflict in that. We've heard some different ideas in the past week about how to accommodate that. Number 1, we've seen a very good example up in Hearst of a cooperative made up of maybe seven different companies, I believe, that did work together with their own professional forester and in conjunction with the MNR and basically planned their cuts. That seems to work.

Other companies have suggested that when you're to have third-party licences, instead of doing it by species and everybody running over the same roads, going to chase the poplar or the conifer from end to end in the management unit, maybe do it by working group and basically trade off the cut wood in the field.

I wanted to get a sense from you what you thought would be the way it should be done, or should it just be flexible in various regions of the province, depending on the circumstances?

Mr Ksiezopolski: Actually, all those work very well in the situations. The way I would view it is, each region in the province would have to have a specific type of system. I've got to go back up to the northeast, south of Lake Abitibi. I believe there's a specific unit there that Abitibi-Price has. There's a pure poplar area south of the lake that is almost a standalone type of situation. Yes, there are some conifers. That's specific to that area.

I think the combination of all those, what's best for the unit that you're dealing with, is probably the best solution. You leave it up to the MNR and the companies involved to sit down and discuss what's the best. As long as everybody has an open mind going in, usually something can come out that's pretty good.

Mr Ramsay: Of course, there are two things at play here. It's not just what's best for the unit, but it's also what's best for the communities and the mills that support those communities. You've got to somehow coordinate that so you get best end use --

Mr Ksiezopolski: That's correct.

Mr Ramsay: -- a phrase that's bandied about a lot, but I think all of us would believe it.

Mr Ksiezopolski: That's right.

Mr Ramsay: You just mentioned Alberta. It seemed you thought Alberta managed this very well, the third-party licenses. Can you expand a little bit on how they do it?

Mr Ksiezopolski: Because of the fire origin of the species, poplar and the conifer, they usually run in fairly pure stands, so what will happen is, they will hopscotch, jump over to the pure poplar stands, they'll just go after the working group type of system, and it works well, although they're still in their infancy. I'd like to see, when a wood supply crunch comes down, how that would affect that type of system. What would happen to the different users? How would they view going after and making a row past the conifer stand from an economic point of view? You'd want to see how the system works first longer-term. We've been around here for a long time, and British Columbia's been through a few gyrations, but I'd like to see that work out a little bit more. But I believe if you leave it up to the companies that are involved, hopefully, if they go in with good faith, they should be able to come out with something that's acceptable to the people of Ontario.

Mr Brown: I just have one quick but probably complicated question. The ministry and the government seem to indicate that the definition of "sustainability" is what the bill is; in other words, if you read the manuals, read the regs, that's sustainability. It seems we're having a lot of trouble with the definition. Using your definition, the one you like, is that what we're going to get with this bill? I told you it was an easy question.

Mr Ksiezopolski: The only problem that will result at the end of this bill is what other people perceive; it comes down again to a perception of sustainability. Sitting in Toronto, I use my family as an example. We grew up there. Sitting there, they perceive sustainability differently than I perceive sustainability, because we look at the communities involved, we look at some of the problems when some of that infrastructure's not there.

It is probably close. I mean, the Crown Timber Act was also close. It needed some modification or updating, and for one attempt it's a pretty good attempt, but it does need clarification because if, for example, I've got to go back to measuring of the songbirds or of the moose, is that within the forest management's company or is it for somebody else's benefit? How do we balance that type of thing? It's not a clear answer. We could go into some textbooks and talk about it, I suppose, but that's difficult.



The Acting Chair (Mr Frank Miclash): Our next group is the Friends of the Forest. I believe they are here. Welcome to the committee this afternoon. As you have been watching, the presenters have half an hour. We'd appreciate some time towards the end of that half-hour for questions. If you could introduce yourself and the people with you, please.

Ms Lucie Lavoie: Okay. My name is Lucie Lavoie. I'm on the steering committee of Friends of the Forest. To my immediate left is Keith Galloway. He's also on the steering committee. Gordon Whiteley is not only a member of the steering committee of Friends of the Forest but also the president and representative of a small specialty forest products company. He'll be giving some insights into some of the concerns facing small operators trying to make a living in Ontario's crown forests.

I have prepared a written brief on behalf of Friends of the Forest. I have given a copy to the clerk and I will be just presenting it.

Basically, what we have done is analyse Bill 171. Our first major problem with it is the fact that -- and this is something that's been discussed all day -- it does not provide a definition of "sustainability." We feel that this is imperative in an act that calls itself an act to provide for the sustainability of crown forests in Ontario.

Another question that has come quite a bit, asked by Mr Brown, is whether or not the sum total of the act and the manuals, in essence, defines "sustainability" or explains what sustainability is in the forest. My concern is that section 66 does not oblige the Forest Management Planning Manual to define sustainability anywhere. Even if the present Forest Management Planning Manual does define it, it doesn't necessarily have to stay that way, according to the terms of this act.

Some people have expressed concerns that it will be impossible to come up with a consensus on the definition of "sustainability". If that's the case, then why name this act to provide for the sustainability of crown forests? Explain exactly what it is. If we can't explain what sustainability is, then why put it in the name of the act? Therefore, I would say that if you want to call this act, and if you want this act to provide for, the sustainability of crown forests in Ontario, then you had better come up with a good definition.

I would suggest that definition has already been suggested by the forest policy framework panel. That definition exists, it's been approved by cabinet, it's called Principles for Sustaining Forests. I suggest that these should be included in the "purposes" section of the act.

Part II, "Management Planning and Information": Again, there's been some discussion about this. Under section 13(1), which requires forest operation prescriptions, we would suggest that they always be required. The reason for that is that we want to ensure that the effects of logging on the future forests are considered before the area is harvested. If you think about what will happen to the forest before you cut it, the chances of effective forest renewal are much greater. We would suggest that definitely stay and actually be made a requirement of harvesting in Ontario's forests.

Section 17(1) requires the holder of a forest licence to conduct inventories and surveys in accordance with the Forest Information Manual. We, like everyone else, like a large number of people who have spoken here, still have not gotten the Forest Information Manual -- we still haven't gotten most of the manuals that accompany this -- which certainly hampers our analysis of this bill.

However, given what we have, I have a concern that the holders of forest licences conduct inventories and surveys, and that concern is that it's kind of like asking a fox to survey the henhouse. The industry has a vested interest in a certain outcome. I think the responsibility for inventories and surveys should rest with the government, or somehow with a third party or a very stringent sort of audit. I am concerned that the fiscal situation within the ministry would not allow for that.

As stated, the crown forest report should be tabled in the Legislature every year, not just from time to time; we believe it should be every year. A report on the state of Canada's forests comes out every year; therefore, why couldn't we have a state of Ontario's forests report? I think a state of Ontario's forests report would tell the people of Ontario what exactly is happening to the forests. We have a right to information that helps us to assess the condition of the forests. I think that would be a very positive thing to do and one that would dovetail very nicely with Canada's state of the forests report.

Under part III, "Forest Resource Licences," again there's been some discussion that section 21(2) states that forest resource licences shall be granted with a competitive process. The thing that occurs to me is that most of the forests have already been allocated in Ontario, a large portion of the productive forests has already been allocated in Ontario and not under a competitive process. These are already allocated under FMAs which will be transferred under section 23. Therefore, it seems that the title of this act says something that is not reflected within the body of this act, very much in that same way that this section says something, that we should strive to allocate timber on a competitive process, where in reality the situation is that it has not been done.

Sustainable forest licences may require the licensee to carry out renewal and maintenance of the forest, according to subsection 23(1), and silvicultural costs would be reimbursed from a trust fund to which the holders of forest resource licenses contribute.

I understand this is a very key portion of this act. We certainly support the transfer of fiscal, financial responsibility for forest renewal to the holders of forest licences. They profit from the harvesting of forests and therefore they should renew the forests for the future. I believe that's inherent in their responsibility.

However, the thing that concerns me which I don't see addressed in this act is that at the same time we're transferring responsibility for regeneration into the hands of the licensee, we are also reducing the amount of staff available in the ministry to actually monitor and audit what is happening in the forest. I find that a real concern. Will the government have adequate resources to monitor this transfer of responsibility? I think this is a very crucial point. If there aren't enough resources to monitor this transfer, then we are basically jeopardizing the future of the crown forest.

According to section 26(1), "the amount of forest resources harvested shall not exceed the amount described as available for harvesting in the...forest management plan." We believe that should be amended to read, "The amount of forest resources harvested should not exceed the amount which will ensure the sustainability of the forest ecosystem," if indeed this is a an act to provide for the sustainability of Ontario's forests. Somehow it seems that the title of this act is somewhat divorced from the substance of the act.

All trees which are harvested must be manufactured in Canada, except those used in an unmanufactured state and exemptions granted by the minister under section 27(3). We would like a clarification of what those exemptions will be, because our jobs depend on processing of forests. The more chips are exported, the fewer jobs we have here.

An amendment to a forest resource licence under section 31(1) should allow for withdrawals of forest land for uses other than logging and should also allow for a withdrawal of forest land for small operators. We need to diversify the forest industry. The present amendments are to be consistent with forest management plans. These are essentially timber harvesting plans. They don't really reflect other uses for the land.

Part V, "Trust Funds": Trust funds to reimburse forest renewal costs are a really good idea. Again, it is a way of finding some funds to be able to renew crown management units. However, I think the act should explicitly state what matters other than silvicultural expenses will be reimbursed by the trust fund. That's a very open kind of thing.

In addition, I think the trust should report annually not only to the minister and to the treasury board but to the public, because it is the public that basically owns the forest of Ontario. They have the right to know what is happening with the money in the trust funds. I don't think that would be an additional expense.

Part VII, "Remedies and Enforcement": This gave us a bit of a problem. As the act presently stands, it is "the opinion of the minister" that decides whether forest operations are impairing the sustainability of the crown forest. It is also the opinion of the minister that decides whether there is damage to water, soil, plant life or habitat for animal life in a crown forest.

We would like to have quantifiable, measurable definitions of those terms. We think that the opinion of the minister is just too open to interpretation, and if this has the force of law, we believe that what constitutes impairment of the sustainability of the crown forest and what constitutes damage to what water, plants and soil should be explicitly defined. After all, if you think about it, if cutting a tree doesn't damage plant life -- I mean, obviously cutting a tree damages plant life, but that's certainly not what you mean by this section. Somehow that's just got to be clarified.


Something else that has come up numerous times is the levels of fines for infractions. As has been shown, there's the administrative level as well as whatever the other one is. It's not the administrative fines, but the court offences in section 61. We agree with what many people have said before, that there needs to be some sort of an explanation under which circumstances each fine will apply. We are concerned probably with a different perspective, but we also want to know when which fine will apply, when the lower of the fines will apply. Will companies always be charged with the lower of the penalties? What will constitute an infraction that will render them liable for the higher offence? I think that's an important thing to let people know because it will perhaps give people more confidence that this is a sustainable forest act.

That's all I have to say. Now Gordon will give a brief outline of some of the concerns that affect small operators in this area.

Mr Gordon Whiteley: Thank you very much. I have a variety of hats that I wear, but I am representing the interests of a small specialty products processing facility at this time.

I think what is really important to know, what seems to be missing here is what really exists in the forest today, and it isn't much. All of this legislation and all of these annual allowable cut figures and everything are all based on fibre production, which has nothing to do with specialty products production at all. You can mould fibre, as they do now, with the short balsam and the underaged spruce, but you cannot make 24-foot 10-by-10s or timbers or beams out of these small fibre trees. They make fine paper, but that's all. Their use is not only limited just to paper, but it makes it difficult for all sawmills and any kind of effort to diversity the forest whatsoever.

All of the efforts and initiatives that have been proposed for the last 15 or 20 years, before the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment, become non-valid because we are no longer trying to maintain mature forest. We're trying to maintain only fibre, which is of interest to only a small number of people. It certainly doesn't provide any diversification whatsoever. Hopefully, this will change and can be clarified in the sustainability portion of what we mean by sustaining our forest. What we mean is a complete, whole forest and not just fibre.

In reading through the bill, and of concern to me under diversification and everything and my own small facility is the ability to maintain this under the new system. Existing in this legislation there are a couple of options, but there are no options that would clearly allow for not only the long-term operations of a small processing facility maintaining its own wood supply, but there are no options in here for the creation of any new facilities, because there are no options in here for tenure for any small facilities, and without tenure you are reliant on the interests of someone, for example, who may be interested in producing chips, to produce specialty products, which is not in their interest whatsoever. In fact, within 15 minutes' drive of Thunder Bay you can clearly see that these interests have not been maintained, nor will they. It's not in their interest.

Tenure would, however, do that, would allow the financing and the capitalization of a variety of projects. Not that there is very much there, but there are a few pockets here and there in a few places where there are some trees growing, stands growing that could be used on a long-term basis by small local facilities generating employment for ever, if they're allowed. This does not allow that.

Under the present system, one must operate on a third-party agreement with a facility that may or may not be here tomorrow, as recently we have seen with takeovers, stock purchases and a variety of other companies coming in that do not necessarily live up to the agreements that were in place with the company previously.

What do you do with your small facility when the new company comes to town and says, "We don't care"? A small company can't go through the courts with a big one. This brings us into the mediation section of the bill, which is a very responsible and important section, I think, and an area where the government could focus some attention and in fact help to preserve the existence of the diversified industry.

The mediation area, however, deals only with resolution of obtaining third-party agreements. It does not deal with companies having to live up to their previous obligations. Obviously, with no tenure there is no bargaining position to deal with these people at all, so one would be totally reliant on a mediator for their very existence at all. This of course brings a lot of problems to bankers and private investors in the industry, as pointed out in an article in Canadian Business last year, where they recommended if you don't have control of your own resources, you'd better consider leaving town.

Now you've got diversity. I have a really difficult time with seeing how diversity can be maintained under a clear-cut. We have these new mills being opened that are going to process hardwood chips, for example. Does that mean that these areas where these hardwood trees are to be harvested are mature birch areas, or are these licences to be created in order to further rationalize the clear-cut process in order that they go around afterwards and clean up what's left? Obviously it's the latter, because the mature areas are very limited and no large facility could be created in this area to process, for example, birch, because the mature birch stands are very limited.

So what is being created here is in fact a cheap chipping facility. We've lost the high-paying jobs in the paper mills where they are producing chips. We now have sawmills which make chips and pretend to make lumber, making chips at a third of the wages with no benefits, and what have we really gained? Have we really gained anything? It makes it kind of difficult to say.

The other section in here deals with licensing in terms of renewal and length of licensing. You have in here a five-year plan with a one-year addition afterwards. I believe it's section 73(2). I'm wondering how this particular section is going to apply to a small company, for example, that wants to maintain, say, a white pine stand on a shelterwood basis, say similar to the one in Michigan or several others in Ontario where they in fact have more trees there now than they ever had, where they only cut the overmature and mature trees and all the young stuff are generated and they grow up in shelterwood and in fact it's the best process for growing white pine.

But on a five-year licence, how can one operate on a long-term basis? How can one put in the roads, the culverts, the extra effort to try and go around these trees that are in their optimum growth rate, leave them there and take only the mature ones? These people, probably, in order to be able to operate that are going to have to have some kind of tenure. It seems there are a lot of possibilities available but without any clear, real definition for this other, what I consider to be important, part of the industry.

It's very important to small communities, as I see it, because smaller operations can do this close to home, kind of thing. This seems to be geared to very, very large operations, dealing with volumes and computer figures, not necessarily having any reality on the ground at all. In Sweden they withdraw some of these areas from the licences and these are maintained and operated periodically, different times, over there, over the road.

For example, they don't have to rebuild that road all the time because they're not operating once there and then coming back 100 years from now. They're going back and forth periodically, continually, so once the road's there, it's used. But under this current system of major clear-cuts, it's cut, it's maybe regenerated, maybe aerial-seeded, then it's left and the road grows in and you have to rebuild it again later on, which becomes very expensive in the long term.

There are, I believe, some benefits and some ways that things could be done to enhance the act, and maybe some of the manuals if they are produced and people are more involved in the production of them, this could become clear. The tenure thing though becomes very, very important in terms of diversification. That is for sure. Thank you very much.


Mr Wood: Thank you very much for your presentation. I just want to cover some of the areas. You're saying there should be accountability as to audit and the volumes out there. The environmental assessment, I understand, requires that the state of the forestry report be required every five years as well as annual reporting requirements under the EA.

We never appealed any of the decisions of the Environmental Assessment Board as they were brought down, so the government is committed to that. But some of that has been brought into Bill 171 and also the manuals and regulations to make sure that it complies with it.

I found it interesting the comment that you made as far as prescription, looking at a stand of forest out there, and the prescription is that if you're going to cut a hectare of wood, you should replant a hectare of wood and know how it's going to be reforested. At one time it used to be you harvested a large number of hectares of wood out there, but then you went back and were accountable for the amount of seedlings you planted, and there are four or five different ways of regenerating a forest.

I found that interesting, the comment when you were saying that you believe that a prescription beforehand will guarantee a future forest if it's followed through.

Those are the two areas that I wanted to comment on, and if you have any other comments you want to throw back at me. I guess, if there is any uneasiness about whether the forest reports are brought in and whether the annual reports are acceptable, I mean, there's also people that can revert to the Provincial Auditor to take a look at those audit reports because he's at arm's length from the government as well. I'll leave it at that. I know Gilles Bisson wants a question, but if you want to comment on that, feel free.

Ms Lavoie: That's fine. You were basically saying, if I understood you correctly, that my comment that free operational descriptions be mandatory was a good one. Is that what you were saying, or it was an interesting one?

Mr Wood: Yes.

Ms Lavoie: Okay, thank you.

Mr Bisson: Just a direction from the Chair, how much time is there? A couple of minutes?

The Vice-Chair: A couple of minutes.

Mr Bisson: All right, let's just get to it. The question in regard to the multiple licences that you raised in your presentation, if I understood you correctly, what you're asking us to do is to make available additional wood on existing licences. Is that what you were asking for in your presentation?

Mr Whiteley: What I'm suggesting is that the areas of specialty products, which are primarily woods that are not used by the current licence holders -- for example, if you have a pure white pine stand, which is a controversial subject in the province of Ontario, I believe that this should be removed from that licence.

Mr Bisson: Part of what we're trying to deal with in the bill by multiple licences is to try to allow that to happen in some way. So what you're saying is it should be automatic. Is that what you're telling me here?

Mr Whiteley: Well, there would be no point in having a company interested in maintaining a species that is not interested in that species. Your best effort would be put forward by a company who was interested in that species over the long term.

Mr Bisson: Just for clarification for yourself, on the question of tenure presently in the forest in the present act, the question of the evergreen clause is found in the actual FMA agreement that you sign, and that's why you don't see it in the legislation. Under section 23, when you sign the licence with the crown, that same type of arrangement that this is arranged for would be in there. It's neither in the old legislation nor in the new because you find it in the actual agreement. You were talking about tenure, that you can't invest unless you have tenure.

Mr Whiteley: Yes.

Mr Bisson: That's found within the agreement that you sign with the crown.

Mr Whiteley: No, the only people that have tenure now are the large FMA holders.

Mr Bisson: I thought that's what you were referring to.

Mr Whiteley: Yes, I'm referring to the giving of tenure to other people who are more interested in looking after a particular area. That way, it may not be just a particular species. It may be a sensitive area, for example, along a river or a lake or a cottage where it would not be suitable to have 100 workers with big machines running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but may be suitable to do a small mom-and-pop operation with a skidder and a long cable and a chainsaw doing some selection work.

Mr Miclash: I'd like to start by saying that I'm intrigued by your comments about sustainability and the use of the word in the title of the act and I'm sure we'll want to review the comments that you made in terms of that.

My question has to do with section 12 of the bill, and section 12 refers to local citizens' committees. We've heard a good amount from various groups about what they would like to see in terms of the makeup of those committees and the mandate of the committees as well. Do you have any comments in terms of what you would like to see when it comes to local citizens' committees?

Ms Lavoie: One of the major problems with local citizens' committees is that they play an advisory role only. You can spend a good part of your life working through to understand what the mandate of this committee is to work through all of the documents that I'm sure you have stacked up on your own desk. You do this on a voluntary basis. You don't get paid for it. You take time out of your life, out of your family, to try to have valuable input. You work really hard and at the end of it all someone says, "Thank you for your advice," and then fini, it's on to something else.

That's been one of the major problems with advisory committees, the fact that they are limited to an advisory role. Therefore, it doesn't give citizens much hope in the democratic process.

Mr Miclash: You know, the offer is there now: "On behalf of the minister may establish." Could you maybe give some input as to what you would like to see in terms of actual makeup of such an advisory committee?

Ms Lavoie: This is a very difficult subject simply because somehow there has to be accountability. The people who are representing, who are sitting on an advisory board representing a constituency must be accountable to that constituency and it must be a breathing, living constituency, and that can be a problem. If these citizens' committees move beyond playing just an advisory role, there is going to be definitely a lot of jockeying for positions around the table commensurate with the power that this particular committee has.

I'm not sure what to suggest because I'd have to think about it, because it's not something that I've actually sat down and thought about. It is a very, very important question, I agree with you, and I can't give you an answer without thinking about it further.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you. I enjoyed your presentation. The citizens' committees, the regulations for those and the criteria for establishing the mandate they'll have haven't been fully developed yet, but the environmental assessment is sketching out some format we should follow. The trust accounts that you mentioned were created in Bill 160; they're not actually created under this act. Given that, the language you used at the start when you paraphrased Mr Brown's question about, "Do the manuals and the regulations equal sustainability?" -- I believe your answer was no to that?

Ms Lavoie: I don't think it does.

Mr Hodgson: You don't think it does.

Ms Lavoie: I think it needs to be explicitly stated.

Mr Hodgson: Were you suggesting that this might be more of a -- the reason for the word, you wondered why, but throughout your talk I got the impression that you thought it was more political in nature: You're going to tell one group that the ecosystem is totally sustainable; to another group you're going to say that their jobs are sustainable; to another group you're going to say the wildlife's sustainable, and you don't have to be accountable. There's no measurement or base to say, "Is this true or is this not true?"

Ms Lavoie: In a sense what you're saying is right. I believe that if the title of the act is "An Act to provide for the sustainability of Crown Forests in Ontario," then I believe that sustainability has to be explicitly defined, not defined in this other circuitous route through the use of the manuals because that route does not have the force of law in the same way that having it explicitly defined in the legislation does.

I believe that a definition already exists through their policy at the fourth policy framework panel. This was accepted by cabinet because it's something that caused the government an awful lot of money, and I don't understand why it's not included in this act, because they actually have a principle for sustaining forests. We spent a whole bunch of money, you know, trying to drag those out of local stakeholder groups. Why isn't it stated explicitly in the act if that's what the act claims to be?

Mr Hodgson: I've heard it suggested that if we're going to sell our products abroad with the marketing that all the forest products are coming from Ontario from sustainable forest and if it doesn't live up to its billing, that could do us long-term damage. Do you see any impacts if this act is hailed as sustainable in terms of a forest ecosystem approach and it doesn't live up to its billing? Do you see any repercussions in terms of government credibility or government initiatives in the future?

Ms Lavoie: Well, if you say you're doing something, if it's rhetoric and it's not reality, people find out that it's rhetoric and not reality and then they get angry, because they feel like they've been hoodwinked.

Mr Whiteley: That's a real concern today, the credibility of Canada and its forest products industry as a whole. It is a real concern to me and I am really nervous when I see some of the people who are trying to become involved in the supposed creation of a green stamp that does mean sustainability, when you know that their past practices are going to destroy the whole effort completely. There has to be some real credibility there for sure, and unfortunately even the federal government has recognized that credibility among most of the major players in Canada is gone. Who's going to give is to us? How much effort should we put into putting on demonstration of boreal forest by multinationals when they have no credibility anyway? Maybe they should be helping somebody else do it.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. We certainly appreciate your appearance before the committee. We will have the rest of this week still here in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances, next week hearings in Toronto, followed by clause-by-clause in the middle of September, so if you have any further comments that you wish to send off regarding the manuals and so on, please communicate it to the clerk.

The final presenter, as far as I know, is not here, but I will ask for Atikokan Sportsman Conservation Club. Is there anybody here to represent this organization? This will be the last item of business unless somebody else has anything for the good of the committee, as they say.

This committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning bright and early at 9 o'clock.

The committee adjourned at 1615.