Wednesday 24 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

Minister of Natural Resources

Hon Howard Hampton, minister

Town of Fort Frances

Frank Myers, development coordinator

Fort Frances Area Tribal Chiefs

George Kakeway, chief, Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation

Willie Wilson, tribal chief, Fort Frances area

Northern Forest Coalition

Bob Axford, consultant

Joan Goule, member

Boise Cascade Canada Ltd

Paul Jewiss, chief forester

Township of Ignace

Andy Tardiff, reeve


*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 Mills

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Sorbara

Ramsay, David (Timiskaming L) for Mr Grandmaître

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 0836 in La Place Rendez-Vous, Fort Frances.


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): The standing committee on general government will continue its hearings on Bill 171. Today we are in the beautiful city, with beautiful weather, of Fort Frances and we have the pleasure early in the morning to hear from the Minister of Natural Resources, who I understand is also a native Fort Frances boy.

With the agreement of the committee, the minister will address the members now. At 9 o'clock there's supposed to be a presentation, but there's some question at this point as to whether the mayor will be here or not.

Clerk of the Committee (Mr Franco Carrozza): The mayor is not coming.

The Vice-Chair: What is the committee's wish? The mayor will not be coming at 9 o'clock, so if time is needed we can give the minister and the members of the committee until 9:30. Is that agreeable?

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): I think we should treat all presenters the same way, 30 minutes.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): The minister isn't any more special than anybody else.

The Vice-Chair: I accept the wishes of the committee. The minister may start and then we'll see afterwards.

Mr Chris Hodgson (Victoria-Haliburton): Friends, eh?

Hon Howard Hampton (Minister of Natural Resources): Yes, I have a lot of friends in high places.

The Vice-Chair: Welcome to the committee anyway.


Hon Mr Hampton: Welcome to Fort Frances, everyone. I understand that the weather is going to improve and, as the afternoon comes in, you'll probably want to shorten the sessions even more. So I understand the motive of some of those who don't want to start off with a 45-minute or one-hour session.

Let me welcome everyone to Fort Frances. This is indeed where I grew up and where I still make my home. I'd like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to say a few things about the Crown Forest Sustainability Act at this point.

I think you have heard a fair amount already and that you are already tackling some of the very difficult questions that the ministry has wrestled with for, I would say, most of the last five or six years.

What this act says is that we are clearly committing ourselves to implementing sustainable forestry. Sustainable forestry won't be implemented overnight. In my view, that is a moving concept. We are clearly committed, however, to improving the forest practices of the province to make them the best there are in North America and, just as important, we are clearly committed to ensuring a sustainable forest industry, sustainable communities and sustainable jobs.

I think the act is a major step forward for Ontario in terms of implementing sustainable forestry. The act presents a new vision for forest management in Ontario, a vision that looks at the whole forest. As I said, it's a concept that the Ministry of Natural Resources has been struggling with, I would say, for at least the last six years. The forward-looking ideas in this act flow from the work that was done to develop the Policy Framework for Sustainable Forests. That policy framework is based on the work and recommendations of the comprehensive forest policy panel and its report called Diversity. I suspect that many of you have seen a copy of Diversity or you've read it.

In developing Diversity, the panel heard from 3,000 people across the province. These people took the time to provide their insights into where forest management should be going and the time to express their concerns. It was a valuable exercise in consultation that helped produce an important set of recommendations. I've heard from many people since the development of the Diversity report. They've said over and over, "It is time to stop consulting and to begin delivering on the ideas people have given us for improving forest management." We're trying to do just that now with this legislation.

I want to talk a little bit about what it means to grow up in communities that are dependent on the forest. If you look at northern Ontario, about 50 communities depend on forest industries for their economic stability and 29 of these are highly dependent. This would be a highly dependent community. From Lake Nipigon west to the Manitoba border, communities like this one, like Dryden, Red Rock, Vermilion Bay, Atikokan, Kenora, Sioux Lookout, depend on forest industries. In the area from Lake Nipigon to the Manitoba border, there are four pulp mills, seven paper mills, six large sawmills, a panel board mill, a particle board mill, 86 small sawmills and a veneer mill. Quite amazing -- just between Lake Nipigon and the Manitoba border. More than 60,000 jobs from Thunder Bay west are tied to forest industries. Many more jobs spin off from those tied jobs.

Let me give you an idea of how that breaks down: There are 9,900 direct jobs in logging, 3,300 jobs in lumber, 4,000 in forest products and 43,000 jobs in the pulp and paper industry. Together these forest industries pay out more than $2.1 billion in wages in northwestern Ontario. The economic output of these forest industries is significant for this part of the province and it is significant as well when you look at the whole provincial economy.

Each year forest industries from Thunder Bay west to the border produce more than $5.3 billion in forest products. This makes up just under half of the $12 billion the forest products industry produces across the province for our economy, across Ontario more than 200,000 jobs.

As I mentioned earlier, nearly 50 communities in northern Ontario depend on forest industries for their economic health and the forest industries are important for Ontario and Canada in the global marketplace. Some of the situations that have occurred in British Columbia illustrate that, I think, very clearly. Every year we export nearly $5 billion in forest products, mainly to the US market, but that's changing. As we move more to global trade, more and more of our products can wind up in other markets.

Given these statistics, I think it is clear why I see this act as a key to the future and a key to an improved and a sustainable future for many communities like this one. It is a key to the future because, as it ensures sustainable forestry, it will also ensure sustainable jobs and sustainable communities.

That issue of sustainability is a difficult issue and you've already heard a number of folks say, "Well, sustainability should be laid out like boiler-plate in the act." You've also heard other folks say, "No, sustainability and how you define sustainability depends on the knowledge we acquire about the forest and about the forest ecosystem, and as we acquire knowledge, we may want to have sustainability situated in such a way that we can work with it flexibly."

I just want to review some of the approaches to sustainability.

The Diversity report: The Diversity report used words to describe sustainability. I don't think the Diversity report defined sustainability, but it used a lot of words to describe sustainability, and some of those words are warm and fuzzy. Therefore, it's easy to get consensus between those who might be on the radical fringe of the environmental movement and those folks who believe that you simply use the forest as a timber crop. As long as the words are nice and fuzzy and warm, it's not too difficult to get consensus.

But the task that you face, and the really tough task, is to put those words into the act, the regs and the manuals such that they have legal meaning, such that they set criteria that will guide action and such that they can be measured and tested in terms of performance and then you can hold someone accountable in terms of that performance. So it is a difficult process.

Let me give you my sense of what I think is the best way to work with this. If you read Diversity carefully, one of the concepts that comes through very clearly, one of the arguments that comes through, is that we are still learning about the forest -- we are in many cases at a very basic level in terms of our knowledge of forest ecosystems -- and that we have a lot to learn.

With the changes in information technology, we're able to assemble and use much more of the information. While we were taking the trip last night, you may have heard some of the representatives of Boise Cascade talking about geographic information systems and how they've invested a lot in geographic information system technology and how that allows them to work more and do more with the information they have available.

My sense is that as we move forward with more knowledge about the forest, some of it scientific research knowledge, some of it applied knowledge, some of it practical knowledge, some of it simply the result of trial and error and experience, we will want to have the definition of "sustainability" located in such a way that we can work with it flexibly.

The danger of trying to put together now, in 1994, a hard and firm definition and putting it in legislation is that you're stuck with that. You're stuck with that, and as you acquire more knowledge and you want to work with it, I don't need to explain to any of you the difficulty of getting legislation through the House, the difficulty of timetables, the difficulty of getting consensus, the difficulty of getting on the list and so on.

So I would argue that we want to work with this term "sustainability" in terms of how we can maintain it as a flexible concept, and as we learn more and as we add knowledge, we can work with the definition and work with the criteria and work with how sustainability can be measured and tested.

You've heard some discussion about the cost of moving to sustainable forestry. Some folks I think will make the argument that this will mean some added costs for MNR, this will mean some added costs for industry. I think that needs to be accepted. It's clear from the class timber EA that the class timber EA will impose some added costs. I have not heard anyone say in response to the class timber EA that it will break either the forest industries or that it will break the government or that it will break anyone else. People have said, "There are some expenses here, there are some costs here, but if we're going to do the job right, we have to pay attention to these costs."

I think the same can be said of the costs as we move on the concept of sustainable forestry. Yes, there will be some costs. I, like you, have reviewed the submissions, and there are a number of companies which have come forward and said: "We support the principles. We support moving in this direction." In fact some companies will tell you they're already there. I think if you press Boise Cascade, they will tell you that they have moved a long way over the last 10 years towards sustainable forestry and they want to move further. There's another way of looking at this question of costs. How much will it cost if we do not move to sustainable forestry? And there are some answers to that question. You need only ask the loggers and the forest product workers who live, or used to live, in Oregon and Washington how much it costs if you don't move to sustainable forestry.


A lot of scenarios happened there -- questions of destruction of wildlife habitat, questions of overharvesting, questions of environmental damage -- until, in the final result, the courts stepped in and imposed very harsh restrictions on the allowable harvest of the forest. I suspect we get a very clear answer on how much it will cost if we do not move to sustainable forestry from looking at what has happened in Oregon and Washington.

British Columbia has had to face what the potential costs are. The reality that British Columbia has faced over the last three or four years is that they will not be able, or they may not be able, depending on the jurisdiction, to sell their forest products. That's the case in Germany. It begins to look like the case in Great Britain. It begins to look like the case in Switzerland. If we do not and if we cannot demonstrate to the markets that we sell in that we are working sustainably in our forests, that we are managing our forests on a sustainable basis, our products may no longer be welcome in their jurisdictions.

British Columbia has had to deal with this in a couple of ways. They have had to reduce the allowable harvest in a number of Ministry of Forests districts in British Columbia by up to 50%; 25% and 30% in others. They have had to make a very clear public statement to the rest of the world that they are setting aside unique ecological areas for protection. That's very much the battle they've had to engage in in order to assure the rest of the world that they are managing their forests, their forest ecosystems, on a sustainable basis. The message has been very clear to them: "If you can't demonstrate this, your products will no longer be welcome in our markets."

Let me take the argument a step further. All of you have seen the United States engage in a variety of trade harassment practices over the last eight or nine years. If you sit down and analyse the arguments the United States has made, they try a slightly different argument each time. If you follow the press reports of what the Americans have said following the latest round, where they lost, they said, "We will be back again and we will make other arguments."

I will put to you that in the not-very-distant future, the argument we will see, either on behalf of some of the vested interests in the United States or perhaps state governments in the United States, is that our forest products ought not to be allowed into the United States unless we can demonstrate sustainability. In other words, if Federal Court judges in Oregon and Washington can put 100,000 people out of work in those states by reducing the harvest and requiring certain environmental practices, it will not be long before someone makes the argument that the same or similar practices ought to be imposed on Canadian forest products. That's the test we will have to meet, or a test somewhat like that.

There are a couple of ways of approaching this. One way to approach this would be to say, "We'll cross these bridges as we come to them." I would suggest that is not a good approach. I would suggest that waiting until we are in the shoes that Oregon and Washington have been in or we face the same challenges and the same difficult time frames that British Columbia is now facing would not be good policy. I would say to you that we would not have done our job well on behalf of the people of Ontario if we took that tack.

The other approach is to try to forge a consensus and to try to move forward in a thoughtful, measured way to move, over time, to sustainable forestry. I'm sure, if you've talked to officials in the ministry, they will tell you that they have been working in this direction for some time. The problem is that the existing legislation hamstrings you.

If you go back to the Forest Industry Action Group report, and the Forest Industry Action Group report was a tripartite report issued by industry, labour and government over a year ago, the report said that the existing Crown Timber Act doesn't have the tools. It doesn't allow us to do the things that we need to do now and we will need to do in the future in terms of moving to sustainable forestry. Those are the issues I think we're wrestling with.

In terms of how the act fits together, I think you've probably heard from ministry officials that the act will provide, I believe, the flexible tools we'd need to move towards an ecosystem basis of management and to move towards sustainable forestry. I want to emphasize that idea of flexibility because I think it is extremely important in the process of moving to an ecosystem approach.

We have produced in this act enabling legislation because we deliberately wanted to avoid a cookbook approach to forest management. A cookbook approach essentially says, "You must do this here, and you must do this here, and you must do this here, and you must do this over there." In other words, it's trying to tell professional foresters and people who work in the forest and biologists, whether fisheries biologists or wildlife biologists, what they must do, trying to tell them from Queen's Park what they must do across the very Ontario landscape. I think that's an absurd idea, a totally absurd idea.

In the travels of the committee you'll note that we have at least three forest types: the deciduous forests found mainly in southern Ontario, the Great Lakes-St Lawrence mixed forests, the boreal forests, and within those forest types there's variety.

The boreal forest in northwestern Ontario is quite different from the boreal forest in northeastern Ontario. You saw jack pine sand flats last night where you can fly over with a helicopter and you can drop jack pine seeds out of the helicopter and come back six years later and you've got a forest, a forest that is so thick that I would venture to say you could barely walk in it.

In the part of the world that Len is from and Gilles is from, you find what I call spruce swamps. God help you, if you drop seeds out the back of a helicopter, if you think it's going to accomplish anything other than provide food for birds and rodents. We need legislation that allows people who work in the forest to work flexibly and to apply their science and knowledge and experience in an appropriate way. That's what we've tried to do here. If we try a cookbook approach as well, I think we will be stuck in the past. I think we will tie ourselves to legislation that doesn't allow us to move forward as we acquire new information, new technology and we acquire more experience.

We chose to put the ideas that will guide forest management in manuals that set out the acceptable approaches to forest operation. The development of those manuals is still in progress, and I continue to encourage people who are interested in improving forest management in Ontario to become part of the process of refining the manuals and provide written comments or participate in the upcoming workshop. We believe this flexible approach is right for Ontario, as I said, because of the different forest types and the variety within those forest types.

In addition to committing ourselves and this province to improving forest practices, however, in addition to improving the forest practices and trying to put that flexibility there, if you're going to put that flexibility there, there has to be a check and balance in the system.

I believe the check and balance is, you've got to find a way to hold people accountable. Give people the flexibility to do the work on the ground in the appropriate way, but then provide the accountability mechanisms to hold them accountable for the results. Accountability is also important, I think, because it's something, again, that we can show the world, where we can say to the world there are accountability mechanisms here. There are ways that we hold people responsible.

How do we increase accountability? One way is by setting up local citizens' committees, by providing that independent audits are undertaken to review the performance of government and forest industries, by making the audits public and by producing regular state-of-the-forest reports in plain language and providing them to the Legislature. This act increases accountability by improving our ability to monitor forest operations and to require compliance with guidelines and by increasing the provisions for enforcement.


Everyone who operates in our forests must be accountable for their actions and their operations, and I believe this act will ensure that. We have stronger enforcement procedures so that we can make sure forest operations are carried out properly. There will be significant penalties for those who fail to comply, but I ask you to go through that compliance scheme carefully.

It provides, first of all, for stop-work orders, for remedial orders. It provides for administrative penalties. It provides, in the final analysis, the possibility to take someone to court. It is what I would regard as a positive, constructive way of moving towards compliance, enforceability and accountability.

I want to talk just a minute about forest renewal. I suspect that when the OFIA main representatives come before the committee, they'll talk about some of the tours that have been made in Europe lately. One of the messages that is coming back from Europe is that Europeans want to be assured that we are sustaining our forests. I would argue again that one of the arguments we will face very soon from the United States is that they will want to see in detail that we are renewing our forests.

How do we approach this? The approach in the past has been that every year the Ministry of Natural Resources had to go to treasury board and had to battle for forest renewal funding. Some years you'd get a generous allotment; other years you'd get a less generous allotment. The problem, even if you get generous allotments each year, is that if you are doing forest planning, forest planning doesn't happen on a one-year basis. You're working in a dynamic system here that works over, as you heard last night, 50 or 60 years for poplar, 70 or 80 years for jack pine, over 100 years for spruce and 200 or 300 years for red and white pine.

At the very least, we need to have a system that will ensure that we can count on a reliable amount of money, not just this year and next year but five years hence, 10 years hence, so that we can do the kind of planning and negotiate the kinds of long-term contracts and other working relationships that will allow us to work in an effective and efficient way in the forest. That is the idea behind the trust fund: The forest is not harvested unless money goes into the trust fund. Money that goes into the trust fund can only be used for renewal of the forest.

The idea is to provide a general fund of about $100 million a year that will be available exclusively for forest renewal, and I believe that through that trust fund we will be able to work more efficiently, more effectively than ever before in terms of forest renewal. We'll also be able to hold it up to those other jurisdictions that may want to attack us to say: "Here's our fund. It's a trust fund. It can't be used for anything else. Do you have one?"

Again, I think it is a strong piece of the action in terms of ensuring forest sustainability and in terms of being able to say to other people in the world: "This is how we ensure the sustainability of our forests. How do you do it for yours?"

There are a few things that I know you have heard from some of the people who have appeared before the committee that I'd like to clear up. One of them is the issue of licensing, particularly FMA holders. Some FMA holders have said that they will lose the evergreen licences they now enjoy. I simply want to say to you, that's not correct. The transition provisions of this act will move FMA licences, forest management agreement licences, which are evergreen licences, to what we call sustainable forest licences. The same concepts of length of term and rolling over of terms will continue.

There's been concern raised about provisions that would allow cancelling or suspension of a licence. It has been suggested that this is new. It is not new. The current Crown Timber Act provides exactly the same opportunity. We're not doing anything new here. We're simply taking this existing concept out of the Crown Timber Act and applying it to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

What is new under the Crown Forest Sustainability Act is that we have formalized a process so that companies would have to be given specific information about why a licence is being cancelled or suspended if that were to happen, and they would have an opportunity to challenge that decision. In fact, if anything, I think we've put some administrative fairness into the process.

The Vice-Chair: Minister, you will have another four minutes and then we give 10 minutes to the Liberal and Conservative caucuses. That brings us to 9:30, if that's agreeable with the committee.

Hon Mr Hampton: I'll take less than four minutes. Let me conclude by briefly discussing some of the other initiatives that build on sustainability and also show our commitment to working with forest industries.

As members of the committee may be aware, we've made some announcements in the past couple of months about a number of projects that are designed to provide opportunities for new development in forest industries. These projects are the northeastern and northwestern Ontario hardwoods projects. In both cases, we have identified sustainable supplies of poplar and birch that are available for immediate development.

Last week, we were able to announce a new mill project to be built somewhere in this area, in the Fort Frances area, and for those of you who were on the bus last night, you'll know that as we drove through some of the cutover areas, there were examples of standing birch and poplar trees. You were simply told there was no commercial use for those trees, even though the coniferous trees had been removed from around them. They were still standing, but they were not in a very good state of health.

The oriented strand board opportunities will now allow us to use those previously underutilized species in a way that we think is very commercially attractive and will also help us in terms of sustainable forestry because we'll move to a more balanced system of harvesting and, I would argue, a more balanced system of silviculture.

We have four other initiatives like that under way across northeastern and northwestern Ontario, and more will come. I believe that if we move down this road to sustainable forestry, we will be able to take advantage of new economic opportunities in the future, and there will be new economic opportunities as the technology improves.

If we do not move down the path of sustainable forestry, I think we will limit ourselves in terms of being able to take advantage of some of the new economic opportunities, because we will face some of the barriers that are now being faced and have been faced in Oregon and Washington, in British Columbia and some of the other jurisdictions.

As I said, I think this act is important. It's important that we move in this direction now. While we move, it's important that we maintain the flexibility that people need on the ground to be able to do the job. I believe this act is the key to the future for forest industries, for forest communities and for the health of our forests across Ontario.

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): I'd like to thank the minister for coming this morning and having this chat with us. I know he was otherwise occupied when the committee hearings started, and we very much appreciate his taking the time out of his very busy schedule to come and see the committee at his first opportunity.

I think the minister has said a lot of things that we all believe. I think the principles he has enunciated are principles that all in this room and in the Legislature believe in.

The difficulty with this bill, as we are hearing as we're going from community to community in northern Ontario and indeed next week in southern Ontario, is matching the rhetoric with the words. From our party's point of view and from mine, I think the minister talks a great deal about the competitive pressures and I think you could define them as eco or green competitive pressures, that we must compete with British Columbia and we must compete with the United States on an environmental basis.

We agree with that, but we don't start from that premise. I think we start from a premise that Ontario has always been a world leader, always will be a world leader, and excellence in and of itself in economics and in environmental practices is something worth striving for, not just because somebody's going to make us do it if we don't. I think that is a real difference that I haven't heard from the minister. Excellence in Ontario's forests will sustain jobs regardless of what other people happen to be doing.


As we go through, the minister has talked about the economics. Let's be clear here, there is a huge shift of responsibility in the forests. There's a real shift where revenues are coming from and where revenues are going to. It is a huge shift in the northern economy, a huge shift. There is far less money coming from consolidated revenue and far more money coming from northern industry. This may be right, this may be wrong, but it's taking millions of dollars out of the northern economy that were once there.

Having a minister come before us and talk about sustainability, about all the wonderful things this new act will do -- and I'm hopeful the new act will do all those wonderful things. He comes and talks about all the wonderful things the new act will do when he represents a government that has over its term of office reduced the planting, for example, by 30 million trees in the crown forests of Ontario; where he represents a government that has reduced tending activities to about half of what they were in 1990.

He says: "Well, I can't win at treasury board. Gee, there's only six northern ministers in this government and I go to treasury board and it won't give me any money to do my job and so we're going to have to change the way we do it."

Well, Minister, we agree with the trust concept. We understand that funding should be dedicated, but I think people will excuse us when we look at the actions of the government over the last four years as compared to the rhetoric of the government over the last four years.

Mr Mammoliti: Blah, blah, blah, blah.

The Vice-Chair: Order.

Mr Brown: We then talk about the cost-benefit.

Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): It's a fact.

Mr Brown: The minister says --

Interjection: There's only a few minutes left.

Mr Mammoliti: I'll sit here and listen to Mr Brown being holier than everybody else.

The Vice-Chair: Order, please.

Mr Brown: We've asked the ministry to produce a cost-benefit. If we do it this way, following these rules, will this produce the best forest, both commercially and for environmental purposes, for all the values of the forest, or is another way the best way to get there? What are the options?

You're presenting one, and we're not sure because you're producing no cost-benefit analysis, whether this is the road to providing the best value for the money, for the people who are actually doing the forestry or for the people of the province of Ontario. No idea.

We listened to people in Thunder Bay -- headline in the Times-News: "Plans For Forest Could Kill Area Jobs." We wonder as we go through this -- this happened to be an analysis of one independent logger representing a group of independent loggers. Maybe his analysis is wrong, but do we know? Where's the analysis? Where's the cost analysis to know how this impacts on the various segments of the industry? As the minister knows, to talk about the industry as one huge group is to do it a disservice. There are in actuality various groups out there dependent on the forest even within the timber industry itself.

We have people who work on crown units, people with order-in-council licences. We have people on FMAs. We have quite a combination of the above. We wonder how that's going to impact on the men and women who derive their living today from the forest, and we're told quite clearly that some of them are very, very concerned about their future livelihood.

We have no analysis from the Ministry of Natural Resources to be able to allay their fears and say: "Oh, no, no, these are what the numbers will be. You will be able to do this or that. This is the assistance you will actually get and the bottom line, which is all that really matters, can be this for you." That hasn't been put forward.

We've heard, as the minister said, from various groups about sustainability. I think that's really the issue, and I'm beginning to wonder why that title of the act, "sustainability." One group in Thunder Bay told us they thought having the word "sustainability" in the act as part of the title when it isn't even defined in the act is perhaps almost hypocritical.

I've been asking the question of people when they come and say, "We need a definition," I've been saying to them, "Have you read the manuals, have you read the regulations, have you read the act, and according to your test, according to your definition of "sustainability," does it meet it?" Do you know what the answer I'm getting is? "We don't know. We haven't had time to analyse the manuals, we haven't had time to analyse the act, we haven't had time to analyse the regulations." I think the minister would agree that there's hundreds and hundreds of pages of material here. They haven't had time, and we're concerned, quite clearly, that people aren't even sure whether the act meets their test.

We're going to continue to work with the ministry as we go through this legislation. We're going to continue to work with this committee to find improvements. But I want to tell you, Minister, there are a huge number of concerns, because we're not sure that this act does what you just said. If it does, we're totally supportive. If the rhetoric and the reality are the same, this is fine, but we have a great concern from what we're hearing out here from northerners, and I suspect from people in southern Ontario next week, that where the rubber hits the road, this act doesn't meet the test.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you, Mr Minister. It's been a pleasure to visit your home town and go out and see the forests last night. I'd just like to say that on behalf of the Conservative caucus, Gary Carr and myself, we've really enjoyed the hearings throughout the north. We've met a lot of people who are connected to the industry and connected to using the forests and just have an interest in the wellbeing of the province of Ontario.

One of the first things we decided to do as a caucus when we came up here was to listen to the people as they came before us, try to have an open mind and try to learn about this issue. As far as political speeches go, I'm not going to deliver one to you in your home town. We can wait till we get to Queen's Park for that.

Mr Mammoliti: A man with some style.

Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): Then we'll get you.

Mr Hodgson: We support the broad principles of the bill and we've heard a lot of people come in, and I think there is a consensus, like you said, on the fuzziness of these warm, motherhood statements.

We've got a lot of questions. We're trying to learn about how the detail of this act lives up to its name and sustains us in terms of selling our products to the world market, but also in terms of the forest as an ecosystem and in terms of the jobs and the economy of this area. As you stated, it's a very important segment of our economy for the whole province and it's crucial for the north and the 50 communities that you refer to.

One of the things that has come up, though, that I would like to get your opinion on in the future is the idea that we need more knowledge. We not only need the knowledge in terms of abstract connections between different ecosystems, but what we need, and you've referred to this this morning and I referred to it in Sault Ste Marie on the opening day, is a way to collect an inventory that's geographically identifiable, and the GIS system's a good model to start with.

When you refer to the money it's going to cost to implement this, I think -- this is my opinion -- there's going to be some upfront money required and it's going to have to come from the general revenue. Forestry provides a lot of revenue to the province of Ontario, and if we're going to protect the whole forest as an ecosystem, we're talking about the revenue from tourism, income tax, corporate tax, a whole variety of spinoffs that multiply throughout our economies. They buy equipment and buy products. The Ontario government surely can find the money to prioritize that money to get an inventory so that we can prove to the rest of the world that yes, we are being sustainable.

I realize this act is enabling and we can move towards that, but we've heard people suggest, for instance, that we use the futures trust fund to gather information, a substantial part of that to set up a system where we have an inventory and we can have measurable goals in the future that prove to people and to say on the audits that yes, we have made progress and this is a sustainable forest ecosystem.

The local citizens' committees: We need more definitions on the criteria that they're going to be selected on and the mandate that they're going to be given. If we're going to follow the EA recommendations, that's one model. We'd just like that clarified.

We have a variety of questions that we can sort out. As I said at the opening, in the PC caucus we're here to learn and to listen. We support the broad principles and we really hope that our forests will be sustainable. Hopefully, we're making a step in the right direction. If we're not, we hope that there will be amendments coming forth as we learn more about this.


The Vice-Chair: Minister, did you want to add some concluding remarks?

Hon Mr Hampton: Yes. Mr Hodgson raised a couple of questions and I'll try to answer them.

In fact, what we've done in the ministry over the last three years -- and some of the investment we've made is beginning to show fruit now. We've probably invested more in research and technology than the Ministry of Natural Resources has invested in that area at any time in the past.

For example, if you'd continued about 20 miles up that road last night, you would actually see scientists from Lakehead University and MNR people doing research on moose habitat using satellite and global positioning technology, which allows us to learn more than we've ever known before about how moose behave in the forest, where they live, where they like to feed, where they move and so on. We've never had that information before. In many ways we're a world leader in that.

The Ontario Forest Research Institute in Sault Ste Marie has conducted probably more research in terms of vegetation management, in terms of genetics and really in terms of trying to figure out where we move from here, doing the very realistic research that we can then work with in a partnership way with forest products companies, with first nations and with communities, and much of the work that's been done is now starting to bear fruit.

Earlier this year MNR signed an agreement with a geographic information system company and it's one of the world leaders. The agreement we signed allows us to work with them in what is a type of joint venture to jointly develop the information technology that we need to use in the future. You'd be happy to know that this geographic information system company is the one that is used overwhelmingly by the major forest products companies, not only in Ontario but in North America. We have an opportunity not only to develop things for Ontario but to develop things that we can sell possibly in the international marketplace.

We appreciate where we have to move and we appreciate the lapse of time that will happen between putting the research together, gathering the information and then putting it to practical effect. Some of that has already been done, and I hope as we get to Toronto and you have a chance to talk to more of the ministry officials, you'll actually ask them some of the detailed questions on this.

Let me just say this. Mr Brown speaks about, "You should measure how well you're doing in terms of how many tree seedlings you stick in the ground." I have to say, in my view, simply sticking tree seedlings in the ground and not knowing whether that's the appropriate silvicultural treatment or whether you'd be better off using natural regeneration or better off using aerial seeding or better off using careful logging techniques is exactly the approach that we can no longer afford.

We've got to get in and we've got to allow people to conduct more of the science of forest management and the ecology of forest management, and that requires us to move away from numbers and simply saying: "We stuck 160 million seedlings in the ground last year. We don't know if they all went in green side up or not. We won't know five years from now how many of them are growing. We won't know if we put them in the appropriate place. We don't know if it was cost-effective."

That's exactly what we have to move away from, and that's exactly what we're trying to do here, trying to put in place the mechanisms and the institutions that will allow on-the-ground foresters, on-the-ground biologists to gather the information, use the information through the available technology, work in partnership with industry and first nations and work with local communities to do a better job than we've ever done before.

Mr Carr: I want to thank you for the hospitality. As Chris said, we really enjoyed it.

I think this is one of the few bills where we agree in principle; a lot have been bills that we don't even agree on principles. There have been some major concerns, though, voiced by people like Avenor and Spruce Falls Inc. They basically said that we shouldn't pass the bill as it is, without major changes. I won't read through their presentations, but I think your staff has probably been keeping you informed.

Do you see major changes coming? If so, what do you believe some of the amendments will be coming forward that can alleviate some of those fears?

Hon Mr Hampton: I believe the major issue that we all have to wrestle with, and everyone's wrestling with it, is the issue of how you define "sustainability" in a way that has some legal meaning, that has some practical application.

I think, around this table, we could all think of a description of something that's not sustainable and we could think of a description of what is sustainable, and if we're authors, that's wonderful. But we're not, in that sense, authors who are trying to produce a book that someone's going to read. We have to produce something that has legal meaning, that people can say, "Okay, I understand that this is the line, I understand that these are the criteria, I understand what these criteria mean and I can put these criteria into practice and I can measure and test them." That's the difficulty we have to wrestle with.

All kinds of folks are wrestling with that. Mr Brown said that he has asked people, "What do you think sustainability means?" or "Do you think this meets your measure of sustainability?" You get a variety of different answers or you get folks who say, "No, I can't quite give you a definition." So this is where I think we're going to have to focus some attention and indeed ministry officials are focusing some attention.

The next question is -- and this has to do with how the act structures itself -- does it go in the act or does it go in the regulations and the manuals? My preference is that you put it in the manuals because this will be a developing concept.

Again, if you read the Diversity report, and Professor Duinker, who I understand already appeared before you, said, when we're dealing with a forest -- he uses the term "adaptive ecosystem management." We're dealing with a system that is incredibly dynamic, that can change, can be altered by a wind storm, can be altered by a forest fire, can be altered by the introduction of a new species, can be altered by the kinds of chemical compounds that we put into the air through things that may happen in urban southern Ontario. What you have to do in adaptive ecosystem management is take the knowledge and apply it and reapply it and continue to move on.

My argument would be that that's indeed where we're at. The real thrust of sustainability, trying to describe, define and set the criteria for sustainability, ought to go in the manuals so that we can work with them progressively over time. So that's where I think the major issue is.

There are some other questions that I think can be dealt with just in terms of misunderstanding. The licensing is one where I think there's some misunderstanding. Some folks want "shall" to be everywhere. In other words, "You shall do this, you shall do that, you shall do that."


Again, I think what you have to measure against that is, you've now seen what an incredibly varied landscape this province is. Are we to write three separate forestry acts: one for the deciduous forest where Mr Hodgson lives, one for the mixed Great Lakes-St Lawrence forest, and one for the boreal forest in the northeast and one for the boreal forest in the northwest? I simply don't think that's workable. I don't think there's enough time in the Legislature to do all that.

The Vice-Chair: There won't be quite enough time in this committee either. This might be a good time to jump in because it is 9:30. We do appreciate your presence before the committee and that you had an opportunity. We might see you again next week in Toronto or during the clause-by-clause hearings. Certainly we'll be looking forward to hearing from your officials again. Thank you for coming and talking about your reasons and your understanding of the bill that you put before the House.

Hon Mr Hampton: Thank you very much, and I promised the sun would be here and the sun is here.


The Vice-Chair: To begin our normal process of hearing from presenters, the first presenter this morning is Mr Frank Myers, development coordinator for Fort Frances. Mr Myers, you have half an hour, and please leave time for questions and answers at the end. The committee always appreciates that.

Mr Frank Myers: Mr Chairman and members of the committee, good morning. I feel quite honoured to be able to follow the minister this morning. I'm always following the minister. For your records, my name is Frank Myers. I am the development coordinator for the town of Fort Frances. I wish to welcome all of you to our community and hope that your stay here is a pleasant one. If there is anything that I can do to make your visit more enjoyable, please don't hesitate to ask. We are very proud of our community and the amenities it has to offer, so please take time to take advantage of them.

Our community's history is based on the lumber and saw and timber industry, and today our future depends on pulp, paper and other forest products. We have a long relationship with the forests that surround us. I would like to say that Mayor Witherspoon sends his greetings and apologizes for not being able to be here today. He's in Toronto on other business and will be back later on this afternoon. He has meetings this afternoon, but I'm sure that he'll make himself available to you if you wish to speak to him.

With regard to Bill 171, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, we find this bill not to be so much different than the Crown Timber Act it replaces. Perhaps amendments to the Crown Timber Act would have been sufficient to accomplish the changes that were required. An article written by Jerri McDougall in the August 17 Westend Weekly points out the tremendous cost of a name change. She refers to the change in a company name where all signs, stationery, business cards, advertising had to be changed at great cost, or, in another case, she points out that when a woman gets married, all of her cards and documents have to be revised at a great cost and a lot of time to her in order to facilitate her new last name.

I quote a portion of Jerri's article that refers to Bill 171:

"It was presented to the Legislative Assembly as a revision to the Crown Timber Act. Even though Bill 171 was presented as a revision, an amendment repeals the Crown Timber Act and names the new set of laws the Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994.

"The legislation still applies to timber on crown land, so there is nothing misleading about the old name. The force and authority of the legislation, regardless of what it is called, will be the same, for this is the way the law works. The change is merely a political whim without substance, but a whim that will impose additional costs on the overburdened taxpayers of Ontario.

"Every document which refers to the Crown Timber Act will need to be revised in both French and English. The Crown Timber Act appears in other legislation. Eight such acts are noted in Bill 171. There is reference to the Crown Timber Act in manuals, policy statements and other documents. There is no justification for the inconvenience and additional costs which will be incurred because someone wants the name of the act changed.

"As is usually the case, there are better reasons for keeping the old name than for changing it. But in this particular case, as is usually the case, political whim will probably take precedence over logic."

The forests and most certainly forest practices affect all of us in communities such as ours. The way in which our parents and grandparents used the forest affects our daily lives today, as our care for the forest will affect our children and our grandchildren.

Fort Frances has been in the past, and still is today, heavily dependent on the forest for its survival. Of the 4,400 people in the workforce in this community, 820 of them work directly for our major employer. This is 19% of our workforce. This does not include all of the contractors and subcontractors. You could probably safely say that 50% of our workforce is directly and indirectly involved in the forest industry.

The forest industry locally will pay out approximately $40 million per year in salaries and wages, not including benefits. Our local company pays approximately $4.5 million per year in local taxes. This is 33% of our total tax revenue. We're probably no different than the majority of other single-industry towns in northwestern Ontario. Our lives and the life of our community depend on the forests.

We believe that the majority of forest companies operating in northwestern Ontario, including our major employer here in Fort Frances, are good stewards of our forest resources, for their future also depends on how they treat the forests of today.

I understand that you and members of the panel were treated to a tour last evening. You were probably, as I was, very impressed with the way our forests are now being treated. There is a tremendous difference between forest practices of 10 to 20 years ago and today.

In the new act, a forest management board will be established. If such a board is set up, it must be made up of a majority of forest industry users and those who have a direct daily contact with the forests and not those who are unfamiliar with new forests, as they will only hinder progress and the future profitability of our forest companies.

The forests and their renewal are very complicated and complex. We believe that the penalties spelled out in the act are excessive and will detract new industry from establishing facilities in Ontario and using the raw products from our forests. Only multinational companies will have the financial resources to pay such fines.

An independent board or panel should be established to assess penalties on a company or forest contractor so that the company or contractor does not become a victim of an overzealous civil servant or representative of some ministry.

The forests of northern Ontario must be kept separate from the forests of eastern and southern Ontario, for obvious reasons, as each forest has its specific use and the citizens of Ontario in each area have specific and separate uses of their own forests.

Environmentalists and other action groups should not be allowed to dictate the use of the forest outside of their region. The people who live in a particular area should be responsible for the present and future of their own forest. As a citizen of northwestern Ontario, I don't believe that I have the right to tell the people of southern Ontario how their forest should be managed, and they should not involve themselves in what I consider my forest.

There are many forest users besides those who harvest the trees. Bill 171 only addresses the one user group and assesses fees and penalties upon them. Will there be an amendment to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act to address other user groups such as the hospitality industry, recreational users and those who harvest products from the forest?

We agree fully with the establishment of a trust fund for forest regeneration and damage, especially one that will be managed by someone other than government. This is a move in a positive direction and will ensure continued funding for forest renewal.

Let us not become so overprotective and restrictive of our forests that we make our industries uncompetitive in world markets. Yes, we have to protect our forest resources, but there's a fine balance to be maintained between protective and overprotective.

The forests belong to all of us for pleasure and for employment, and all of us must be responsible in some manner for the care of this delicate resource. Without the forests, our community and many others like it would not be here.


This bill is a positive step in forest renewal and will guarantee the replacement of our forests in the future, as long as the fees do not become excessive and place a financial burden on forest companies that will force them to become uncompetitive.

The ministry itself is the forest manager for the people of Ontario. It is their job to manage the forests for us, on our behalf. This act, as the old Crown Timber Act, puts the onus on the forest company to manage the forests and their FMAs or allotted areas. This is perhaps unfair and should be looked at more closely. Other users of the forests should also have to share some of this responsibility.

This industry, as other industries, is becoming overly burdened with paperwork. I remember many years ago when I was in the aviation industry the Transport ministry inspectors used to tell us, "Go out and make money first and then do your paperwork, for without you we don't have a job." Today ministry officials say, "Do your paperwork first and, if you have any time left over, try and make a dollar." As a result, there are not many small aviation companies left in Ontario, and the same could happen to our forest companies.

Mr Miclash: Frank, I must say that it's enlightening to have your presentation after all the fuzzy stuff we've heard so far this morning. You've touched on some very good reality in terms of northwestern Ontario.

In your presentation you talked a little bit around other users. Section 12 of the act refers to local citizens' advisory committees. What I would like to do is to maybe get you to expand a little bit on what you would see a local citizens' advisory committee being composed of, the membership, and possibly a little bit of what you would see their mandate as being.

Mr Myers: I believe that there is a citizens' advisory committee already set up in the Atikokan area, but I don't believe there is one in this area and I don't know if their jurisdiction comes this far. I don't know if they have been used. A local citizens' advisory committee, in my mind, should be made up, as I mentioned, of some forest users and citizens of the community who have a knowledge of the forest.

As I mentioned, those who do not have any knowledge of the forest should not be on a committee. The forest is a very delicate thing and very complex and complicated, and you have to have knowledge of what you're doing. You just can't take someone off the street and say, "Here's a mandate," because they'll hinder progress.

Mr Miclash: What would you see their mandate being?

Mr Myers: I'm not quite sure. I don't know how far they should be allowed to go. When you're talking of harvesting of product, when you're talking of putting in roads, when you're talking of looking after the water and the flora and fauna of the forests, it's a pretty big job, and I don't know who would be willing to take that on. Am I speaking like a politician?

Mr Brown: No, no. I think you make a good point. At the beginning of your presentation you talked about the need for a new act in the first place. Amendments to the Crown Timber Act may be very much what was in order. Certainly no one suggests that there shouldn't have been some changes to the Crown Timber Act, but we heard from a presenter, I believe in Thunder Bay, who said to us: "Well, this really is not a forest sustainability act; it's just really a crown timber act. All they've done is go through and replace the word `timber' with `forest' in every appropriate spot."

Mr Bisson: Give me a break, Mike.

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, you have the floor.

Mr Bisson: Do you have to be factual on committee?

Mr Brown: Mr Bisson, I'm just repeating what a presenter said to us in Thunder Bay. As I look at the act, look at the word "sustainability" in the title, find that nobody can define it, nobody wants to define it, and hey, if we do define it, the minister says, "Maybe it should be in the regs or the manual," I mean, you give an act a title that you're going to define in a manual? I'm having some difficulty with the concept too. I wonder if you wanted to elaborate a little bit on that point.

Mr Myers: I'm not sure that I should. You're right, I believe. "Sustainability" is an all-encompassing word. I don't know if sustainability means imposing large fines on a company. I really personally don't know what sustainability means either in that sense. But we do have to have a forest that will renew itself and, in that, I'm sure the trust fund will guarantee that, and possibly that's what they mean by sustainability.

Mr Hodgson: As I mentioned earlier, the trust funds aren't created in this bill. They were created in Bill 160. Right now, forest yields have to be sustainable. That's been around for a long, long time, before my time.

You're the development coordinator for Fort Frances, and you mention the bottom line of being competitive. We've been saying that we're overtaxed and overregulated, and you see this in the additional burden of paperwork that will hinder our competitiveness. But as the development coordinator for Fort Frances, you mentioned other users of the forest and how maybe they should be paying or -- are you suggesting that they pay or just do some of this paperwork, which is in fact a payment? Do you want to elaborate on that?

Mr Myers: There are many, many other users, and right now I believe we're only taxing one user, and we're taxing the one user quite heavily. If we're getting back to sustainability of the forest, is the one user, the major user of this forest, the one who is going to have to sustain the whole forest for future uses? When they go in and harvest for their use, they are disrupting or getting close to -- the ministry is also looking after the waters that are within the forests and they're looking after other products in the forest, and the animals and so on and so forth.

How they are going to impose fees on other users, I'm not quite sure, but I know that the licensing fees to go out and harvest animals out of the forest, that money probably goes back into general revenue and we don't see that for regeneration of animals in that forest. The money for fishing licences, I have no idea where that goes. I believe that probably goes into general revenue and does not come back into fish hatcheries and the regeneration of fish stocks.

Mr Hodgson: We met with some outfitters, and the fishing licence fee I feel should be the same as the trust fund for the forest renewal.

Mr Myers: I think so too.

Mr Hodgson: That's the reason you were collecting it, for fish stocking, renewal of habitat, spawning bed rehabilitation, things such as that. But it's not being used that way; you're absolutely right. We met with outfitters from other areas, and they've said that they pay for bear management areas, they pay docking fees if they fly in and use an area.

Some people have suggested that right now the ministry feels there's a provincial interest in preserving the water quality for the fish habitat, and so they've got, you know, the 100-metre setback from water bodies of significance. If people want that to be expanded, have you thought about how you would implement any fees?

I guess what you're saying is that if you allow these groups to take away cuttable areas, that's a loss of revenue for your town in the development that would spawn from that. So what are you saying? The crown's out of money and therefore should get money from these groups?

Mr Myers: If they're taking away, they should be paying for what they're taking, but I'm not saying to increase fees on them. I'm just saying use the fees that they're paying now to be more productive in regeneration, because the fees now are lost in general revenue.

Mr Hodgson: Okay, so you're not asking for additional fees to make these people uncompetitive. You're saying that they're paying licensing fees for hunting, they're paying licensing fees for fishing, and that they should stay and help our communities up here.

Mr Myers: Yes, in our particular forest. Yes.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. Thank you.

Mr Myers: But I would like to emphasize that I don't believe the fees that are paid by any user group now should be increased. I believe the fees they are paying now should be used for a regeneration of the product.

Mr Hodgson: Well, I already feel that some of the fees we pay right now should be lowered.

Mr Myers: Oh, I'd love to see that.


Mr Bisson: First of all, just by way of introduction, I'm the member out of Timmins, Ontario, which is also in the northern part of the province.

On your comment in regard to the amount of money that is paid into licences not coming back in, one of the first things I did on being elected was to take a look at the amount of revenue generated through various licences -- fishing, hunting etc. There's a greater amount going back in than actually is paid in. Maybe the concept of going to the trust is not a bad one, but I think, just to set the record straight, the ministry actually spends more money back on fish stocks and wildlife management, habitat, all of that stuff, than the money that comes in on fees, just to clarify the record.

I want to pick up on local citizens' committees, because you made a comment that I thought was quite interesting, especially to somebody from northern Ontario. I've worked in the mining industry most of my adult life. I've been working with both the forestry and mining industries in my home riding quite diligently. One of the things that I get from the mining industries and I also get from the workers' representatives in the unions is that they want a legislative framework that is enabling, that allows them to go out and do their jobs in a way they feel they have the expertise to do.

What I heard you say through your presentation, and it was picked up by Mr Brown, is that you wanted to define "sustainability" in a really rigid way. Doesn't it make more sense to allow those people out in the bush who are doing the work now to reflect the needs of that particular forest operation through enabling legislation rather than rigid legislation? Because what I hear you saying is you want something that's more rigid. Or am I misunderstanding you?

Mr Myers: I don't want any legislation that's more rigid. I don't want any more legislation, to be quite honest. I would certainly like to see less. As I mentioned also, the companies that are in the forest are managing their resource, because if they don't, they're not going to be here in the future. They are the ones who are looking after the resource.

Mr Bisson: I guess I agree to a certain extent. I know, for example, that Malette lumber or Abitibi-Price up in my area do not do a bad job when it comes to managing. But what really caught my attention is when you talked about citizens' committees in the way that you did, because one of the biggest complaints I get back home is that a forest company will go out and prepare a five-year management plan in regard to its FMA, will go out and put a road in somewhere and be in a position of having to say that road is not accessible after a while, end up doing things that the public generally doesn't understand or know are coming. Then the communities of interest, be it the cottage associations, be it the local business people, be it the anglers and hunters, all are up in arms and are mad because they don't know what's happening.

One of the reasons behind the citizens' committee is not to approve the forest management plan but to assist in the development of the forest management plan so that all of those communities of interest that utilize the forest, because in the north we all do utilize the forest, understand what's happening and have an opportunity for input.

When you made the comment that you feel you can have only people on citizens' committees represented by those people who understand something about the forest, it made me think, because if you look at what the class EA talks about, and that's the basis of what these committees will be set up, it talks about who's going to be on those committees.

I'd ask you the following questions: Local businesses, do they have a place on local citizens' committees? Do they understand the forest? Tourism industries, anglers and hunters, native communities, the forest industry, naturalists, municipalities, trappers and other resource users, MNR, the forest industry trade unions, woodworkers, small independent loggers, chambers of commerce, economic development officers, those are all people, I understand, in my community knowing a hell of a lot more about the forest than we give them credit for. I just thought your comment was very contrary to what I see in the class EA.

Mr Myers: I've been a resident of Fort Frances all my life and I don't believe that I know as much about the forest as I probably should. I don't believe that I should be able to tell the Ministry of Natural Resources or Boise Cascade where or where not they should put a road to go in and harvest product because I do not know that much about roadbuilding in a forest.

But every time a road is built there are advertisements in our local newspaper telling us of the plan for the future, and if we wish to speak on that, we certainly have the opportunity to do so. The opportunity is there, whether I know that much about roadbuilding or the forests or not, for me to speak and have my input. But what I'm saying about a committee is that there probably should be someone on that committee much more knowledgeable than I am about that particular area they're going into.

Mr Bisson: You'll be glad to know that the recommendations of the class EA speak exactly to that and that the committee's role is not to make the forest management plan but to help and to advise. In the end, it's the company itself that makes those decisions, according to the act.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): Thank you very much for coming forward with your presentation. I found it curious that you're saying that there seemed to be a political motive for changing the name of the act and not necessarily that there was any requirement or need out there. I found it quite interesting that you would come up with a comment like that because there's been so much dialogue and discussion out there over the last number of years, with the environmental assessment and the need, that the timber act of 1952 was outdated, was not doing the job that it should be. Something had to be done to address the forest as an ecosystem and the sustainability of it and move forward with that.

Whether it was the Conservative government in power, whether it was the Liberal government in power or whether it was the NDP government in power, the act was outdated and had to be revised and updated, and along with that the name change, very similar to Boise Cascade Canada feeling that they cannot live with that name any longer and they're going to go to a new name, Rainy River Forest Products. There's a reason and a need for it in the financial markets, I guess. I'll leave that comment with you, if you want to comment further on it.

Mr Myers: As I mentioned, the forests today are much different than the forests 10 years ago. The forest today is still working under the old act, and the old act has been changing over the years. Even though they're following that act, the forest practices are changing.

Do we need a new act to bring us up to date with the changes that we have today or could we have not just made amendments to that act? I understand the world is changing, but did we have to make it so severe as to change a name when we could have used the old name and just put in a few amendments to bring us up to date today? But the forests and forest practices are much, much different and they're still using the old act.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Myers. That will conclude the half-hour allocated for you. We certainly appreciated your presence before the committee and we ask you to extend our greetings to the mayor.



The Vice-Chair: The next presentation will be on behalf of the Fort Frances Area Tribal Chiefs.

Chief George Kakeway: First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing us to make our presentation to the legislative committee.

Maybe I could at this time introduce our delegation: Rick Kosmick, staff of Treaty 3; Tribal Chief Willie Wilson; and my name is Chief George Kakeway from the Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation, known as Rat Portage. My Indian name is Nekonipenace. My clan is the Caribou. I'm also the chairman of the chiefs' committee on economic and resource development, mandated by the chiefs in assembly.

With these brief introductions, I will turn the table to the area Tribal Chief Willie Wilson for the balance of the presentation.

Chief Willie Wilson: Thank you very much, George. As well, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is Willie Wilson. I'm the tribal chief of the Fort Frances area, which consists of 10 communities in the area. I'm also the president of Mitigonaabe, which services all of Treaty 3 in forest management advisory services. I'm also the chairman of the National Aboriginal Forestry Association. My Indian name is Sinii-ni-nii. My clan is the Duck.

We are pleased to have this opportunity to speak with this committee. We are elected representatives, so we recognize the importance of answering to the constituents and trying to keep promises in the face of conflicting demands. We mention this because, in spite of the fact that the present government of Ontario says it recognizes our inherent right to self-government, most of our dealings between the elected representatives of first nations and the government of Ontario are usually with civil servants. Bureaucrats generally have different priorities than the ones elected people have. Despite this fact, Ontario legislators and first nations leaders alike are to some extent captives of the bureaucracy.

Over the past 10 years, the federal government has shifted responsibility to the province of Ontario for a number of aboriginal issues. Examples: rights, claims, social services, jobs and justice. This shift is not reflected within the provincial legislation and instead policies with permanent implications are made by bureaucrats.

We are not saying that the province should take over Canada's legislative duties, but Bill 171 illustrates that the legislators of Ontario are circumventing treaty and aboriginal rights. Recently, Howie made that statement, that that is federal jurisdiction.

In Bill 171, first nations are defined as bands within the Indian Act. This outdated piece of legislation in no way reflects our territories and our continuing jurisdiction of the lands and resources within the 55,000 square miles of Treaty 3. This is not to say the crown has no jurisdiction because in the treaty we agreed that the European settlers could enter our land. We made this treaty with representatives of the crown, but Ontario used it as a licence to take over our land and resources, which made us the poorest people in the province. Ontario's position is that the treaty was made by the federal government and isn't binding on the province.

We've been asking the province to sign a statement of respect recognizing that Ontario is bound by the terms of the treaty. This has not occurred. We urge this committee to examine that unacceptable situation.

As an example of our rights being ignored, you might refer to section 2(a) of schedule 2, An Act to express the Consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario to an Extension of the Limits of the Province: "2(a) That the province of Ontario will recognize the rights of the Indian inhabitants in the territory above described...."

This territory above described is the part of Ontario added in 1912, north of the English River. This is still law but is no longer published in the revised statutes. What justifies such an omission?

A large part of our treaty territory lies north of the English River but Ontario carries on business as if first nations and our rights are non-existent. For example, Ontario has announced potential strand board mill developers in this area with no input from first nations. Has Ontario advised these potential investors of the financial ramifications if Treaty 3 first nations' rights are not honoured?

The Environmental Assessment Board in the timber hearings ordered negotiations with first nations during forestry planning. Attached is a copy of condition 77 of the board's order. The Ministry of Natural Resources has stated it recognizes its obligation in ensuring that its programs address the terms and conditions of the board's order. There have been no such negotiations and the Ministry of Natural Resources carries on its activities ignoring our rights.

The Ministry of Natural Resources has a monopoly in the north and abuses it. The powers under the Crown Timber Act and related legislation created this monopoly. Bill 171 will only serve to strengthen that monopoly.

The sale of timber has always been essential to the provincial treasury. This has meant that the decisions are made for short-term objectives of the cabinet worried about the next election and the deficit. It also meant that the Ministry of Natural Resources' apparatus has become a processing operation situated between politicians needing money and good news and the forestry industry needing cheap trees. Nobody is watching out for the forest. Just as southern Ontario was stripped in the last century, northern Ontario is being stripped in this century.

The Anishinawbe people of Treaty 3 have special relationships with land and resources. We are the stewards of this land and it's part of our spirituality. If our treaty and aboriginal rights as outlined in section 35 of the Constitution of Canada were respected, we could work together and agree on how to manage the forest. Such an agreement would have to involve a commitment by Ontario to respect our treaty rights and include provisions for revenue-sharing and the creation of trust funds to ensure that damage to the forest can be rectified. Under section 20 of Bill 171, the authority in agreements with first nations still resides with the minister and there is no provision for first nations' jurisdiction. This is totally unacceptable.

On issues where joint action was absolutely essential, such as the Environmental Bill of Rights, we were limited in our ability to participate in a meaningful way in the structuring of the legislation to address first nations. Bill 171 is no different.

There are no jobs in our first nations, while surrounding white communities thrive on forest contracts from Queen's Park. The best Ontario can do is talk about employment equity.

Instead of Bill 171 saying our rights will be respected, it says they will be neither increased nor decreased by the legislation. The Constitution and the courts have made it clear that Ontario cannot decrease our treaty and aboriginal rights. Why is section 5 included in the bill? We state Ontario has put it there to protect itself against any interpretation that our rights might somehow be added to.

Bill 171 is part of the long history of colonial takeover of our territory. We are the only people in Ontario whose property rights are systematically abrogated. Does this committee have the authority to force revisions to this legislation to properly reflect the jurisdiction of first nations? If so, we would enter into forest management agreements. This would mean development of a forest management practices code which would take into account Anishinawbe values.

It would also provide for protection of our traditional uses of resources, sacred sites and our domestic requirements for products from the land. It would also protect our treaty rights such as trapping, fishing and hunting, and dealing with land claims. Presently there are land claims in respect to large tracts of our territory. Huge sums of public money are being spent to fight the claims and treaty and aboriginal rights to lands and resources. These claims are ignored as Ontario goes about its business of selling off the public forest.

For the record, we are opposed to Bill 171 as written. We have not been consulted about it as the law requires. It abrogates and ignores our treaty and aboriginal rights. It is part and parcel of a continuing theft of our lands and resources, and dishonours the crown and the people of Ontario.


The Vice-Chair: Thank you for appearing. Mr Hodgson will have some comments or questions on behalf of the Conservative Party.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you very much. There are a lot of people who share your concern about expropriation of land, and I come from an area where wetland policies and these others are seen as an infringement on their land as well. I'm not an expert in this field and I'm not a lawyer who's been around the constitutional debate, but I just have one question. When was Treaty 3 signed?

Chief Wilson: In 1873, October 3.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. This is just mainly information that I'm asking for, but in section 35 of the Constitution that was brought back to Canada in 1981-82, aboriginal rights were undefined but were moved ahead of federal and provincial law. Is that correct?

Chief Wilson: Yes.

Mr Hodgson: But there has to be a provincial interest for all the people of Ontario in terms of defining what conservation is.

Chief Wilson: The definition of that act has not been defined such that it's agreeable. In principle it's there.

Mr Hodgson: In principle, but nobody has defined what conservation is for all the people of Ontario.

Okay. This is a sustainable forestry act for all ecosystems. Surely that would be consistent, in the motherhood statement that it is, with the motherhood statement of conservation of Ontario's resources, would it not?

Chief Wilson: I think if you're taking a real close look at what this act and the authorities of people -- I just want to give you one example, and I also want to share with you that I did sit on the audit for the boreal forest as one of the three members who were appointed by the Ontario government. In doing that, in accepting that position and accepting the conditions of that position, I served as a committee member. In the observations in my association with various forest practices, I've been involved in the national -- in fact, I'm involved with a national piece of legislation right now that deals with first nations. RPFs, registered professional foresters, I believe should be independent, because at the moment right now foresters who work for companies are there for the company.

Companies are telling these foresters, "Get the wood to the mill as cheap as you can." Foresters who work for the province or for governments are saying, "Protect my butt; that's what your job is." Yet we have foresters who know how to manage forests that we're not utilizing independently. I think that's something we should be looking at and I think that this act does not address a lot of that.

There's a lot of motherhood statements in there. It certainly doesn't answer to the rights issues that we talk about. The government of Ontario certainly doesn't sit with us and ask us or even negotiate or even talk to us at a table and say, "What the hell do these things mean?" You are showing that ignorance of not understanding what our rights are.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. Up to this point, have you been involved in the drafting of the bill? Have you been consulted up to this point? There have been some groups that were involved in a workshop for the regs. Have you been involved yourself at all?

Chief Wilson: No, I haven't. Neither has our territorial organization, which is Treaty 3, and our tribal council. There may have been some questions or letters written to various bands. You know what that does? It divides and conquers our nations, and certainly that's not acceptable. That's not consultation. When the government of Ontario or the Minister of Natural Resources puts it into a newspaper and says, "This is what we're going to be doing," that's not meaningful consultation.

When I make reference to meaningful consultation -- as you know, we are the poorest nation. We don't have the kinds of resources to be able to address in your terms, in the language that you understand, in the method that you want to understand. I'd like to have that dialogue with you, but I need the resources to be able to do it as well. No, we have not.

Mr Carr: One other question too: You said you sat as part of the audit and I just wondered if you could give us a general overview of what you found. Obviously there isn't much time to do it; it would take a long time to get into much detail, but basically, as one of the members who sat looking at the audit, if you could sum it up, how would you say your impression was of what you found?

Chief Wilson: I think if we're looking at the last generation, certainly the industry has improved. If we compare industry to government, industry has improved tremendously, a lot better than government has. The reason for that is because of the bureaucracy. I think, just in those observations, we can do a lot more.

But at the same time, when we look at the ecosystem and we look at the values of first nations -- and I try and compare those. I think we have 478 trappers in this area, for an example, who have now formed an association who are telling me, "This is what's happening to our fur-bearing animals." In doing a management plan, we should be incorporating those interests. We should never be in a situation where we're cutting out the trappers' livelihood. I can give you an example right here in this area, in this territory, and I can give you a lot of examples throughout Ontario, throughout that same area, where we have cut out those trappers, we have cut out the livelihood of tourism, we've cut out a lot of spiritual areas. We've cut a lot of history out of Ontario without even thinking.

You talk to me about the audit. I think we have a lot of work to do. There were recommendations made by the audit team and today I have not seen that taking place. It's been accepted, but where's it at? I think this process may help that.

Mr Bisson: Thank you very much for coming to us and presenting today. I guess my first question is that I hear what you're saying in regard to native people really feeling as if they're left out of the process. I think by and large that's true; over the past hundred-and-some-odd years in this country, we don't have a very good record when it comes to dealing with our first nations and we need to do better. But I ask myself this question, that through the entire travels of this committee, I believe, and I may be corrected here, you're the first aboriginal group to present to this committee. I understand, coming from northern Ontario, that the forests and ecosystem in itself is very important to the people who live within my area who are members of a first nation. Why are you the first?

That's a dangerous question for my part. I'm going to get in trouble here, I know it.

Chief Wilson: I don't want to put you through a history lesson here. Obviously, you admitted to the ignorance. I think you should try to educate yourself, since you represent the people here. You probably are representative of some of the first nations people in your own territory. I think you should be talking to them. Why are they not doing it? Let me give you some examples why not.

We don't have the resources to be able to come to these kinds of things. We don't have the resources to prepare these kinds of papers that you talk about. I'm willing to sit with you, but you've got to be willing to listen. If the time and the resources and the kinds of constraints that we have in our own first nations are provided, then I think we can meet your kinds of demands, we can meet your kinds of schedules, but I think we need to sensitize you as well as educate you where we're coming from. The balance sheet of our resources does not change. The balance sheet of industry does not change because of that. But I think there is going to be a different method of managing our forests if you listen to us, if we listen. I have to take your concerns into consideration as well.


Mr Bisson: I appreciate your answer because I did communicate with native bands in my area, and that was the answer I got, saying: "We have a whole bunch of other things to do and now you want us to come and present. We're still trying to put sewers and houses in our own communities and you want us to talk about the forest." I think you're right; the point is well taken.

I want to bring you back, though, to section 20 of the act. You made the point -- and I'm not going to quote this -- under section 20 that it abrogated your rights, I guess, to the forests. Maybe I'm reading this differently than you and maybe I need to hear what you have to say. The way I understand section 20, what it means is that it, within part II of the bill, allows the minister to enter into an agreement with a first nation if they decide that they want to develop the forest in their area that's under their jurisdiction and that a management board be formed, an FMA, the same as any other forest company. How do you read that? Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

Chief Wilson: Is that what you read?

Mr Bisson: That's how I read it.

Chief Wilson: Let me tell you what I read.

Mr Bisson: Tell me what you read.

Chief Wilson: Let me give you two differences, and I'm using your language.

Mr Bisson: I should know better than to spar with you.

Chief Wilson: First of all, this word says "may." Forget about it. But if you said "shall," that's a different meaning, right?

Mr Bisson: I'd get into an argument with you on that one.

Chief Wilson: Now, I'm trying to use your language to justify my -- if we were talking in my language, you'd have some difficulties as well. I think there has to be something definite, that it "shall enter into agreements when applicable."

The Vice-Chair: Mr Wood has some questions.

Mr Bisson: Can I just respond --

The Vice-Chair: I think we should give the parliamentary assistant some time.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much for coming forward with your presentation. Coming from Kapuskasing and having native people living all around me in reserves on either end -- New Post and Constance Lake -- there are a number of agreements that have been reached through the development of cogenerating power, through the development of tree planting agreements, through the development of harvesting operations in the Cochrane area, around New Post and in Constance Lake, in conjunction with Lecours, and I think there are agreements that 50% of the workforce shall be aboriginal people in the sawmill operation. There are agreements that have been worked out, and they're involved in the local committees.

I just want to get a reaction from you as to the movement that has been taking place in the last few years there as far as trying to use our resources to create some employment and create some stability in the aboriginal communities is concerned, if this is the direction that we should be continuing to push further in. I'm really referring to section 20 of the act. You're saying that the word "may" is in there; I'm saying that the word "shall" -- it is happening out there in agreements that have been worked out with MNR, with the government, with local committees. If you want to comment on that, thank you.

Chief Wilson: Not to be -- I'd better forget this next statement.

Obviously, you have something to offer. I think you should share it with the rest of the country. If they're doing it in one place, then obviously it can happen somewhere else and some of those agreements can be improved upon. Usually agreements, the first agreements, are there to improve on. I think you can improve on those kinds of things.

I'm not talking about an agreement between two people who are there for the profit of that venture; I'm talking about the saviour of a forest. In our situation here, our treaties, I believe, if given the opportunity -- and I think you will see that in the near future, if we have to use your court systems and if we have to use other measures -- are going to be the protector of these lands. If we have to force that issue, then that's what we may have to do.

But I think that the kinds of agreements that you're talking about, we can easily do them inside here. Let me give you an example of how we are living in this area. Here we are with the Minister of Natural Resources from this territory. I have a sawmill in my community that does not even have timber rights. Can you imagine that? We have to buy from the open market. Here's an order that was told to the government of Ontario and still it's happening today.

We have other situations. We can give you plenty of examples of where the government of Ontario is ignoring this order. We need to talk about that. Let's not talk about it in the newspapers. Let's not ignore your responsibility and try and slough it off back to the federal government or whatever. Let's talk about it. We're reasonable people. I want you to understand that; I hope you understand that.

Mr Wood: Yes, I understand that fully. Thank you very much for the presentation this morning.

Mr Miclash: Thank you very much, Chief Kakeway and Chief Wilson. I thank you for the presentation as well. You've certainly brought a varied view to the hearings. I go back to page 2 of your presentation, where you're talking about the request for the province to sign the statement of respect. I think it would be interesting for us to hear a little bit more about that and your views on that.

Chief Wilson: Since this government has taken over office, we had a vision with this government. It had made a lot of promises to us and our hopes certainly were up. We tried to develop mechanisms on how we can even talk to this government. The Statement of Respect was no different than a lot of other methods in being able to say to the government: "I want you to listen to me. I want to be able to listen to you."

In the signing of our treaty we said, "I will lend you my son for you to use, but I will also want to take yours for me to use," and that's really what we're saying. The Statement of Respect by the government of Ontario, this NDP government, certainly would have said to us: "We are prepared to sit down with you. We're prepared to respect your government as we want you to respect our government." But there has to be a process. It does not change. What we're trying to do is improve the conditions of this country. We just went through an economic crisis, and when we go through an economic crisis like we have, who is it going to hit the worst? It's the poorest people of Ontario. And who are the poorest people of Ontario? We are. This gentleman asked me why some of these people are not coming here. Ask yourselves that.

We've had other mechanisms that we've introduced to this government. Yes, we've had ceremonies, but that's the end of it. We don't do anything else after that except the fact that: "This is what we have done for the Indians. We have signed a piece of paper. Now we're going to recognize," or, "I sat with some Indian." Well, that's got to stop. We've got to get some action.

Mr Miclash: I appreciate that. As you know, I represent part of the Treaty 3 area and of course I would be quite interested in hearing more about the financial ramifications if Treaty 3 first nations' rights are not honoured. When you talk about the strand board mills, if you could maybe expand on what you're meaning there. Do you want to do that?

Chief Wilson: Let me expand on the order itself. We have 55,000 square miles in the area of Treaty 3. You have within the government of Ontario FMAs which are coming up very shortly. You have crown management units which are up for discussions. We need to participate in those discussions in a very meaningful way. We require the resources to participate meaningfully.

Just to give you an example, we have only one first nations female forester in all of Canada. We only have five or six foresters we can go to in all of Canada. Now, when we ask these people to come and help us, they do it at their own financial risk, because we can't afford them. That order said, in (a), it's to provide opportunities and income associated with bush and mill operations in the vicinity of aboriginal communities.

These two mills are within 55,000 square miles, within the 25 communities that it's going to service. If we take that order, then this committee I think has to do something to make sure the government of Ontario is talking to the first nations about some of the rights issues I talked about and certainly should not allow industry to become the liability of this government.


It also says, in (b), "Supplying wood to wood processing facilities such as sawmills...." I've given you that one example. Do you want more? We can provide that.

"Facilitation of aboriginal third-party licence negotiations...." What's wrong with an Indian being party to some of your licensing? What's wrong with the first nations becoming a beneficiary of some of that licensing? That's all we're asking.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much. You have certainly raised some very, very important questions that will be a challenge to the committee members to deal with. We're continuing the hearings next week in Toronto and then there will be clause-by-clause in the middle of September and then of course there will be further debate and discussion in the House when it is brought back to Parliament. As I say, your presentation was the first one from the native community and we certainly appreciate the viewpoints that you have brought forward.

Chief Wilson: Just one last comment: I hope that your democratic process does not prevail, where if you have 100 other people who've made presentations compared to one first nations, those 99 people prevail in the recommendations.


The Vice-Chair: The Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association has cancelled. However, the Northern Forest Coalition is represented and Mr Bob Axford is willing to make his presentation now.

Mr Bob Axford: My name is Bob Axford. I'm a consultant for the Northern Forest Coalition.

Ms Joan Goule: I'm Joan Goule, the wife of a contractor and a member of the coalition.

Mr Axford: Joan is going to read some of the presentation into the record. We've handed copies out to all of you. If anybody doesn't have one, I have one here for you, and we have additional for the press if they require it. Joan will speak to some of the issues of operation and I may want to speak to some of the issues of policy.

Ms Goule: Developed during the last two years as a desperate measure to prevent frontier independent contractors from becoming extinct, the coalition has come to represent an alternative and informed voice, particularly on issues of socioeconomics in resource extraction.

The coalition has generally taken the position that people who work in the bush traditionally, for a number of reasons, get very little say and very little involvement in the timber management process. As a result, there is a tendency to formulate extraction policies based on input primarily from consumption officials, both private and public. Policy written by default has had some dire consequences to frontier employment and investment, and the Bill 171 before the committee again poses such future possibilities.

Generally, we view new legislation as necessary, but this Bill 171 is premature and lacking in a philosophical and cooperative approach. It seems to be an exercise in control, not an exercise in management. Considering that many of the backup regulations are incomplete, it allows for a great deal of emphasis shifting from where the almost innocuous document sits today.

As for risk and potential liability, in the northwest some big companies cut almost nothing themselves, instead depending on an assortment of little guys to do the job. The production of timber, particularly for smaller operators, is difficult at the best of times, and relationships with financial institutions regularly shift from one crisis to the next. The potential implementation of massive and high-security-level compliance penalties may just be the straw that stimulates another round of shutdowns for a few more hardworking northerners.

As an alternative, we suggest more of a reliance on site-specific contracts, in that the errant operator has an obligation to make a situation right to the person or group or piece of ground offended, rather than simply having the province operate the penalties as a cash cow for general revenue. There is no backup documentation on the calculation of financial penalties, which in itself arouses suspicion. But if the ministry's intention is to drive someone out of business, which is happening, why not do it by removing or reducing the licence?

The proposed formidable penalties not only take down the company but, because of the priority level, all of the operator's myriad of related local creditors too. If penalties to this degree are really necessary, let them be paid back to the district for silviculture, make them reflect the size of the operator, and have the recommendation for penalty reviewed with the new citizens' committee.

There are numerous natural risks unique to timber harvest, such as fire and weather and insect infestation. Nature is tough and undeniable, but the government adds a few more and not-fully-necessary wrinkles like land withdrawals for wilderness, native issues, old growth, areas of concern, moose corridors, caribou grounds etc. The new problem now is the cumulative cost of compliance consultation. Nobody minds getting the public involved, but it is the ministry itself that has no respect or appreciation for the operators' valuable time.

With all of these additional demands, there is an added element of something business abhors: unpredictability. Lately, with the reorganization to improve client services, untrained, non-timber personnel are called on to deal with timber issues. They either tend to lose their common sense with a by-the-book, knee-jerk reaction or, worse still, the operator will be shut down waiting for a decision while the wizard ponders at his convenience.

The situation is already bad now, and unless there is a brand-new attitude, the new bill looks like it will make consultation coagulation even worse. The point here is that in an industry struggling for existence, there is a rapidly escalating cumulative compliance cost that MNR is almost totally responsible for and yet totally oblivious to.

Scaling: This is a highly contentious issue. MNR should either get in or get out. What would happen all over the rest of the province if food, which is sold by weight in pounds, had no standard and everyone was allowed to bring their own scales to the grocery store with their own version of a pound? There would be chaos and commercial relationships would break down. That scenario, as preposterous as it sounds, is pretty close to what is happening in timber. MNR has abdicated its responsibility on scaling, and the horror stories abound.

Mr Axford: I'd just refer you at this point to the last yellow sheet on the presentation, clearly indicating that they will not enter into or arbitrate scaling disputes of a commercial nature.

Ms Goule: The MNR has said they are not responsible. We think they are irresponsible.

Currently, there are some operational problems regarding metric, common factors and the weigh factors. When dealing with these evaluating tools and when considering redocumentation of the scaling manuals, we hope that you will write these in layman's terms.


Mr Axford: The other example that's on there is on your white sheet, the second-to-last sheet. It'll give you an indication that -- I think we checked a run with one operator of 42 loads, and 90% of those loads had a cull on it -- 90%. The guy's sitting in double jeopardy. If he doesn't pick up the stuff in the bush, he's going to get tagged out there. If he takes it in, he's going to get culled for it, so he's got a problem. That is a typical example and it gives you some indication of the same-size loads going to different locations and all the different values of them.

Ms Goule: Since MNR has determined it will do nothing, then the least that should happen is that the bill should create some linkage with the Ministry of Labour to arbitrate the facts. For half a dozen types of scaling there are probably 100 pages of description, but for mass scaling, which is the only way almost every stick of wood in the northwest is measured, there are only two pages. None of the conversion factors and cull rates are documented or dependable.

As a further matter on scaling, we can find no reference to the highly questionable situation when a person or a company has an impartial scaler's job and has direct pecuniary interest in the outcome of the scaling result.

Trust fund: Because the government, of all stripes, has such an appalling record on silviculture, we are in favour of some type of trust fund. One of the key reasons for the creation of FMAs was the government's failure to do reforestation. Because the government took the royalties and spent them elsewhere, officials decided to remove the temptation by making industry itself responsible instead and FMAs became the solution. Even in recent years, and in spite of whopping and punitive increases in stumpage which were so extortionary that many operators shut down, revolted and teetered on bankruptcy -- in spite of that crazy cash grab, the funding for regeneration still seems to be continually cut back.

How can anyone be assured things will change? There is absolutely no backup documentation on the trust fund. To begin with, there is a question of funding remedial work. The cost for this activity should be borne not from present harvest area and stumpage charges but from general revenue where the original stumpage money went in the first place.

Mr Axford: That's an important concept that hasn't showed up in your other documentation from other presenters. You might want to think about that one.

Ms Goule: Secondly, we fear that the current practice of funding silviculture and regeneration nearest the production facilities will continue gradually eroding the long-term productivity of outlying areas and with it any possibility of production facilities moving further into the frontier. This is both environmentally unacceptable and, on an issue of equity alone, is patently unfair.

In another vein, will the introduction of new revenue diminish the operational budget of MNR itself? If so, we can expect a further degradation of the forest, particularly in the frontier, and the fund will never deliver as intended. Will the fund be treated like fishing licence revenue and be used for enforcement and not enhancement? Can the minister of the day decide that something in downtown Toronto or some other unrelated partisan proposal is a legitimate cause for a disbursal from the trust fund?

From still another angle comes the question of a small operator being forced to do silviculture on his own cutting area. Cutting and getting the wood to the mill is one thing, but the capital investment and skills required for such things as scarification and replantation is another. There are many open questions, the first of which has to do with money. How much does he get paid? Does he have the right to default, and at what cost? Does he have the right of first refusal to contract the work to himself?

Although we are generally in favour of a dedicated fund, this bill needs to be much more explicit about its composition and management.

The class EA process: Frontier people, and Red Lake people in particular, have had a very long and thoughtful involvement in timber policy way back to the West Patricia land use plan and the Royal Commission on the Northern Environment. The EA finding said it heard us loud and clear.

This proposed bill and its attached backup are most seriously and probably fatally flawed in the EA area. If this bill is supposed to reflect the EA, which of course the law requires, somebody had better go back to the drawing board. What is happening on socioeconomics? Do you think all of our hard work to get these included has been forgotten? The board made some very specific recommendations based on testimony that, for example, illustrated the unfair difference in tax bases alone for production versus consumption communities.

Further, where are the promises to do more socioeconomic analysis? In spite of the board ruling that allocation of benefit is a legitimate concern, we believe the same old players are continuing to play the same old game with impunity. Allocation issues are being dealt with right now by the same people behind closed doors, which will preclude any reasonable hope of change. How is a person to have any faith when this happens?

If the MNR were serious, we believe that with our help this component of their operation could be fixed. Unfortunately, they have not been interested. In fact, they have had to be dragged kicking and screaming for as far as we have already come, and we have great concerns about recidivism. Not only does this bill need to reflect the spirit of change; also there has to be a mechanism for constant evolution. Our view is that both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law should reflect the benefit of the people it seeks to serve. This must be remedied.

On self-management: Speaking of having faith, how about the management of crown units? Who do we really expect to police these? Who will be accountable for errors -- the district cutter or the limit operator, which I believe in this case you're talking about the ministry --

Mr Axford: It could be viewed as MNR being the limit operator.

Ms Goule: A solution to this problem might be to directly allocate the crown unit to the nearby community and thus avoid the obvious accountability conflict. An alternative is to remove the enforcement arm from the MNR entirely.

With the citizens' committee, we applaud the bill's efforts to drive problem-solving down locally, but dispute resolutions are still weak. An element of cost or risk would stimulate solutions more urgently.

By and large, the majority of MNR people are pretty decent, but everyone knows there exists a small vocal minority of provincial employees who are not. To what extent will the citizens' committee be able to influence a determined individual on an operational basis? Secondly, what about the requests for bump-ups in situations where the parties are blatantly opposed? Will the MNR scuttle such a request politically? Would it not be better, particularly if the consumption region overrides the extraction district, to grant a mandatory bump-up when and if 90% of the citizens' committee concurs?

Further on the citizens' committee, it is unclear how the reps will be chosen. There could be potential biases, such as the district manager appointing half a dozen quiet "yes men." We suggest election from sponsor groups and automatic appointment if the candidate abides by preset obligations to tolerable and civil practice.

In conclusion, with the notable exception of unmitigated stumpage increases, we do see some signs of improvement in the MNR, particularly under Mr Hampton. We are, however, petrified that once the bill is passed and once attention is diverted, we will be back to business as usual. Ontario's timber is an important resource which can produce a multitude of benefits in employment, royalties, taxation and trade balance, but only if the ministry stops deliberately dissociating its management leverage actions from the consequences of business relationships.

MNR has treated business relationships in a very cavalier fashion. There are more than just a few times that MNR has acted like a loose cannon, clueless as to the consequences. As they tinker and tamper with the pieces that make up our resource economy, our demand to them and to you, as you craft this bill, is to be ultrasensitive to socioeconomics.

Frankly, the north cannot afford MNR's current arrogant and lofty approach. We urge you to view carefully the fragile but viable base employment harvesters create in order that we may go on producing and hiring and contributing for ourselves, our direct employees, our spinoff service activity, our local communities and the province as a whole.

This legislation, Bill 171, should be tabled or withdrawn until the rest of the pieces are attached or until either the MNR or some other ministry is prepared to deal with socioeconomics, exactly the way the EA ruling specified.


Mr Axford: I'll just refer you to the ministry's own publication, the Economic Impact of Logging in Ontario and Regions. On page 10 of that publication, the top graph, you'll notice that the ratio of the amount of activity in logging to other activity it creates is almost nine to one. Second, on page 18 of the same document -- again, from the government's own publication -- it notes that the benefits accruing from activity such as logging in the northwest accrue not locally but about three times as much provincially as locally and, again, about four times as much federally as locally.

We're trying to fight for an industry that's out there, but for goodness' sake, we're fighting for more than the people who are there. There's quite a bit of spinoff benefit in this thing that people ought to realize, and it's extremely fragile.

We've shortened up some comments on the Carman exercise, but I would suggest to you that the Carman exercise is generally something that's dealing with business relationships throughout the industry. This bill, Bill 171, doesn't reflect any activity of the Carman exercise, and as such it's really difficult, because the bases of socioeconomics are what business relationships are existing out there. How many people have got jobs? Where are they? How stable are they? Those kinds of things. That's part of the Carman exercise. It's not reflected in here. We're kind of concerned about that.

There's an issue of harvester versus purchaser that has to be dealt with, and I know there have been some discussions about such things as graduated stumpage. None of that showed up, so we're a little on the concerned side.

But to shorten it up, we want to stop about there and give you an opportunity to ask some questions.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much for your presentation. Just on your last comments, my comments and questions are going to relate around what you referred to as the Carman exercise, which in today's standard is very similar to the FMA agreements that were negotiated and put in place. They don't necessarily reflect in the timber act of 1952, but they were business relationships and negotiations that took place.

I can assure you that negotiations are very intense at this moment. They are continuing, and the attempts of Bob Carman on behalf of the government are proceeding and hopefully agreements will be ready to have ink in a very short period of time.

On the second page of your Carman exercise there are comments that the battlegrounds you have seem to be between the independent loggers and the operators and the large companies. In one comment you're saying that they take very little wood during the wintertime, and then all of a sudden during spring they wake up at the end. You're saying that --

Mr Axford: Some of those things are put in there to illustrate that there are some problems. I don't want to dwell on the problems.

Mr Wood: Yes.

Mr Axford: I want to illustrate that the government has a role here of keeping some order in commercial relationships. The private sector can worry about how they're going to relate to each other if there are some standards or some order in it.

Mr Wood: This is the question that I want to put to you. You're saying that there are problems, as you've related to us. What is the answer for them to resolve those problems that there are between the independent operators, the workers who are out there with the large companies? How should we deal with that in Bill 171?

Mr Axford: This is a really hard question to answer in 10 seconds, but two of the simpler solutions are to look at something in graduated stumpage by distance. You've got to do something in there. The second thing is that there's got to be some order and some standards as to how big a cord is. Then you can have some comparisons of who you're selling it to and whether you're getting your buck for it. When everybody has their own measure of what a cord is, you've got some problems.

Mr Wood: Scaling manuals are part of the new act.

Mr Axford: I don't want to get into the technical side of it, but I can tell you that it's pretty clear that at some scales you'll get what loggers would consider a good scale and at other scales you'll go "awk." You just know you're going to get beat.

Mr Wood: In your presentation, once again, it's in the Carman exercise saying that people too far away from the community are delivering wood or taking contracts from around this area and it's not economically viable for them to do it.

Mr Axford: No. If you're at the outside of the working circle, it's tough for you to run across to the other side of the working circle and work. You can ease it. You can probably live in Dryden and harvest out of a number of areas quite easily, but there's no benefit to those areas. I would probably take roughly the same argument as the native groups, that there ought to be some benefit to communities somewhere.

Mr Wood: How do we resolve that?

Mr Axford: That's going to take more than 10 seconds for me to answer. But I'll be happy to work on that with people who are seriously interested. I think the argument we make in this paper is that we need MNR to take it seriously that this has to be resolved. I haven't seen that attitude yet.

Mr Mammoliti: Thank you very much for coming. I just have one question. It relates to a comment that you made earlier, and it's a pretty consistent comment actually. I'd like an answer to it in terms of how it relates to the bill. A number of people, when they're in front of the committee and they talk about the relationship between them and the MNR civil servants, always say: "There are a lot of nice civil servants; there are a lot of nice staffers. However, we have some problems with some of them." I'm hoping that you might share with us some of those problems and how that might relate to this bill. I still haven't heard that. Even though I've heard some criticism, I haven't heard how those negative comments would pertain to the bill. I'd like you to elaborate on that.

Mr Axford: Yes, I will answer that. The answer is that we're probably not going to answer it, because the instant I give examples or Joan gives examples, somebody out in the field is going to pay the price. There is an intimidation level that is just unheralded.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay, and I respect you for that. I just need you to understand that you come in front of the committee, and a number of you have done this, a number of individuals have come to the committee and are critical about the relationship they have with MNR and yet have been reluctant to tell us about what those problems might be. I think that's a little bit unfair to the committee.

Mr Axford: It is. I agree it's a problem.

Mr Mammoliti: And to the staff, for that matter, as well.

Mr Axford: Yes. Even as an outside consultant, I have difficulty giving them to you because I know I expose a client every time I do it.

Mr Mammoliti: Okay. I just thought I'd mention that.

Mr Axford: Joan, do you want to respond any differently than that?

Ms Goule: No. I was not the writer in this and I would like that to be documented; I am only reading this.

Mr Miclash: Bob and Joan, I too thank you for your presentation this morning. It's always good to hear from the good people of Red Lake. You certainly do bring forth the perspective of the independent logger and the independent person out there. I think it's something that we must learn more about and hear more from.

I'd like to start off by going to the trust funds. You indicate in your presentation that you're in agreement with the trust funds. I must agree with you that in terms of the backup documentation that we're looking for, it's not there. I'm looking for a little feedback from you in terms of how you see the setup of these trust funds and how you see the money actually being reallocated to the resource.

Mr Axford: I'm not quite sure what you're after, but what we wanted to do is see what MNR's documentation would give us on it. There just wasn't any to even read, but we're scared it's going to end up essentially like fishing licences, where they lean towards more regulation by more enforcement. It doesn't deliver more fish on the ground or more trees on the ground. There should be some accountability. I think a number of people have referred to the issue of, what is sustainability; what are we going to grow?

We're in favour of motherhood, yes. We'd sure like to see what it means on the ground.


Let me give you one example, and this is partly in response to Len Wood's comment: If there's stumpage paid in the Red Lake community, let's see some of that stumpage go back to the silviculture in the Red Lake community. There's no guarantee of that, because there's simply no guarantee of anything here.

It just needs more fleshing out, and you can't really make something into law that leaves itself so unclear. I think there are people willing to make suggestions. I'm not trying to make a whole bunch of suggestions today; I'm trying to say, "Look, this is a problem area before you go any further."

Mr Miclash: As you probably know, in Thunder Bay we heard from an independent contractor. Just quoting him out of what was under the heading "Plans for Forests Could Kill Area Jobs," he indicated as an independent contractor that the bottom line is it's going to kill the little contractor. I just wanted to get some more feedback from you on some of the costs that you see it adding to the little contractor and how you would agree with that statement or disagree with it.

Mr Axford: I think one of the ones that are in this document have to do with administrative penalties. That's the first and most obvious one, if it goes to $15,000 and doesn't require an outside body to look at it: $15,000 will wipe out a number of our local contractors, and the difficulty we tried to illustrate here, which is a new one, is that because of the level of security of a government penalty, it comes above an unsecured creditor like the gas station in the community. So what you're really doing is punishing somebody somewhere down the line. If you wanted to regulate the guy, there are other ways to regulate him. There are contractual things you can do, but just taking one item, the penalty itself, that risk is going to make the bankers just scary. We're already in trouble. Joan, do you want to answer that better than I do?

Ms Goule: I was just going to say, Frank, as you know, we've been back and forth about this stumpage fee and right now we don't even know whether or not we're going to be able to survive the high rate of stumpage fees and area fees right now. If they do impose these high fines like this, and we're struggling the way we are right now with the stumpage fees and area charges, it would just automatically put people out of business.

For most of these infractions, and I can talk from experience, I know of one where we had someone cut over the line. Our branch in Red Lake actually closed us down. We couldn't haul or anything. In fact, I think I spoke to you about that.

Mr Axford: There you go, George; there's one for you.

Ms Goule: We were down for quite a while, because they just didn't really know what to do, so we were not only losing money because we couldn't haul wood, we couldn't cut, and they couldn't decide what the penalty should be. If they do go to this, they're going to be having higher penalties yet. They'll just automatically close the doors.

Mr Miclash: I appreciate your reiterating that point, Joan, and the minister is here to hear that today. Again, you come up with some good points as to how this is going to have an effect on such operations that you're talking about, and I appreciate those.

Mr Axford: If I may, Mr Miclash, the ones most at risk are the ones that are on the periphery, that have a base there with a higher cost level, because they just can't move elsewhere and they can't do anything else.

Mr Hodgson: I really enjoyed your presentation. It's right on. I've heard these stories my whole life.

To answer George's inquiry about specifics, there's a thing called government chill. Not everybody has the resources to hire Toronto lawyers, and when somebody says they may do this or they may do that as a work prescription, you've got to be nice to them, because as was mentioned, if you're out of work, you've still got the truck payments, you've got to pay the gas station and you've got the mortgage on the house and you can't afford five months off, because you want to know how to properly address this water crossing or to build your road in.

I really enjoyed your report on the cumulative costs of compliance. We've heard this from a number of small independents, and it's not just with this act, but there's a whole variety of regulations that have been implemented, and the operators' valuable time. We don't hear from many operators, because they've got to be out there working. I know the people in my area who are independents work awfully hard. They start early in the morning and go till late at night, and then you're expected to read reports and come in and make a presentation.

The scaling: Why has that not been addressed, in your opinion? It just makes sense to me that you would have a uniform scale. It's the same in my area. It actually works two or three different ways. You have to be fairly sharp at this business. If you own the land, you want to be sure of what you're getting. If you're cutting the wood and taking it to the mill, the margins are so small that you've got to be accountable for that. How come that hasn't been addressed? Do you have any opinions on that?

Ms Goule: I don't know quite how to answer that.

Mr Hodgson: It's addressed in every other industry.

Ms Goule: Yes, I realize it.

Mr Hodgson: Let me word it a different way, then. You've got a recommendation: The MNR either gets in or gets out. What do you mean by that?

Ms Goule: Like I said before, I did not write this. I think I would tend to be a little cautious as to what I'm saying about the bill from a contractor's point of view.

Mr Axford: You see, there is something at risk if you tamper with it. Somebody's profit is at risk; let's put it that way. It's real simple. And MNR has said clearly they have no interest in the commercial negotiation process. What we're saying very simply is: "Look, you're leveraging. You're moving things. You're causing things to happen. You've got to be sensitive to what's going out there. Even if it gets you into standards of weights and measures, at least you could go that far. But you must be sensitive to what you're doing, because you are affecting commercial relationships whether you like it or not."

That's the whole basis of this presentation. And they have just been dragged kicking and screaming into it. The EA says you've got to do something about it, but they're not so interested and they're not in a hurry to fix that problem.

Mr Hodgson: The graduated stumpage charge, I can see how it can work on what's referred to now as an FMA, but how does it work on a crown unit where the wood is bought competitively? You've mentioned in here that it's becoming more of a service industry. I assume what you mean by that is you can market it other places around the province, other mills and --

Mr Axford: You can, but the major portion of the cost and the major variable in the cost is distance.

Mr Hodgson: I realize that.

Mr Axford: One MNR study clearly identified that as the biggest single variable. So if you want to do an environmentally balanced harvest, you've got to do something about changing the price of the far distant wood. In Red Lake we are two-and-a-half hours from Dryden and three hours from Kenora if you're driving in my car; a little bit longer if you're in a pulp truck.

There's a cost associated with that, and the mill essentially wants to buy that wood at the same price as wood that was 20 miles away. So you're going to have a hard time selling your product. Even though you've got a quota up there, you may not be able to market that whole quota. What we're saying is that the Carman exercise and a couple of other exercises in values were looking at the possibility of changing stumpage so that it would be more like BC, where it would have some reflection of distance. That would give you a more environmentally balanced harvest. It would also do a lot more for some of the outlying communities. It's a useful process.

The problem is that if you're going to do that, do you raise the price of the stumpage 20 miles from the mill to lower it at 200 miles? You've got a problem there. Somebody's going to pay. The minister's sitting with a revenue-neutral mandate. It's going to cost somebody. That's why you have the Carman exercise.

Ms Goule: You were saying about the dues there. We have a big problem selling our allowable cut, and if we don't sell our allowable cut, it of course goes to another contractor who can sell his allowable cut. Of course, the bigger you are, the more you sell.

Now, with stumpage, we have an opportunity to sell wood to Buchanan in Sioux Lookout -- or Hudson, I believe. But when you take the distance of the haul and just everything in general, we cannot make a dollar on that cord, or it may be possibly $1.10 or something like that. So we don't bother selling it. Before the stumpage fees went up, we did have a chance to make a little bit of a turnaround there, but not much. Now it's pretty well out of the question.

Mr Axford: So it argues hard for some rationalization.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. I follow what you're saying. Thank you, and I wish you well. I hope we can help.

Mr Axford: May not be back next time: got no players left up there.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much, certainly, for your comments and for your presentation. You've given the committee a lot to think about. Again, we'll be continuing our hearings tomorrow in Thunder Bay still, and then another week in Toronto, and then clause-by-clause in the middle of September.

The next presenter has cancelled. This means we have a little bit more time for lunch. We are to be back by 1 o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1111 to 1314.

The Vice-Chair: This committee continues its hearings on Bill 171. Unfortunately, the presenter for 1 o'clock has not appeared as yet, and the one for 1:30 is not here, but it isn't 1:30 yet, so we'll see whether perhaps the Ontario fish association will still come. The Dryden and District Labour Council has cancelled.


The Vice-Chair: The 2:30 presenter, Mr Paul Jewiss, whom we had the pleasure of meeting last night, is with us and he has agreed to make his presentation now.

Mr Paul Jewiss: I'm Paul Jewiss, chief forester for Boise Cascade Canada Ltd. The name on the document says Rainy River Forest Products. I'll explain what's happening in the opening remarks here, why the two names are being used.

First off, I would like to thank you for coming to Fort Frances in order to provide our company the opportunity to present our views and recommendations regarding Bill 171. This proposed bill is of considerable significance to our company since it will provide the framework for how our forest operations will be conducted over the next decade. Given the fact that our company staff has had very little time to review the actual proposed regulations and the various manuals, we will have to limit our comments today to highlighting areas of general support and concern. We will follow up with a written clause-by-clause review and the associated recommendations, and once you're done all your different hearings, we'll have it to you before you sit down to deliberate.

Boise Cascade Canada Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Boise Cascade Corp, an integrated paper and forest products company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, USA. The Canadian operations include pulp and paper mills in Fort Frances and Kenora, Ontario.

The company's Fort Frances operations produce bleached kraft pulp and uncoated groundwood specialty papers. The grades of paper manufactured at Fort Frances are primarily used in four-colour newspaper advertising inserts, magazines and books. Most of this paper is shipped to customers in the United States, mainly in the New York and Chicago areas. The company's Kenora operations produce standard newsprint and some uncoated groundwood specialty papers. The vast majority of this paper is exported to the United States, primarily to newspaper publishers in the midwest.

Boise Cascade Ltd is the single largest employer in both Fort Frances and Kenora and a significant contributor to the regional economy. More than 1,500 people are employed in the company's Fort Frances and Kenora operations. The company pays nearly $100 million in wages, salaries and benefits on an annual basis. In addition, more than $6 million is paid per year in municipal taxes.

The Fort Frances and Kenora mill operations require approximately 900,000 cords of pulpwood and chips per year. The timber base for both mills includes more than one million hectares of productive forest land in northwestern Ontario, where the company's woodlands activities are conducted under forest management agreements, or FMAs, with the province of Ontario. The company has two FMAs in the Fort Frances district which are known as the Manitou and Seine River forests, and two FMAs in the Kenora district which are called the Pakwash and Patricia forests. Additional wood supplies for the Fort Frances and Kenora mills are acquired from crown management units, private sources in the area and from sources outside the province.

The reason for the different uses of the names is that we're currently having a company restructuring. Early this year, Boise Cascade Corp announced its plans to restructure its newsprint and uncoated groundwood assets into an independently managed company. This restructuring involves the Fort Frances, Kenora and West Tacoma, Washington, mills. The name for the new company will be Rainy River Forest Products Inc and the corporate headquarters will be in Toronto.

This restructuring, which is expected to be complete this fall, will allow Rainy River Forest Products to focus solely on the newsprint and groundwood businesses, while Boise Cascade Corp focuses on its other businesses, which are white paper, linerboard, containers, wood products and office products.

Rainy River Forest Products intends to become a public company by selling common shares and debt securities to Canadian, European and select US investors. The sale of these securities, which is expected to be completed this fall, will officially launch Rainy River Forest Products as an independent company.

Following completion of the sale of these securities, Boise Cascade Corp is expected to hold slightly less than 50% of Rainy River's voting securities but will hold more than 50% of its equity.

Enough of all that. I'll move on now to specific items on Bill 171.

General areas of support: The first item is the need for change. Our company supports the proposal to update the existing Crown Timber Act. Bill 171 will provide enabling legislation that will allow the Minister of Natural Resources and the forest industry to move ahead on a number of key forest management issues. It is important to have the legislation in place to provide for a continuous improvement in forest management operations. However, the proposed timetable for passing this bill is insufficient to provide for proper consultation in order to develop a solid base to institute change.


Good forest management must be accomplished in the field by trained and competent professionals who are in constant consultation with other stakeholders and the public. It is our view that the proposed bill could be significantly improved for citizens of Ontario, stakeholders, the government and the forest industry by simply allowing more time and dialogue to occur between and within the various parties. We only have a few opportunities to revise legislation. Let's take this opportunity to do the best possible job. Let's work together to develop the appropriate bill, regulations and manuals that will allow for continuous improvement in the future.

Bill 171 proposes the establishment of trust funds to encourage forest sustainability. Our company endorses the proposed legislation to establish a forest renewal trust and a forestry futures trust. Dedicated and predictable funding for forest renewal is something that has been needed for a long time. These trusts will ensure that the forests of Ontario are renewed and maintained for future generations. Our company looks forward to the day that we will be operating under the trust fund arrangements proposed in the bill. We believe this will be one of the most progressive steps taken by the Ontario government since the development of the existing forest management agreements.

Bill 171 promotes the establishment of advisory committees. We support the establishment of local citizens' advisory committees to assist in the management of Ontario's forests. Our company is currently working with local citizens' committees both in Fort Frances and Kenora, and has found that this is an excellent way to improve communications between various stakeholders, interest groups and the public. In fact, we recommend that this section be expanded to include the advisory structure prescribed by the Environmental Assessment Board for Timber Management on Crown Lands in Ontario in their term and condition 4(a) and (b). In our view, the board's ruling provides an organized structure for public consultation and the development of appropriate policies, manuals and guidelines. We strongly believe that this advisory structure will provide for substantial improvements in forest management in the province.

Bill 171 provides for the direction of movement from timber management to a forest management concept. Our company supports the concept or principle of moving from timber management to forest management. However, this cannot be accomplished by simply changing the word "timber" to "forest." As highlighted in the Reasons for Decision and Decision of the Environmental Assessment Board for Timber Management on Crown Lands in Ontario, this transition from timber management to forest management is not a simple task. I quote from the EA decision on page 68:

"We believe that these concepts hold the promise of improving the approved method of carrying out this undertaking in the future. We find, however, that no one was able to demonstrate to our satisfaction how a truly `integrated forest resource management' approach might work. The proposed Conditions of Approval from FFT, Forest For Tomorrow, and the coalition, which would achieve this end, appear to us to be unworkable at the present time. Also, the preponderance of expert opinion we heard leads us to conclude that such an approach needs investigation and development before it is implemented. Necessary efforts toward quantification of various resource values, coordinations of their management and the means of optimization are under way."

We agree with the Environmental Assessment Board that we need to move towards forest management. This will take considerable time, money and dialogue between the various parties and the public in order to accomplish this task in a constructive and rational manner. We recommend that the proposed legislation address the elements of time, money and consultation in order to accomplish the movement from timber to forest management.

Now let me move on to some of the major areas of concern we have regarding Bill 171. One of the first major areas that we have is in part I, "General," and in subsection 2(1) in "Definitions," where you refer to a "forest resource processing facility." Apparently, it came up in some of your other deliberations. In the definition, it "means a sawmill, pulp mill or any other facility, whether fixed or mobile, where trees or other forest resources prescribed by the regulations are initially processed."

Our concern with this is that extending the definition of "processing facility" to "mobile facility" will create some unreasonable impacts. It will reduce companies' flexibility in managing their operations and increase the paperwork necessary to do so. A specific suggestion around that would be to drop the words "whether fixed or mobile" from the definition.

Another concern we had concerns forest management planning and information. Subsection 7(1) states, "The minister shall ensure that a forest management plan is prepared for every management unit." Under our FMAs, we currently prepare a timber management plan every five years. We do not know what a forest management plan would constitute in the future and have no idea of the time frame that is envisioned. This transition from timber management to forest management must be addressed in the Forest Management Planning Manual.

On the information side of things, subsection 17(1) states, "The minister may require the holder of a forest resource licence to conduct inventories, surveys, tests or studies in accordance with the Forest Information Manual." Our concern is that at the present time our company collects information and updates the timber resource inventory base. The Ministry of Natural Resources collects information and updates the non-timber inventory base. The proposed legislation would enable the minister to direct the company to conduct any type of inventory he or she deems appropriate. This could essentially transfer all costs and responsibilities regarding the non-timber inventories of the forest to the company.

We strongly suggest that this additional cost should not be transferred to the forest industry and that the cost for non-timber inventories, surveys, tests or studies be borne by the respective user or by the government of Ontario. Our company is not in a position to absorb any additional costs for the province or other user groups.

Wood supply security, subsection 31(1): "The minister may amend a forest resource licence in accordance with the regulations." Our concern is that this section appears to give the minister the right to amend a resource licence without consultation with the licensee or without considering the licensee's business requirements.

We believe that section 28 of the existing Crown Timber Act is more understanding of the licensee's needs. Subsection 28(1) states:

"Notwithstanding anything in any general or special act or in any regulation or in any licence or in any management plan or operating plan, the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

"(a) having regard to reasonable business requirements of the licensee, may cancel or vary any licence in respect of one or more parts of a licensed area or in respect of any type, size or species of timber designated by him; and

"(b) with the consent of the licensee, may cancel or vary any term or condition of a licence."

We recommend that section 28 of the Crown Timber Act replace section 31 of Bill 171 to ensure that the rights of the licensee are duly considered prior to any amendment.

The sections in Bill 171 speaking to remedies and enforcement: I won't cite all the different sections, but it's between sections 52 and 61.

First, we believe that the provisions of section 52 of the bill concerning the minister's power to issue preventive orders vests too much discretion in the minister. The power created by those provisions should be exercisable only when there is in fact impairment of sustainability.

Section 53, like section 52, vests too much discretion in the minister. In addition, the section should be revised so as to not require a licensee to incur the cost of remedial work where the damage to resources was caused by forest operations specifically required or authorized by a ministry-approved forest plan, annual work plan or other form of permit or licence.

Rainy River Forest Products believes that the vast bulk of day-to-day disputes between a licensee and the ministry concerning compliance with the new act should be resolved by negotiation between the parties, or absent a negotiated solution, pursuant to the civil penalty provisions set forth in section 55. We expect, as we hope and believe the ministry does, that the draconian provisions of section 61 would be reserved for flagrant and serious violations.

The relationship between the ministry and its licensees is at its core a commercial one and should not be regulated on a routine basis by resort to the criminal courts. The language of Bill 171 fails to recognize this distinction in the provisions of section 55, civil penalties, and section 61, criminal penalties. They are equally applicable to the most minor and most serious infractions. Section 61 should be revised so as to limit its availability to serious, flagrant infractions.

We recognize the need for enforcement and punitive measures to be included in the legislation. However, we strongly believe that the government should recognize the positive efforts made by companies to improve their forest management operations. We recommend that a section be added to Bill 171 that provides for a system of awards and/or recognition.

This concludes my remarks to you today.


Mr Brown: Thank you, Mr Jewiss. The committee, especially myself, enjoyed the excursion last night and we all learned a little bit about what goes on in the forests of this particular area and a little bit about hunting in other parts of the province.

My question, and I've been trying to wrap my head around this, and no one has really talked about it yet, concerns FMAs. Under the present system, under the terms of your individual contracts on each FMA, you will be required, I suspect, to do certain forest regen practices. Am I correct in that? It's a condition of the licence?

Mr Jewiss: Yes.

Mr Brown: Under the trust fund arrangement, in your understanding, are you to be reimbursed from the trust fund for the activities that you are presently carrying out?

Mr Jewiss: If you look at the current system of FMAs when they came into being, prior to their existence, the crown undertook and did all the silviculture work on all the areas in the province, all the crown land in the province. When forest management agreements came into place, what happened is that they transferred the responsibility of renewal to industry, or to companies, on their FMAs, but they also made an allocation of funds available, called silviculture reimbursements, for them to undertake that work on behalf of the crown. So we were reimbursed for any work that we did on our FMAs by the crown. With the trust fund agreements, we will be taking and invoicing the trust company. We'll be paying the stumpage, so much will go to the general revenue, so much will go to the trust company. We will invoice the trust company for the work that we undertake on our FMAs. So we will be paid for the silviculture work that we do on our FMAs out of the trust fund.

Mr Brown: So the real guarantee here is that you are able to predict the funding over a period of time when you have the wild variations that have occurred in the past.

Mr Jewiss: Well, one of the problems with the old system was in the allocation back from the government. When the Ministry of Natural Resources had to go and ask for money from the treasury board, it was never adequate, in recent history. At the beginning of the process it was, but over time it's eroded as other demands on the government have taken place. Going to a trust agreement, we will be able to predict exactly what's in our trust agreement, because it's a contribution by so much per cubic metre of your harvest. So you'll know exactly what's in there and what you withdraw. It'll be a better system.

Mr Brown: I agree. I'm just trying to determine the economics a little bit. Has the company had a look at what it is going to pay in increased stumpage fees, towards the trust, that is, and had a look at what pot of money will be available to you there to do your silviculture and what kind of an increase that is over, say, the mean of your expenditures on silviculture in the last number of years? What I'm trying to find out is, are we going to get more silviculture or less?

Mr Jewiss: Get more silviculture or less: We've done some estimating and forecasts, but the regulation that actually deals with how much stumpage we're going to pay has yet to be put out. I know the brief documents on regulations covered the contribution to the trust fund, but they didn't get into the base rate contribution and what that's going to be. The regulations are still being written, in my understanding, of what that's going to be.

But on a rough basis, we've done some, I guess you could call it guesswork, on where the cost is going to be, what our stumpage is going to change to or from, and we feel that we can continue to renew our total harvest area with the moneys that we will be contributing to the trust fund. I don't think we'll see a substantial increase in our contribution, our costs. I'm not sure which one you were getting at.

Mr Brown: Both. I'm trying to net it out is really what I'm trying to do.

Mr Jewiss: When I spoke to this that we think it's positive, we know what's in the pot and you can withdraw from the pot, ie, the trust company. We know it's in the pot, so we can withdraw from the pot, and you know what you're contributing to the pot, so you can sort of design your work and work plan accordingly.

Mr Brown: The other part of stumpage you haven't addressed, though, is the residual value part of stumpage, which is dependent on the market value of the particular product, as I understand it. That is a little problematic to me in terms of raising your costs significantly, and that money still goes to the good old consolidated revenue fund, never probably to be seen by the forests of Ontario again. Does your company have a view on the residual value, and what might that be?

Mr Jewiss: Yes, we didn't like it. Nobody likes to be taxed on profits, and that would be the best assessment we can have. It's --

Mr Bisson: A philosophical belief.

Mr Jewiss: Yes, a philosophical belief. It's a difficult --

Mr Brown: Well, it really isn't necessarily a tax on profits.

Mr Jewiss: The more money you make, the more money they want.

Mr Brown: It's the more margin you have, but it may not represent an actual profit to the company, because it's not a corporate tax, it's a tax on a commodity that you're purchasing from the crown.

Mr Hodgson: Paul, I'd like to thank you for last night and this tour and the hospitality that you've afforded us. I enjoyed myself. I know Gary enjoyed the tour and everything else. I've enjoyed your presentation this morning. You've gone over perhaps some interesting things in your support of the bill. You support the general broad principles of it.

Given the fact that the trust funds were created not by Bill 171 but by Bill 160 earlier this year, outside of the name change on the act, what specifically -- because, as you mentioned, we need more time to flesh a lot of these things out to see the benefit to the forest as an ecosystem. Given the fact that the way I read subsection 17(1), the forest resource licence holder is responsible for the inventories, the surveys, the tests and the studies in accordance with the Forest Information Manual, that will place the onus on information gathering on to the licence holder. What benefit does this bill give the forest industry that it hasn't been able to achieve under the crown timber management and the trust funds that were created under Bill 160?

Mr Jewiss: You rolled all that into one question. You talked about 17(1), and that was one of our concerns with the bill that you're looking at, being charged with the responsibility for the costs and so on to collect all that information and then to be told to hand it over. That's a big concern. When you said, if we had more time to look at the bill, that would be one of the sections where we would think that perhaps some more time could be spent on designing the Forest Information Manual that goes along with the bill to come up with some kind of equal sharing of the responsibility so the cost doesn't fall on the person most reasonably able to pay.

Now, that's half of your question. The other half was that the amended Crown Timber Act, which I guess you're calling Bill 160, which allowed for the trust funds --

Mr Hodgson: The point is that we went on a tour last night and we saw that you've been very progressive in your forest practices. All of this was enabled under the old Crown Timber Act. What benefits does this bill specifically give that wasn't achievable under the old act?

Mr Jewiss: On some of the areas that you saw last night, Chris -- it was a very short tour, due to weather and time constraints. But we could have taken you to some areas where we would have preferred to have planting stock to put on to those sites but we did an alternative treatment, which is acceptable under the rules of our FMA, say, aerial seeding, for example, due to a lack of funds available from the government to buy the stock.


Mr Hodgson: Right, but the trust funds are created under Bill 160, not under this bill.

Mr Jewiss: Well, it's almost getting into semantics about who created which bill. I'm not an expert on the bills, but reading the amended Crown Timber Act, it creates the trust funds, but this bill also speaks to the trust funds as well. But under the new trust fund system, we would have the option to buy the stock against our trust fund balance and be able to go and plant those areas and do the treatment that we wanted. Under the old system, under the old Crown Timber Act, without the amendment of Bill 160 on it, we didn't have that opportunity.

Mr Hodgson: Are there any other advantages to this act, other than the trust funds and the stability of the regeneration?

Mr Jewiss: The forestry futures fund is another one.

Mr Hodgson: That again was --

Mr Jewiss: It was a part of Bill 160 and it's repeated in this Bill 171.

Mr Hodgson: Do you see any advantages that don't reflect current practice here that are going to take us to better management of the forests specifically? This is called the forest sustainability act and it's meant to assure the world markets that we're going to have sustainable forest here for ever. It's meant to assure the people of Ontario that the ecosystems are going to be sustainable for ever. It's also meant to assure the people who derive their living from the forest and the timber industry that they're going to have sustainable jobs. Have you seen anything specific in here that changes the current practice that you're presently employing, all done under the old Crown Timber Act?

Mr Jewiss: The one that I spoke to early on was advisory committees and that this act gives more weight to that. When you talk about making sure that we still have the opportunity to exist up here in northern Ontario, like as Fort Frances as a community, that decisions made by a local committee and dealing with a local resource, even though it does belong to the people of the province, it's much more important to us in this locale than it is to somebody outside of Toronto and we would like to have an input into that decision. This bill does give us that right to have this kind of opportunity.

Mr Hodgson: Except it doesn't define it in the regulations yet.

Mr Jewiss: EA defines it, and that's what we're recommending that you incorporate --

Mr Hodgson: We adopt that right now before we pass it.

Mr Jewiss: Put it into the bill, before you pass the bill. I think that's what we're trying to do here.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. I just wondered if there were any other areas you saw that presently defined that help.

Mr Jewiss: No. I wouldn't want to --

Mr Hodgson: I look forward to reading your clause-by-clause when you have more time to go through it.

The Vice-Chair: We actually have three questioners from the government side: Mr Wood, Mr Bisson and Mr Mammoliti.

Mr Wood: Thank you for the assistance and the tour last night. It was very rewarding, and thank you for the presentation today.

As you're aware, the minister was here this morning. Mr Hampton was here this morning and talked about some of the things.

One of the issues you raise here is 31(2), where the minister can amend licenses. I think, just to clarify that, that's the Lieutenant Governor in Council can amend licenses after allowing for representations from the parties for amendments.

I listened to the areas that you're supporting, the trust funds, the committees involved, and then I just want to address some of your concerns.

You're saying your processing facility. When we were in Thunder Bay, we heard a number of presentations on mobile chippers, and I just want to throw something out to you there. What size of wood do you feel would be fair out there chipping? We had comments from Thunder Bay saying that they can and do chip up to 23-inch logs in the portable chippers because they need it to get the best type of fibre for their craft mills, the brightness and one thing and another, and it's essential that they be allowed to continue doing that. I just wondered if you had a comment on that.

Mr Jewiss: That's a double-edged sword when you ask that question, Len, because, first off, you're talking to sawmillers, who want to run every stick of wood through a sawmill first and produce chips to an end user. If you take a facility like ours here in Fort Frances that can't or doesn't exist on a steady diet of chips, we run a groundwood mill which needs roundwood, and it has to be in spruce, and a craft mill that runs on a chip diet with steady chips, which is all jack pine -- you asked me specifically the size of wood that should run through a chipper.

Anything that will make a board should go through a sawmill first and then produce chips and then be sold to somebody who can use them. So you're down to a five-inch piece.

In our instance, though, you could argue the point that on value added, how much is a 10-inch spruce log worth to us to take in to our groundwood mill prior without going through a sawmill, and how much it contributes to the economy of running our groundwood mill and then to the paper that it produces, first as the two-by-four or two two-by-fours that that spruce log produces at a sawmill. I think if you did the economics of it, it'd probably be more valuable sending it in a roundwood form to a groundwood mill such as we have.

Mr Wood: On the transition period, there is a time frame spelled out in the transition period going from the timber act to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. In one particular area we're talking about a two-year transition and then we're talking about a five-year one when the FMAs can be converted over to sustainability agreements. I know there are negotiations that are going on right now. I believe your company's involved with negotiations with Bob Carman, who is the government representative negotiating that. I just want to know if you had a comment to make on the transition, because you raised that during your brief.

Mr Jewiss: Because the act, and as Chris pointed out, the amendment, Bill 160, which amended the Crown Timber Act, allows for the trust fund setup and the forestry futures fund to be set up, the reason we would like to get on with, as you called it, or alluded to, the Carman exercise and get these trust agreements set up and being able to access them is that right now the money is still going into general revenue and has to be scooped back to be able to be made available to the forest industry.

Mr Wood: So the sooner the better.

Mr Jewiss: The sooner we can do that, the better off we are. That's why we're a proponent or in favour of this bill. It all helps get that process going.

Mr Bisson: How much time left, Chair, for our caucus?

The Vice-Chair: Well, if you don't stretch the patience of the Chairman, you can go ahead. We do have a bit of extra time.

Mr Bisson: Okay. I just want to make sure my counterpart -- let me just come right to the question in regard to section 61 and the more severe, offensive-type fines. As you know, at first there is the power of the ministry to be able to try to get the end user to do what they need to do to remedy the problem in the bush, then you go to a lesser fine which is within the powers of the ministry, then you go to an offence. I guess what I wonder is, where do you draw the line, in your mind, of what would become a serious offence and you would go to section 61 of the bill?

Mr Jewiss: Like when I said we have some specific words, some of the things in there where it says "in the opinion of the minister," if you knowingly and willingly were responsible for an infraction, to me that should start directing you to the severity of the penalty.

Mr Bisson: I guess in looking at section 61 it sort of speaks to that one, but I think we can all agree that nobody would want to see you go from, bang -- first of all, we'd have to work under this premise: The premise is that most, and I would say the vast majority, of forest operators are very responsible and take their stewardship of the forest I think in a most responsible way and want to do the right thing. My thinking in dealing with the forest companies is that 99.9% of them would never end up in that situation because they would go back and do what needs to be done. But in order to give industry a little bit more comfort, how would you set that up? Like, where do you make the progression? It's a tough question, but it needs to be answered.

Mr Jewiss: When you write any act or you do any kind of negotiations that are as broad as this province is, you're always writing it for the worst case versus the best case. You say 99.9% of all forest operations tend to try and should never even use this compliance inspection.

Mr Bisson: That's right.

Mr Jewiss: But as a government or anybody else, if we were negotiating with anybody else, you write it up for the 0.1% that --

Mr Bisson: Well --

Mr Jewiss: In essence, it ends up how it's used, and how would you determine when you applied this -- I think what you're getting at is, how would you apply this in deciding? It still would come down to me as being knowingly and willing do something wrong. That's just a flagrant disregard for the laws of the land, so to speak.


Mr Bisson: Do I still have a bit of time? The other thing is that in regard to information-gathering, which you talked about, a lot of that information-gathering is for your own benefit in the sense that you have to gather that information in order to do your job right. I've heard a number of presenters from industry come forward and say they don't like the section that states that if the minister needs that information, he can ask you to provide it. Are you really worried that all of a sudden you'll get all kinds of whimsical types of suggestions from the ministry to go out and do all kinds of things that you don't need to be doing?

Mr Jewiss: The best intent of most acts when they're written may have been not to do that, but once, as we've alluded to earlier on, this gets passed, the next government or whichever government at the time that looks at that section can interpret it their way and then you can have the problems that we see here, being asked to provide unreasonable information that doesn't help us manage the forest, which is exactly what you said. To do our job, we don't need to collect some of the information, ie checked with Jewiss__ssboat cache information.

Mr Bisson: I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't think you suggest that the minister shouldn't have the ability to get that information if needed; I guess what you need is something to build a comfort level, that it's not done unreasonably.

Mr Jewiss: Right.

Mr Bisson: If that could be clarified, would you support that?

Mr Jewiss: Yes.

Mr Mammoliti: Paul, first of all let me thank you for your time last night as well. I was one of the members who took the time to go out. More importantly, I want to thank you for putting up with me on the bus. My being from Metro, it's been quite the education over the last week and a half.

The Vice-Chair: He's got a lot of wolves in his riding.

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, I'm sorry?

The Vice-Chair: You've got lots of wolves in your riding.

Mr Mammoliti: Lots of wolves, that's for sure. They're called Liberals, by the way.

Mr Brown: It's a regular plague, isn't it?

Mr Mammoliti: One area that I've been interested in, Paul, is the whole area of the local citizens' committee. I've been listening intently to some of the criticism as well as the positive on the issue over the last week and a half. I'll be quite honest with you: I don't understand the criticism towards this in reference to having somebody on it who doesn't know anything about trees or forests. I mean, if government thought that way, they wouldn't have sent me up here.


Mr Mammoliti: It's absolutely true. I mean, and I'll be perfectly honest with you, I really didn't know anything about the bill, I didn't know anything about the problems that exist in the north. This has been one hell of a learning experience for me. Those who come in front of the committee and say that these citizens' committees shouldn't have anybody who doesn't know anything about it on them I think are wrong. I think the people who might sit on a committee like that might actually bring a perspective that individuals might listen to and might learn as well. I think that that's important as well.

I want to know your opinion on it. I've given you my opinion. I'd like to know your opinion on it and, if there's some criticism, I'd like to hear it as well. But if you agree with me, I'd like to know the positive. What can that bring out in terms of the community?

Mr Jewiss: A little bit of history, George: Right now in Atikokan, just down the road -- we call it a little ways here, but it's a long ways maybe related to Toronto -- about 80 miles to the Atikokan district office of the MNR -- I'm going to try to get this all into context here, but the environmental assessment hearings came out and ruled on what they think a local citizens' committee should be. Prior to that ruling, Atikokan MNR embarked on creating what they called a resource management committee. They did exactly what you suggested. They went into the community and picked -- and when I say picked, they did solicit for some members at large -- people who didn't have a forestry background per se.

They had an interest in the community; they had an interest in northwestern Ontario. They selected these people and then they got two members at large, so to speak, from advertisements, just generally interested people, and set up this group. Now, there are no stakeholders there. What you have is a group of people who have been getting educated about forestry. Rainy River Forest Products did a presentation to this RMAC, resource management advisory committee. They've had presentations from bait fishermen, from trappers, from tourist operators as part of their educational process.

That committee still exists, but with the EA ruling coming along and saying that now you must involve stakeholders, I like that idea of the committee, which agrees exactly with what you said, George. When you put stakeholders in the room, sitting around, that pits -- and I'll use myself as an example -- me against those as a resource user, and that shouldn't be the forum. A decision that's made by the group of individuals should be based on what's good for the community, what's good for the area, what's good for the resource.

Mr Mammoliti: You don't see it as a threat, then?

Mr Jewiss: See what as a threat?

Mr Mammoliti: Having individuals who might not know anything about --

Mr Jewiss: I've been sort of very pleased with this RMAC, the way that they've been learning and gathering information and understanding all the nuances of what it takes for management of the resource and how it's working. It's a positive move and I don't see it as a problem in getting people. I would have a problem, for example, George, if they put you on it.

Mr Mammoliti: You'd have a problem with me?

Mr Jewiss: Just where your locale is, because of your vested interest. If you moved up here, that would be a little different, but by example, if you were brought up from Toronto to sit on this committee, it wouldn't make sense. I don't think you'd want to do it and what would you care when you listened to stuff? That's why it has to be something that people from the community who have an interest in the community surviving --

Mr Mammoliti: I'm glad you elaborated on that because I would have taken it personally.

Mr Jewiss: I was worried about that.

The Vice-Chair: Thank you very much for your presentation. We're glad we had an opportunity to give you a little bit more time, to give the committee a little bit more time to ask questions, given the significance of your operation for northern Ontario. We certainly hope you're going to be in this area for a long time, you and your company.

As you've noticed, committee members, I was quite a bit flexible in terms of the time lines. The reason is that the next presenter, the Ontario fish association will send us a written submission. However, they are not in a position to make an oral presentation at this time. The Dryden and District Labour Council has cancelled and, of course, Rainy River Forest Products we already heard this morning, which leads us to 3 o'clock. We have not heard from Dan Williamson yet, so I think we will adjourn until 3 o'clock and see whether Mr Dan Williamson is here. The clerk is contacting his office and trying to call the remaining presenters, whether in fact they will be appearing or not.


There's one business item that perhaps we could discuss at this point. The subcommittee apparently wants to put forward a motion, if somebody from the subcommittee would like to read the motion.

Mr Brown: I would be pleased to. I move:

That the committee extend the presentation of the Ontario Forest Industries Association to one hour;

That the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association be rescheduled;

That the clerk of the committee schedule for presentation the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Wildlife Working Group and Kenneth W. Hearnden, for the week of August 29, in Toronto;

That ministry staff be present on Monday, September 12, 1994, at 2 o'clock, to respond to questions on Bill 171, before the clause-by-clause review of the bill.

The Chair: Discussion?

Interjection: I'll second it.

The Chair: Apparently we don't need a seconder. Did you want to speak to the motion?

Mr Brown: Just that the committee has been contacted by the Ontario Forest Industries Association, which has said that they have an extensive presentation they would like to give to the committee and believe that they, being an umbrella group in the industry, maybe could be allocated a little bit more time. I, of course, agree with that.

The second part of the motion relates to the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association, which apparently, I'm informed, has been talking to the Ontario Forest Industries Association and is quite happy with this arrangement of being rescheduled to permit this. The other presenters mentioned in point 3 of the motion have indicated they want to be heard. I'm sure the committee wants to hear from them, so that's why they're included. The committee of course would like to hear from ministry staff, and that's the reason for the fourth part.

Mr Mammoliti: While I've had a chance to even look at the motion myself, I'm wondering whether or not you would have any problem -- and I'm sorry, Mr Chair; I'll go through the Chair -- dealing with every one of these issues individually. I have some concerns with some, and others I might agree on. I prefer to deal with them individually as opposed to dealing with them in one block.

The Vice-Chair: If you're requesting that, that would have to be done anyway. That does not require a motion. Is that what you're requesting?

Mr Mammoliti: I'm requesting that the committee deal with it individually, yes.

The Vice-Chair: Do you want the debate also individually or can we debate them all at once?

Mr Mammoliti: I think we should do it all at once, Mr Chair.

The Vice-Chair: Any further questions then or comments with regard to the motion? No? So we're ready to vote then? Number 1, that the committee extend the presentation of the Ontario Forest Industries Association to one hour. All in favour? Carried.

Interjections: No.

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour, raise your hand. I didn't expect this. Opposed?

Mr Brown: I think we want a recorded vote.

Mr Mammoliti: Certainly.


The Vice-Chair: Okay, recorded vote. All those in favour?


Brown, Hodgson, Miclash.


Bisson, Dadamo, MacKinnon, Mammoliti, Martin, Wood.

Clerk of the Committee: It's six to three, defeated.

The Vice-Chair: The second motion is that the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association be rescheduled. All those in favour?

Mr Brown: I think it's redundant; I don't think it's necessary.

Clerk of the Committee: You still have to vote on it if it's in the motion.

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour?

Clerk of the Committee: Is this a recorded vote?

Mr Brown: Just for clarification of what just happened, they can now remain in the time slot they were. Does that not remain the same?

The Vice-Chair: That was the reason why they had them asked separately.

Clerk of the Committee: No, this is redundant, the vote, really, but since it is on the motion -- if you agree it's redundant --

The Vice-Chair: Is it redundant?

Mr Brown: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: Number 3, that the Clerk of the Committee schedule for presentation the Ad-Hoc Committee of the Wildlife Working Group and Kenneth W. Hearnden for the week of August 29 in Toronto. All those in favour? Opposed? Seeing none, the motion is carried.

Number 4, that ministry staff be present on Monday September 12 at 2 o'clock to respond to questions on Bill 171 before the clause-by-clause review of the bill. All those in favour?

Mr Wood: If I may, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, but the debate is finished. All those in favour?

Mr Wood: We need some clarification on the time.

The Vice-Chair: We're in the process of voting. I asked whether there was further debate before, so the motion is quite clear. The motion is the way I presented it. All those in favour?


The Vice-Chair: That's what the motion says. The motion says, for those who didn't fully hear it, that ministry staff be present on Monday, September 12, 1994 at 2 pm to respond to questions on Bill 171 before the clause-by-clause review of the bill. That's the motion.


The Vice-Chair: I'm sorry, committee members. We had the discussion. I asked whether there were further clarifications or questions and then I called for the vote. There's no further clarification at this point.

Mr Wood: Mr Chair, can I make an amendment to the motion --

The Vice-Chair: No, I'm sorry.

Mr Wood: -- that the time be from 2 to 3 pm?

The Vice-Chair: No, I'm sorry, Mr Wood. That amendment would have been in order before I called for the vote. All those in favour? Do you want a recorded vote?

Interjection: No.

The Vice-Chair: Three in favour. Those opposed? Six opposed. The motion is lost.

Mr Bisson: Can I propose a motion, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: You can always propose a motion.

Mr Bisson: I'd like to propose a motion that the same motion that we just voted on stipulate from 3 to 4.

Interjection: From 2 to 3.

Mr Bisson: From 2 to 3.

The Vice-Chair: You are proposing that ministry staff be present on Monday, September 12, 1994, from 2 pm to 3 pm to respond to questions on Bill 171 before the clause-by-clause review of the bill. Is there debate?

Mr Hodgson: Why limit it to one hour? We spent two weeks on the road at great expense to taxpayers. What's the big problem if we spend an extra half-hour or two hours?

Mr Wood: I believe that one hour will be sufficient for the people who are going to make the presentation and make the comments, so that it doesn't go unlimited and we never get into clause-by-clause discussion, which we intend to do. We feel that one hour is the necessary amount of time, and it might not even take that amount of time, to clarify some of the questions that have been brought up. This is the reason why: We want to get on with doing the business of clause-by-clause as quickly as possible.

Mr Hodgson: If the government party is worried about a filibuster before the House returns on October 31, I think their concerns are misguided. All we want, by meeting with the ministry staff, is just clarification on a lot of the questions that have been asked of us as a committee by people who have appeared before us. They've taken time out of their schedules; people have driven a couple of hours to be here. I think it's just out of decency to those people that we take as much time as necessary to have factual information given to us by the ministry staff before we go into clause-by-clause. We've been on the road now two weeks. It hasn't been easy for the people to drive to present to us. If we can't get answers to their questions before we make decisions on it, what was the purpose of it?

Mr Brown: I share Mr Hodgson's view. I don't have any idea how long the process might take with the ministry, but it may be helpful to have many of these issues clarified before we commence clause-by-clause. It may take 15 minutes and then we can start clause-by-clause, it may take two hours, but I don't see that it expedites the clause-by-clause review of the bill for the committee not to have the information that the committee wants. If you want to say it's going to take one hour, it doesn't really bother me; I just can't understand why the parliamentary assistant is taking that view. I think the committee has cooperated in a very reasonable manner. Up to the last vote we took, on the Ontario Forest Industries Association's presentation, I thought things were going pretty well.

Mr Mammoliti: Just in terms of clarification, it's my understanding, and I've had a chance to sit on committee for about four years now, that while we'll have an hour to ask direct questions to the ministry, during clause-by-clause and as clauses do come up you will still have an opportunity to ask the ministry or ministry officials or the parliamentary assistant questions in reference to that particular clause. Having said that, I would again suggest that we deal with the motion at hand. An hour is sufficient, remembering that you do have time and that perhaps as you go through your notes you might come up with a question that pertains to a certain clause. Nothing is stopping you from asking the ministry those pertinent questions. That's my suggestion to you as opposition. I don't want to preach to you, but if you want me to, I will.


Mr Wood: I'm not going to repeat what Mr Mammoliti has just said, but that is a commitment that I'm making as well, that as we go through the clause-by-clause there will be ministry people available to answer any questions to me, and turn myself to the committee as we go through clause-by-clause. We're looking for a spirit of cooperation is my concern, and we want this spirit of cooperation to continue through, and finally third reading.

The Vice-Chair: Any further debate? Ready to vote?

I'll read it again: "That ministry staff be present on Monday, September 12, 1994, from 2 pm to 3 pm, to respond to questions on Bill 171 before the clause-by-clause reading of the bill."

All those in favour?

Clerk of the Committee: Six.

The Vice-Chair: Six. All those opposed?

Mr Mammoliti: A recorded vote, Mr Chair?

Clerk of the Committee: Four.

The Vice-Chair: I think they have to vote, do they?

Clerk of the Committee: If you ask them, yes, they have to vote.

The Vice-Chair: You have to vote. All those opposed?

Mr Mammoliti: A recorded vote, Mr Chair?

The Vice-Chair: Well, it's too late; we're in the process. You want a recorded vote?

Mr Mammoliti: Yes.

The Vice-Chair: All those in favour?


Bisson, Dadamo, MacKinnon, Mammoliti, Martin, Wood.

The Vice-Chair: All those opposed?


Brown, Carr, Hodgson, Miclash.

The Vice-Chair: The motion is carried.

Any further business that we'd like to -- Mr Brown?

Mr Brown: I would just ask a technical question. I just wonder, from the Chair, if he is aware when the Hansard might be available for the committee to review.

The Vice-Chair: I'm presently not aware, but perhaps somebody else is.

Mr Brown: I'm not expecting an answer right this moment. I'm just trying to find out.

The Vice-Chair: Okay. We can try to find that out. Certainly the Instant Hansard probably would be available in time for the proceedings, but we'll try to give you a more precise answer to that question.

Any further questions? If not, we will now adjourn until three o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1412 to 1458.


The Vice-Chair: I understand Mr Dan Williamson has not yet arrived. However, the presenter for 3:30, representing the township of Ignace economic development council, has agreed to give his presentation now.

Mr Andy Tardiff: My name is Andy Tardiff. I'm the reeve of the township of Ignace.

The sustainable future of the township of Ignace depends upon sound crown land planning and resource management. Bill 171 and the corresponding planning manual will have considerable impact on Ignace and most communities in northern Ontario far into the future.

The Ontario Forest Policy Panel report urged all Ontario residents to plan and act in concert for a sustainable future by implementing the comprehensive forest policy framework. The township supports the goals and objectives outlined in the panel's report and supports in principle the legislation, which sets to ensure the long-term health of the forest ecosystems for present and future generations. The comments contained in this presentation were prepared by the Ignace council and the economic development committee. The comments will be made under the following headings: Bill 171, clarification of definitions and concepts; support for concerns raised by the forest industry; definition of reasonable control on mobile facilities; local citizens' committee; public consultation process for Bill 171 and the role of the Ministry of Natural Resources in updating the five manuals referenced in the act; concluding remarks.

In order for all interested parties to work together to implement this legislation, the following definitions and concepts must be clarified:

What is "sustainability"? The definition needs to be specific enough to permit the objective evaluation of this fundamental value in forest planning and management.

What are the terms "value," "loss" and "damage" in relation to part VII, "Remedies and Enforcement"?

The respective roles of government and industry in forest planning and management must be clarified. It appears that the word "forest" has been substituted for the word "timber" in the act. Who is responsible for managing all the elements of the forest?

Agreements with first nation communities: The act outlines detailed process for agreements with industry. First nation agreement parameters and third-party consultation requirements should be defined in part II, "Management Planning and Information" section.

I hope you'll excuse my French accent on that.

Mr Bisson: Pas de problème.

Mr Tardiff: Support for concerns raised by the forestry industry: The township consulted with stakeholders, including industry, in preparing this presentation. The township supports the following concerns raised by industry.

Tenure security: The tenure component of the act is unclear. Without long-term tenure, financial institutions and investors will view the forest industry as an unattractive investment. Investment is necessary for the sustainability of the industry and jobs.

Calculation of area charges: The legislation proposes to calculate area charges based upon the total area of the licence rather than the wood available for harvest on the licence. Companies should pay taxes on the wood available for harvest.

Definition of reasonable control on mobile facilities:

These comments relate specifically to the draft regulations made under paragraphs 18 to 21 of subsection 67(1) of Bill 171. The inclusion of mobile facilities under this definition goes beyond the need for reasonable control.

The one-year licence for chippers would compromise future investment and ultimately the wellbeing of the community of Ignace. With only one-year tenure, it would be very difficult for companies to keep skilled personnel, and communities like Ignace could constantly be in economic transition.

Control imposed on companies requires ministerial review when there is a volume or product type change during the year. In effect, the companies could be penalized for trying to be more efficient or to meet new market requirements.

For the above reasons, it is suggested that the whole-tree chipper be removed from schedule 2, the words "whether fixed or mobile" be removed from the definition of a forest resource processing facility, and the word "mobile" be changed to "semimobile" in the definition of "forest resource processing facility."

The township of Ignace supports the use of local citizens' committees for efficient and timely public consultations. Given the authority and responsibilities of the LCC, there should be some minimum standard of procedures set out in the management manual. The individual LCCs could then build on these standards.

The Forest Management Planning Manual section on disbursements and support should confirm the ministry's commitment to provide volunteer training for LCC volunteers. At a time of severe fiscal restraint by business and government, the ministry has often lacked information to evaluate the tradeoffs to be made during the planning process and the resolution of problems, differences and conflicts as early as possible in the planning process. The ministry support for decision-making information should be included in the management manual for LCCs.

Public consultation process for Bill 171 and the role of the Ministry of Natural Resources in updating the five manuals referenced in the act:

The process surrounding the introduction of this legislation and accompanying manuals has given very little time for interested parties to review and comment on material. The draft legislation should not proceed further until all interested groups have the opportunity to fully review and comment on the issues that will shape our environment and economy for many years to come. It is hoped that the Ministry of Natural Resources will take the time and make the necessary consultation to refine the manuals to ensure they reflect the principles of the act and the needs of those involved in forest management and planning.

Under the act, it appears that the Ministry of Natural Resources can unilaterally review and modify the management manuals. In order to evolve the adaptive management model proposed by the forest policy panel, it is suggested that the committee structure mandated by the environmental assessment ruling be used to review and revise the manuals.

I thank you for taking the opportunity to discuss the township of Ignace's concerns about this very important piece of legislation. The decisions and directions outlined in Bill 171 will have a direct impact on the lives of many people for many years to come. Please carefully consider the impacts -- environmental, economic and social -- that the draft legislation will cause and amend the draft to sustain forests and communities.

Mr Hodgson: This is a good report. You mentioned this comprehensive forest policy framework. Do you see much of that report or the framework in this new legislation, or do you see that it will develop over the years?

Mr Tardiff: I'll tell you the truth: I really haven't had the time to totally read it. My economic development officer and I went through every point we could as fast as we could because we received the package last Thursday and it was yea thick.

Mr Hodgson: We've heard that complaint right across for all these hearings, that there hasn't been enough time to digest what's happened.

Mr Tardiff: Right. So we went through it quite quickly and tried to digest it as much as we could at this point.

Mr Hodgson: Okay. On the calculation of area charges, I think that would be a worthwhile amendment. It would make sense.

When you want definitions for what are the terms "value," "loss" and "damage" in relation to part VII, do you have any specific ideas on that? I was wondering if you could send them on through the clerk for the committee to see, because that's been brought up, not as specifically as you've done, but it's been referred to as a potential problem with this act. That's on section 1.2, page 2 of your report, at the top. So when we go to clause-by-clause with specific amendments, it'll be required if we're to change that or clear that up.

Just of a general nature, how long have you been reeve and how many people do you represent? I was a reeve before.

Mr Tardiff: Six years and 2,000 people.

Mr Hodgson: Two thousand people. I see. That's good.

Mr Tardiff: But I also sit on the committee of reeves and mayors from northwestern Ontario. Myself and Mayor Salonen were appointed by the committee of reeves and mayors to represent the forest industry and help work with them. That's the reason I'm really here today, is through that.

Mr Carr: Thank you very much for your presentation. Like Chris said, it's very good; it's right to the point.

There have been a lot of concerns by a lot of companies regarding this bill that have come forward. They've given suggestions not unlike you've done, but in speaking with I can think of three of the major companies, big employers in Thunder Bay, Kapuskasing and different parts, they have said that if the changes they have put forward don't get incorporated, we shouldn't pass the bill. I wonder what your feeling is if the bill stays the way it is, and the regulations. You may not have had time to go through them. But if some of these changes aren't incorporated, would you rather stay with the status quo or would you like to see it passed anyway?


Mr Tardiff: I would not like to see it passed as is. I'd like to see it passed with changes in it. We all know that changes have to be done to sustain the forest, but I'm sure that the way it is right now, it would be death to northwestern and northern Ontario.

Mr Carr: We appreciate that. I think the other players said the same thing. It's very powerful hearing it coming from major employers in these areas saying, "Don't pass it," and somebody not from the area, it's going to be difficult to ignore that.

One of the big concerns of course is that not a lot of people have had a lot of time to look at it, so hopefully as more of the details come out, I suspect there will be some changes put forward by the government, because I can't believe they would pass a bill with the major players in these areas not supporting it. So I suspect there will be some accommodation, and what we will need is your guidance whether the changes that are put forward, whether it's the government or the opposition amendments, are something you can live with. So we not only appreciate your work here, but hopefully as we go through clause-by-clause you'll give us your comments as well on any changes, because what I've been hearing from people like yourself is very powerful. It makes it difficult to support it when people like yourselves and some of the companies I mentioned say, "Don't pass it if there are not the changes there." So good luck and thank you.

Mr Wood: Thank you for coming forward with your presentation. When you talk about coming from a small community, a small town dependent on the forestry, I can relate to that because the area that I'm in, all of the communities around Kapuskasing on both sides are dependent on the forests that are out there and the sustainability of them as far as jobs and creating new jobs and making sure they're regenerated in a proper way.

I'm just wondering, you're saying that you are one of the representatives from the northwestern towns, as reeve?

Mr Tardiff: Yes, reeves and mayors meet together about every three months to discuss and that, and I think Frank is aware of that. Myself and Mayor Bill Salonen of Dryden were appointed.

Mr Wood: I take it from that you have had some input into what has been happening over the last couple of years, on the changes in the forestry that are taking place, the environmental assessment ruling, and the concern is out there.

I just want to touch a little bit on the sustainability. Have you had a discussion among the mayors and reeves on what interpretation you have been able to put on it, whether it should be explained more thoroughly in the manuals and regulations, and where you would like to see that?

Mr Tardiff: Well, the biggest discussion came really when there were cutbacks on reforestation. So many years it took to get to this point and all of a sudden you've got a cutback when things are starting to roll in the right direction. That's where it really all got started. It was hard, and if you're not going to reforest your forest, how can you keep going? Cutting using the whole tree and stuff like that really stretches your forest a lot further than if you leave half of the bush.

Mr Wood: On that, using the whole tree and chipping the tree in the bush, you're saying there should be some changes in the manuals and in the legislation as far as portable chippers are concerned. I just want to get a comment. We've had presentations as to what size trees should be chipped and where they should be going, whether they should be going to sawmills, because there is a spinoff job effect and a certain amount of revenue generated before they go out. What size of trees? Would it be allowable to see a 25- or 30-inch tree chipped in the bush or should we only be chipping the smaller logs?

Mr Tardiff: Well, in our view, there was a lot of discussion at our meetings that 12 inch and under should be chipped and the rest should be kept for logs.

Mr Wood: Twelve inch and under could be chipped and the rest kept for saw logs.

I know somebody else wants a question here.

Mr Bisson: I'm going to make mine quick. In your report, in the first part, section 1.4, just for clarification because I'm not quite sure I follow what you're getting at, you talk about: "Agreement with first nations communities. The act outlines detailed process for agreement with industry. The first nation agreement parameters and third-party consultation requirement should be defined in part II." I'm wondering what exactly you're getting at.

Mr Tardiff: Whenever most of the logging industries or municipalities or anybody do anything you do have to go through first nations. This is what a lot of people are very concerned with. Regardless if it's on first nation land or not, you still have to deal with first nations and that concerns a lot of people.

Mr Bisson: So it's not the promotion allowing the participation of first nations.

Mr Tardiff: No.

Mr Bisson: It's a concern of having first nations involved.

Mr Tardiff: Having all the say-so, in other words.

Mr Tony Martin (Sault Ste Marie): This is my first day on the committee and I just wanted to say that it's really nice to see a reeve of a community come forward. I believe there have been other mayors and reeves. It's, I think, a recognition of the fact that the sustainability of our forests -- it's not just the matter of the business, the industry staying in place, it's the whole community depending on that industry and it affects everybody.

As my good friend and neighbour Bud Wildman is wont to say, it's not so much sustainable forestry any more, it's sustainable communities. It's how we maintain the jobs and the lifestyle and all of that that keeps all of us going who live in northern Ontario. I'm from Sault Ste Marie and just in the last four years we went through a restructuring of our major industry, Algoma Steel. To do that we had to include the whole community so we could put the pressure on the proper places to make sure that the right thing happened as opposed to the most expedient thing, re the industry or some other vested interest.

It's good to see that you as the reeve of Ignace, and obviously your council, recognize this and that you are participating with the people who are most directly affected in discussions about this and coming forward and together laying them on the table.

Do you think this act will put in place a framework that will encourage and allow for that into the future? Do you think more of that will happen because of this act, or would it happen anyway?

Mr Tardiff: I sure hope so and I think every other government probably is hoping the same thing, that it be worked on and brought so everybody is happy with it and it could work.

Mr Bisson: I just wanted a chance to respond to two things that were in your brief, because it's been said by a number of people and I think it needs to be clarified -- that of tenure. You raised the question that you needed to make sure tenure was secured through the licence with people with large investments. You, I take it, were referring to the old evergreen clauses that were in the old FMA agreements.

Mr Tardiff: Right.

Mr Bisson: In the new act the same will hold true. In the existing act that we have now tenure is not defined in the act, it's defined in the agreement you sign with the crown. The same will hold true in the section 23 licence. The other thing is that area charges will be based, from what I understand -- and what we're looking at is an amendment that would be based on productive lands. That's one of the things.

The last thing I would just say in closing is that obviously the purpose of committees is to hear what people have to say and then for the committee to go back and wrestle with what amendments we need in order to strengthen the legislation, and presentations like yours sure are taken into account.

Mr Miclash: Andy, thank you for taking the time to come down to Fort Frances. A lot of people here won't realize that you're somewhere over three hours away by vehicle and I appreciate your taking that time. As well, your input serving on the mayors and reeves committee we appreciate.

Going back to a section on page 4 where you talked about local citizens' committees, I've been impressed about what we've heard so far from various presenters, actually, representing various groups throughout the north and what they see as a local citizens' committee as being and their mandate. I'm just wondering who you would see as possibly being a part of that committee and what would you see as a possible mandate for them?


Mr Tardiff: In this area you have your tourist outfitters, you have your hunters, you have your fishermen, you have your first nations, you have your local businesses and all depend on the forestry. The forest industry itself should all be on there so everybody could come out of there with one good solution of how to do the cut, what we used to call the FMA for so many years, not for one year, because you know yourself the banks are not going to give you any money or finance you to work for one year. They used to have a 20-year plan, but five years at a time. I think if you see that happening, at least the industry could plan on it and the communities and all the business people could plan on it.

Mr Miclash: So do you see them as in an advisory capacity or do see them as being part of the actual planning?

Mr Tardiff: As part of the actual planning.

Mr Miclash: The actual planning? Something you mentioned here too which is interesting: the volunteer training for local citizens' committee volunteers. I think that's an important aspect. We did a tour here last night. I myself, who have lived up this way all my life and am third generation in the northwest, learned quite a bit just from that trip into the areas that have been cut and replanted. I think that's a good suggestion as well.

Mr Brown: I too am a northerner, only most people in the northwest don't consider Algoma-Manitoulin to be in the north, but certainly we do, anyway. I was interested in the continuing debate about chippers. I don't really know why we're in this debate. I've been getting relatively confused. If it's a debate about which trees should be chipped, I can understand that, but how it happens you would think would be the industry's decision about economics.

Mr Tardiff: What we looked at is very simple. The size of the tree, yes, has got a lot to do with it. But if you read through there and look at it -- I only had few hours to go through it and on the phone with Mayor Salonen. Truthfully, if you only get a one-year-at-a-time licence to operate your chipper, how could you buy a half-million-dollar piece of equipment and bring it to the bush when you've only got one year on it? When you're chipping in the bush, you're not bringing all your bark and the needles into a mill yard where you're then going to have to haul it out. Your portable chippers are way better for industry than they are if you have it right in the yard.

Mr Brown: I agree with you. I'm just wondering why this section is in the act to begin with because, if what you're talking about is controlling the size of tree that might be chipped and talking about best use, certainly that can be defined and the licence granted to the operator. Whether he chooses or she chooses -- whatever means to do it should be up to them, I would think, rather than the ministry. I guess the section just confuses me as to why it exists in the present form, but I could maybe be convinced. I maybe haven't heard the arguments on the other side of it either.

Mr Wood: Take half an hour.

Mr Brown: You can have half an hour any time, Mr Wood, to explain it to me, but seeing you won't give half an hour to the Ontario Forest Industries Association to speak --

The Vice-Chair: Mr Brown, to the presenter, please.

Mr Brown: Frank just alluded to the concerns with the community advisory committees. One of the things I've been wrestling with and have yet to get an answer to is who actually appoints the people to this committee and who would you believe should be the people involved in the appointment process because, as we heard, I believe in Thunder Bay the other day, there were citizens' committees in the French Revolution also and their effect was not terribly good, at least for the people who lost their heads.

Mr Tardiff: I know which one you're talking about. I think the industry and MNR should be the people who appoint the people to this committee. They're the ones who are going to have to live with their decisions.

Mr Brown: To be clear, it should be a joint appointment process where --

Mr Tardiff: The industry and MNR.

Mr Brown: -- both parties agree to the people who sit on the --

Mr Tardiff: Yes.

Mr Brown: So it would take both parties to agree that, heaven help them, Mike Brown might be sitting on this committee.

Mr Tardiff: Just like a jury.

Mr Brown: I'd just like to thank you too for coming so far on such a wonderful day. I can think of many things I might want to do on an afternoon as wonderful as this besides coming to a committee meeting.

The Vice-Chair: You might even get a chance soon to do that. Thank you very much also, Mr Tardiff, for appearing before the committee. As was indicated, you came quite a distance. You can be assured that your thoughts and comments you are presenting on behalf of the people you represent will be seriously considered.

Mr Tardiff: I thank you very much for giving me the chance.

The Vice-Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Dan Williamson, I think, is not in the audience. This completes, then, the presenters, because the last two presenters have informed the clerk that they will not be appearing.

This committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock in Thunder Bay.

The committee adjourned at 1526.