Tuesday 30 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

Ontario Forest Industries Association

Marie Rauter, president

Wildlands League, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Tim Gray, executive director

Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association

David Milton, president

Ontario Professional Foresters Association

John Ebbs, executive director

Paul Aird


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

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

*Acting Chair / Président suppléant: Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East/-Est L)

Arnott, Ted (Wellington PC)

Dadamo, George (Windsor-Sandwich ND)

Grandmaître, Bernard (Ottawa East/-Est L)

Johnson, David (Don Mills PC)

*Mammoliti, George (Yorkview ND)

*Mills, Gordon (Durham East/-Est ND)

Morrow, Mark (Wentworth East/-Est ND)

Sorbara, Gregory S. (York Centre L)

Wessenger, Paul (Simcoe Centre ND)

White, Drummond (Durham Centre ND)

*In attendance / présents

Substitutions present / Membres remplaçants présents:

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

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

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

MacKinnon, Ellen (Lambton ND) for Mr White

Miclash, Frank (Kenora L) for Mr Sorbara

Morin, Gilles E. (Carleton East/-Est L) for Mr Grandmaître

Perruzza, Anthony (Downsview ND) for Mr Dadamo

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: Luski, Lorraine, research officer, Legislative Research Service

The committee met at 1000 in committee room 2.


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 Acting Chair (Mr Gilles E. Morin): Good morning, and welcome to the standing committee on general government. Our first presenter is the Ontario Forest Industries Association. You have half an hour, and if you finish before your half-hour, the time will be divided equally among the three parties to ask questions of you. Please start.

Ms Marie Rauter: I am Marie Rauter, president of the Ontario Forest Industries Association, and I have with me today Martin Kaiser, who is manager of policy for the forest industries association.

We are a trade association currently representing 20 member companies performing forestry operations and manufacturing of pulp, paper, paperboard, lumber, plywood, panel board and veneer. We represent an industry which employs more than 60,000 Ontarians and contributes approximately $2 billion per annum to the provincial balance of trade. What brings us here today is concern over Bill 171. It is legislation that will guide this industry's operations into the next century.

There is a need for change. The OFIA agrees that new legislation is necessary to replace the outdated Crown Timber Act, legislation that will ensure that Ontario can sustain a healthy forest industry for the benefit of all.

A healthy forest industry is contingent upon some basic requirements: healthy, sustainable forests, secure tenure and a healthy investment climate, and healthy partnerships with government and other users of the forest. Unfortunately, Bill 171 as written does not provide for any of these requirements.

In appendix A, which we handed out along with the brief, we have identified the sections with which we have concerns and have proposed some courses of action which should be explored more fully through meaningful consultation.

We will examine how this bill fails to address these key requirements, but first some overriding concerns.

Lack of consultation: The OFIA is before you today frustrated at the lack of meaningful consultation in developing the most fundamental piece of legislation governing the forest industry in over a decade. The process surrounding the development of Bill 171 is in direct conflict with the government's own principles for decision-making and, because of that, fails to draw on the experience and the knowledge that exists at the ground level, and that which is contained within a vast body of evidence collected in recent years.

This legislation could mean another environmental assessment. The legislation as written conflicts with a number of recommendations and rulings in the class environmental assessment on timber management. In fact, this legislation differs so vastly from the EA board rulings that, if it is enacted, it could actually result in the need for another environmental assessment. At the present time, neither government nor industry has the approval under the Environmental Assessment Act to prepare or implement forest management plans. Based on the EA board's decision, we are limited to planning and conducting timber management activities while taking into account non-timber values. We think this is a very key point in the way this legislation is written.

Also, the punitive tone of the legislation: We're concerned that the punitive tone of this legislation sends the wrong message not only to the financial community but to the general public, to our customers, and to the international marketplace.

The OFIA recognizes the need for penalties in the event of poor performance. But in order to be effective, the rules for their application must be clear and they must ensure that the penalty is commensurate with the severity of the offence. The discretionary powers afforded the minister in judging compliance and assessing penalties exacerbates this uncertainty.

Member companies are disappointed with the absence of incentives to continue to strive for excellence in management. A balance of rewards and penalties would not only promote compliance; it would stimulate companies to exceed minimum standards. This legislation is written to encourage minimum standards, not to strive for maximum.

To remain competitive in the international marketplace, we must excel not only in product quality but in forest resource management. This legislation must afford us that opportunity.

In the absence of this legislation, our member companies have already demonstrated their commitment to excellence in many different ways. The industry, for example, is actively working with provincial and federal governments, as well as the Canadian Standards Association, to establish criteria upon which individual companies can be evaluated and judged in an international forum.

Other examples of our commitment are what we handed out today, our Code of Forest Practices, which was done in partnership with some other interest groups; and also a number of questions that are being asked of us constantly, and it's called Forest Renewal in Ontario: You Asked Us. I hope you will take a few minutes after these hearings to look at what is in the content of those publications.

To have a healthy forest industry, we must have healthy sustainable forests. Sustainability and good forest management cannot be legislated. The purpose of this act should be to facilitate and to encourage sustainability.

The most critical issue to be resolved is a definition for sustainable forest management. We recommend the use of the definition developed thus far by the certification committee of the Canadian Standards Association for "sustainable forest management." It is: "the planning and implementation of activities to provide for the continuing production of resources to meet specified objectives and provide economic and social benefits to society in an environmentally acceptable manner. The level of production will depend on the nature and distribution of the resource, and the intensity and effectiveness of management."

The draft legislation provides a number of disincentives, such as: converting legal agreements to licences; excess ministerial discretion; no compensation for amendments to agreements and licences; and no legal recourse to ministerial decisions in critical areas. It is our belief that a number of these disincentives could be resolved through meaningful discussion between industry and ministry professionals.

Another requirement for a healthy forest industry is secure tenure and a health investment climate. The health and the prosperity of the forest industry, and the communities that completely or partially rely on this prosperity, are contingent upon sustainable, healthy forests. Our concerns regarding forest sustainability have a direct impact on community and industry sustainability as well.


On August 15 of this year, this committee heard from the assistant deputy minister of policy for the MNR that one intent of the legislation was "to assist in providing a stable economic environment for [the] forest industry and communities," and another, "to implement some of those recommendations" of the Forest Industry Action Group. This bill's contents are in direct conflict with these intentions. The government's ability to contribute to a stable economic environment for the forest industry and the communities is contingent upon its ability to provide certainty regarding tenure and wood supply.

The critical importance of these certitudes was reflected in the key strategic recommendations presented in the FIAG report, entitled Hard Choices -- Bright Prospects. One recommendation was to develop an assured long-term supply of quality wood resources for industrial use. Another was to address the capital formation challenge surrounding reinvestment and the challenge of attracting new investment.

Security regarding tenure and wood supply has always been critical to the forest industry's ability to raise the capital necessary to enhance operations, to remain competitive. It has become even more important today, as increased competition for the land base throughout North America has further focused investor attention on wood supply as a key component in evaluating investment potential. Reducing security of tenure threatens investment.

It was sufficient in the 1980s to deal with tenure in the ground rules of the forest management agreements, as they were legal contractual agreements which could not be amended without the signatories' consent. Today, however, with the heightened due diligence and expectations of the financial community, it is no longer sufficient to rely on an arrangement outside of legislation. This scrutiny would become even greater if this legislation, which turns agreements that are legally binding on both sides into licences, is enacted as written.

This would be in direct conflict with the recommendations made by FIAG regarding wood supply and capital formation. It would discourage new investment by existing companies in the province and it would send a clear message to prospective investors about the heightened risk and the uncertainty faced by Ontario's forest companies.

We also require healthy relationships with government and with other users of the forest. The existing forest management agreements are examples of successful partnerships. This is evidenced by the quantity and the quality of renewal efforts in this province. The need for partnerships with the users of the forest was recognized in the environmental assessment ruling and is being demonstrated further by some of our members' participation in the federal government's model forest program. Legislation should and legislation must provide for continuous improvement in developing these partnerships.

In conclusion to the body of this brief, Bill 171 is not good legislation. It is not good for our forest environment, it is not good for our forest industry and it is not good for the people of Ontario.

Our province needs legislation that will stimulate excellence in forest management, and it is only through a process of intensive, meaningful dialogue with the groups that are directly affected that we will ensure that the goals of this legislation are fully realized. We must act to consult before passing 171 into law. In doing that, we can build on the strengths of the past; we can ensure that those who will be impacted have a greater understanding of their role and then a greater sense of security; we can increase clarity with respect to obligations, responsibilities and accountabilities; and we can be constructive, moving to an advanced level of dialogue and forest management.

Good forest management is critical to the forest industry. So is good legislation. Members of the committee, we urge you to be visionaries and ensure that the necessary changes are made to this bill so that Ontario truly becomes a world-class leader in sustainable forest management; so that forest product companies are helped, not hindered, in their quest to become nationally and internationally certified; so that forest product companies and the communities they support are sustainable; and so that resource managers are given the tools to manage to the best of their ability and not to the lowest available denominator. Do not limit us to mediocrity. Challenge us and allow us to excel.

The Acting Chair: I understand that you're also making the next presentation.

Ms Rauter: That's right.

The Acting Chair: Would you agree to having us listen to your presentation and then proceed with the questions?

Ms Rauter: That would be terrific.

The Acting Chair: So let's do it that way.

Ms Rauter: For the second presentation, I would also like to bring up to the front with me Mr Ken Armson. Ken Armson has been a professor of forestry at the University of Toronto. He was also chief forester and executive director of the forest resources branch for the Ministry of Natural Resources. He is also a lead working with the Canadian Standards Association in trying to get certification for forest management so that we can be recognized in the national and international marketplace.

For my second presentation, I would like to highlight some of the specific clauses in the legislation which will indicate why we feel we need some major changes in this legislation to be able to move forward and to provide sustainable forests, sustainable forest industry, and for the people of Ontario to have some security and knowledge that these forests and that this industry and the northern communities and also many southern communities will be here for a long time to come.

The first would be in section 1, the purposes. It reads, "The purposes of this act are to provide for the sustainability of crown forests and, in accordance with that objective, to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations."

Unfortunately, the body of this act or this bill does not reflect the purpose. Simply changing "timber" to "forest" will not ensure sustainability of crown forests. Sustainability, as we mentioned earlier, cannot be legislated, but the process for facilitating it, encouraging it, can be.

This contravenes many of the decisions of the timber EA board and, if passed, could require another EA hearing. We would recommend that to ensure forest sustainability, this act must be the umbrella legislation for all activities in the forest. If it is for activities as they relate to trees, "forest" must be replaced with "timber" to be consistent with the timber EA ruling.


Alternatively, if "forest resource" is redefined in this legislation, "forest" could be replaced with "forest resource" and we feel it would still honour the intent of the EA legislation. This legislation does not have definitions for either "forest" or "timber," only for "forest resource."

Section 4, "Application: provincial parks," is an exemption. Again, when we talk about forest sustainability, it has to be all of the forest; you cannot exempt certain parts of the forest. So we feel that provincial parks and all aspects, all components of the forests, should be there.

Then, when it comes to a definition, I know you have heard from many people that you should use the definition in the Diversity document. That definition can be applied if legislation is applicable to all operations and all crown forests. If it is only for the working forest, and really this legislation as written is only for the working forest, I wish you would consider the working definition for sustainable forest management that is being proposed and is being discussed within the Canadian Standards Association.

Another aspect of this legislation which is in direct conflict with the environmental assessment is the way section 12 is written on local citizens' committees. It's not that the minister "may" establish local citizens' committees, the EA ruling says the minister "will" establish committees, and it will establish committees at provincial, regional and local levels.

I know you've had some discussion with some previous presenters as to what should be in there, how should these be set up and what should be done. This is all outlined for you in the environmental assessment ruling. If you do something different, you are going to be in conflict with the decision of the ruling. Please don't throw out those terms and conditions in that ruling. There were four a half years of hearings, where all parties had full opportunity to give evidence, and that ruling is binding. The government, the industry and many other parties spent millions of dollars and there was some very good information put forward. Please make sure that you look at those terms and conditions in the environmental assessment ruling and don't have legislation that conflicts with those decisions.

Another section of the bill, the sustainable forest licences: This is where the current forest management agreements would be converted to licences. They are changing an agreement which has been developed by two parties through negotiations into a licence which can be changed unilaterally. That is not our definition of partnership. This change is a major deterrent to forest sustainability and is in direct conflict with the government's policy to build partnerships. The term should be "sustainable forest resource agreement," and the section should state "...activities necessary to provide for the sustainability of those forest resources licensed in the area covered by the licence." "Sustainability" and "forest" need to be defined and "forest resource" redefined, as we have talked about earlier in this clause-by-clause.

Another major concern is section 72, transitional provisions on the sustainable forest resources. We again feel that this is regressive legislation, regressive action, which raises serious concerns about this government's intent to honour its commitments. Section 6 of the Crown Timber Act provides exemptions from provisions of the Crown Timber Act that section 23 of this act does not provide. An agreement entered into under section 6 of the Crown Timber Act should become an agreement in this act. This section must provide the same rights provided in section 6 of the Crown Timber Act.

Following with the next subsection, subsection 72(2), "No action or other proceeding shall be brought in respect of loss or damage arising from the enactment of subsection (1)." This is regressive and again is a major deterrent to partnership, good forest management and to forest sustainability. The minister is unilaterally abrogating critical components of the forest management agreements and extinguishing the agreement holder's right to recourse. This section must be deleted.

Those are some of the areas that are examples that I think illustrate what we tried to describe in the body of the brief and I would like to open the rest of the time we have available for questions.

Mr Michael A. Brown (Algoma-Manitoulin): Good morning, and thank you for coming. This is one of the most comprehensive briefs we have received. You've expressed a number of the concerns that other presenters have expressed, particularly with regard to sustainability. I was interested in your argument regarding the Diversity document and its definition of sustainability. Perhaps you could help me understand that area a little better.

Ms Rauter: The Diversity document's definition is "to ensure the long-term health of our forest ecosystems for the benefit of the local and global environment, while enabling present and future generations to meet their material and social needs." That's a slight modification of the definition for "sustainable development." As to "the long-term health of our forest ecosystems," we want the long-term health of all our forest, and you will manage the working forest for the forest industry differently than you will manage an area that you have set aside for old-growth forest or a provincial park that you have set aside for tourism and recreation, so that definition is a much broader one that encompasses all of that.

The Canadian Standards Association has tried to put a definition which is more of a working definition, so it gives you a little more in terms of: If you are going to be managing the land for a forest resource, how do you establish objectives and criteria? So it is a working definition, whereas this is an overall definition.

Mr Brown: The other definition that has been of special concern, it seems to me, is "ecosystem" itself, "forest ecosystem." It strikes me that the boundaries we have, whether they're on FMAs or crown land units or whatever they happen to be, do not necessarily follow ecosystem boundaries. I've been perplexed at trying to understand, first, exactly what a forest ecosystem is and, second, how management would occur to manage an ecosystem when it crosses the boundaries between management units or FMAs or whatever the situation is.

Ms Rauter: I think Mr Armson can talk to ecosystems.

Mr Kenneth Armson: Your being perplexed is not surprising, because the Environmental Assessment Board was somewhat perplexed and I had occasion to speak about this with it.

The term "ecosystem" was basically introduced many years ago by an ecologist to describe the way in which you might look at organisms in their environment in relation to processes and so on. In other words, it was a concept and conceptual. What has happened, over the last few years particularly, is that it has come to define, in many people's minds, an area, a space, something you could draw a line on a map for. But that was not the concept and still basically is not the fundamental concept, and that is that you look at an organism. For example, if we talk about a jack pine forest, there are jack pine trees, there are all kinds of other organisms there. When we think about it that way, we're talking about it as an ecosystem. But when we put a line on a map, we're defining an area of ground with various elements there.


It's conceptual. The problem is that when we talk about a jack pine forest ecosystem, we're really saying we're embracing all the elements and the processes that are there. When we talk about an area of jack pine that's going to be harvested or to be planted or so on, we're talking about discrete areas. Does that help?

Mr Brown: Well, it's getting me down the road, I guess. The problem is, we do have to draw lines. The other problem I have with that definition is trying to decide which ecosystem we're talking about. Is it the one that existed at the turn of the century perhaps, before the forest was ever harvested, is it the one we have today, or is it the one that we want 70 years from now? I think those are valid questions, and I've been having difficulty understanding. I mean, a farmer sometimes plants wheat and sometimes plants corn on the same land. Obviously, they're different ecosystems if you look at the farm. In forestry, in the commercial forests or the industrial forests or the working forests, whatever, presumably you might want to have more conifers in that area than are there today, or maybe you don't.

Ms Rauter: In terms of managing, one of the things we sometimes forget about is that the basic resource we have is the soil, so we need to make sure that whatever is regenerated on a piece of land is suitable to the soil. You're right that in some instances there may be poplars and in other instances jack pine, but the same soil may accommodate both.

What is important when we talk about sustainability is to ensure that we don't lose much of the biodiversity, the species we're dealing with, or the genetic diversity of some of those. That is why we must manage for the entire crown forest, not only for the working forest. In the areas you will have set aside, you will be maintaining different components of an ecosystem through the rotation age than you will necessarily have in the harvested area, but you will still manage the harvested working forest in such a way that you do not lose its capacity to produce at least at the level that nature had it producing.

Mr Brown: One of the most disturbing things about your presentation today is your remarks about the environmental assessment and how this act is in conflict with a multimillion-dollar six- or seven-year project that consumed the resources of the industry, the province, various interest groups, and has rendered a decision which the government itself has accepted, and that this act would be in violation of various parts of it. I find that extraordinary.

Ms Rauter: We are very concerned about that. We are very concerned because it was an environmental assessment for timber management and that is what we have the approval for. There were parties that asked to have timber management expanded to forest management, and the ministry several times gave evidence that it was not appropriate to have approval for forest management but rather to do it for timber management while taking into account the other values of the forest. That is very different from forest management.

We are headed down the road for forest management, but the terms and conditions of that EA board ruling are for timber management. It is for the information to be collected, for plans to be prepared, and for operations to be based on that ruling. It is not for forest management. If you have legislation that is for forest management, you are liable to be subject to another full-blown environmental assessment hearing. I think that would be a tragedy, considering that we underwent four and a half years of hearings and, I don't know, 20,000 or 30,000 pages of evidence.

Mr Frank Miclash (Kenora): Marie, thank you very much for your presentation. As Mr Brown indicated, it's quite in-depth and you have some excellent recommendations here.

Going to section 12, the local citizens' committees, as you indicated, the terms and conditions of the EA board state very clearly that the MNR will establish the committees. In your recommendation, you're suggesting that the act should establish the trilevel committee. Can you expand on what you would see that trilevel committee being and its mandate?

Ms Rauter: If I can say, a number of our companies have already established those local citizens' committees even prior to the terms and conditions of the EA coming out. That's very much on the ground, in terms of, for example, if you have a cottagers' association on the committee -- let me step back a bit.

The way the process worked in the past is that you would write a timber management plan and then you would have an open house. When you had an open house, you had some poor soul who had spent two years of his life writing a timber management plan, so when the public comes to criticize, the authors are not there with the same open mind for change because they have already, in their minds, determined how they think the process can best be done in terms of the plan.

With the local citizens' group, the intent is that before any words be put to paper, the local citizens' group would sit down and you would have a chair and you would know that you needed to harvest an area and you needed to renew and manage an area. If a cottager had a problem, he would identify that problem, or if somebody had a particular fishing lake that was back in the bush and they didn't want the road to go right by it, you would then have the opportunity, sitting around a table, to dialogue, and maybe the road would change and maybe some of these harvest set-asides would change. You have this opportunity to dialogue back and forth, and that's the local citizens' committee, so that by the time a management plan is written you have avoided and eliminated much of the potential conflict.

We also felt at the top end that you needed a provincial advisory committee, because you needed to know, what were the desires of the people in terms of sustainability of the province? Did they want the moose population to increase? Did they want the forest industry to increase? Did they want old-growth areas to increase? You would do that as the umbrella provincial direction in terms of advising the minister.

But to go from the local citizen group to the top provincial advisory group was too much of a jump, so there was the regional one.

The timber EA terms and conditions very nicely delineates these three levels.

If I may say, that proposal was put forward by the forest industry, and there were a lot of groups that were very surprised to believe that the forest industry could be as progressive as to want consultation to try to avoid some of this conflict and to try to develop some of these partnerships at the very early stages of planning.

Mr Chris Hodgson (Victoria-Haliburton): Thank you, Marie. I've really enjoyed your presentation. It's quite detailed and I'm sure I'll get around to reading schedule A some time tonight.

If you've been following the hearings, we went for a two-week tour through northern Ontario, and we heard similar concerns. But yesterday, back in Toronto, we had a whole day, and people expressed grave concerns. I find there's a bit of common ground here in the nature of their concerns about Bill 171. You represent the industry, and if I can characterize the people, they represent maybe the provincial interest of ensuring the ecosystems or the environment. Do you want to comment on that?

Ms Rauter: There is a lot of common ground. There is the perception in some circles that the forest industry is not interested in a healthy forest. There is no one more interested in a healthy forest than the forest industry, one of the reasons being that if we are to put in some of the capital operations that are required for making pulp, for making paper, we're looking at millions and hundreds of millions of dollars of expenditures. You do not go into a forest, cut it and leave it, in order to get the return on that investment. You get that investment return over a very, very long period of time. In order for those operations to continue, you need to have a healthy forest.


Mr Hodgson: You've mentioned that this act comes up short in a number of areas, but in your conclusion -- and Gary and I will go back to the caucus before this comes to third reading -- you're suggesting that this committee ensure the necessary changes are made to the bill. But a lot of the changes you're referring to are going to take a lot of consultation and discussion with the interested parties, people who have appeared before our committee and more outside in the community. What would your recommendation be to us, before we ensure the necessary changes are made: to send it back to the workshops?

Ms Rauter: You have two choices. One choice would be to take a look at all of the clause-by-clause recommendations of all of the parties and try and put them together to do some revisions. That is the same as taking a dress that has already been made for a size 10 person, and they've gained a few pounds, and you're now going to try and revamp it to accommodate somebody who's now a size 16. It's piecemeal, and it's never as good as if you do it right from the beginning.

You can do that, but I don't think the legislation you're going to have at the end of the day is going to be good legislation. It will be legislation and it will accommodate certain things in certain parts. I think you do need a tremendous amount of meaningful dialogue, taking another look at the terms and conditions of the EA, taking some of the good parts out of this legislation, and then packaging it in such a way that it's going to take us into the next century.

Other than the minor -- well, they weren't minor; they were major -- amendments in June of this year for the trust funds, we never really had very many major amendments until back into 1980. So this legislation, whatever goes through here, will probably never see the light of day again until maybe 2010. That's a long time. We need to make sure between now and then that we've got the legislation that's going to get us there.

Don't restrict yourselves and just try and do legislation. I think this encourages minimum standards. Please take a look at how you can, as I say, challenge us. Challenge us for excellence. I really think that if you wanted to do a good job, it's almost: Go back to square one and build. You've got a lot of good information out there. You've got a meaningful consultation process that you can set up. Do that, and ensure good legislation.

We're certainly a group that has said we don't want process for process' sake, and we don't want to be seen as dragging our feet because we don't want new legislation. We want new legislation, but we want good legislation. We would like the process set up so that we can at the end of the day have good legislation.

Mr Hodgson: Is there is a crisis with the status quo today? Given the fact that the trust funds are set up under Bill 160, given the fact that the EA calls for a number of changes that have to happen, do you see anything besides politics that would dictate a hasty passage of this bill?

Ms Rauter: There would have been need for hasty passage if the trust fund had not been amended in June. Now that that is there, that is one thing that will certainly enable us to move forward in that whole concept. And that is one thing that I think also will give the people of Ontario some assurance that when a forest is harvested, it will be satisfactorily regenerated. I think that was a major key and a major concern of the people of Ontario.

Also, in terms of the terms and conditions of the EA, something that I think is required is for government to take a look at those terms and conditions and start putting the schedules and the roles and responsibilities all together to make sure that those terms and conditions are implemented and then to have us try to move forward to forest management. We're now at timber management, taking into account other values. But we need to move down that road and we are starting to move down that road. The model forest program is one very good example of trying to get down that road.

Mr Hodgson: We've made application for a model forest in our area, as you're probably aware; it wasn't accepted by the government, but it was close. I really appreciate your coming in and spending the whole hour with us. It's been of benefit. Thank you.

Ms Rauter: Thank you very much.

Mr Len Wood (Cochrane North): Thank you for coming forward with a broad definition of the way you see Bill 171, the changes you'd like to make.

As to the environmental assessment ruling that came down, the government agrees with the terms and conditions wholeheartedly. There's no attempt in drafting the legislation to avoid the decision that came down. We've stated that in the Legislature. Bill 171 has been drafted around the decision, based on the decision that came down. This is the feeling we have, based on discussions with the stakeholders out there, with the various industries, with the thousands of people who have been involved in the regulations, manuals. Yet in your presentation you're saying that your interpretation is that the terms and conditions of the EA are not being fully covered under Bill 171.

Ms Rauter: They're more than not fully covered. It doesn't matter whether they're covered in this legislation or not, because the EA ruling is law and it has to be implemented. You don't need this legislation to implement the terms and conditions of the EA ruling.

Our concern is that some of the sections of this legislation are in conflict with the EA ruling. The question I asked our lawyers was, does one supersede another? The response was that if this legislation is written and it says one thing, and the EA legislation is written and it says something else for the same issue, the only way it's going to be settled is to be challenged in the court system. I think last thing we want is a litigious system, the last thing we want is for the courts to determine which piece of legislation supersedes another.

That is why we are urging you that with it being defined as forest management plans, that is in conflict with the EA ruling. We do not have approval for forest management plans.

Mr Wood: The EA decision, from what I understand, specifically states that nothing in the decision prevents the MNR from moving from timber to forest management.

Ms Rauter: That's correct, but under the Environmental Assessment Act we only have approval to operate timber management plans -- under the Environmental Assessment Act, not under the EA ruling. Under the Environmental Assessment Act we only have approval for timber. Under the Environmental Assessment Act it can say: "Okay, you have approval. You are legally able to practice timber management. You do not have approval to practice forest management." Yes, we should be moving towards forest management and we are moving towards forest management -- the government is, the industry is -- but this legislation says "forest management plans." We do not have approval for forest management plans under the act for environmental assessment, not the ruling of the EA board -- two very different things.

Mr Wood: I guess I can get on to another concern. Some of the recommendations -- and the government was well aware of some of the decisions that were going to be handed down during the EA -- have been implemented over a numbers of years. I'm sure the local citizens' committees, of which we've had three or four who have come and presented --

Ms Rauter: That's right.

Mr Wood: Some of them can be named. There are the community forests, which are doing a fantastic job out there. It's covered under the new legislation, which wasn't covered under the old timber act so much, even though the word "sustainability" has been around; since 1926 under the timber act, it was referring to timber. The people in the province of Ontario, and the government being the landlord and responsible for it, basically are saying they want to move to forest management instead of talking about only timber.


Ms Rauter: Let me give you an example of this legislation. The way this legislation is written, it says that for any forest resource extraction, you shall measure and count according to the scaling manual. If you've got a forest management plan and your extraction is blueberries, the way this legislation is written, section 42, on methods of measurement, says, "A person shall not remove forest resources...from the place of harvesting unless the resources have been measured and counted by a licensed scaler." If that forest resource happens to be blueberries, it means you will have to measure and count the blueberries by a licensed scaler.

Mr Wood: On the same concept, we manage the moose population, we manage the deer population, we manage the bear population, and we have committed ourselves as a government that it will be done on a sustainability basis. If 150,000 people apply for moose licences for adult moose, we're not going to allow them all to get licences; we're going to maintain a certain moose population -- the same way we have to maintain a certain amount of trees that are going to be naturally regenerated or planted or whatever to maintain this, sustainable hundreds and hundreds of years down the road.

Ms Rauter: Exactly, and that's why we're saying the title of this act, of this bill, does not reflect the content. Crown forest sustainability and the definition for "forest" today are very different from the definition of "forest" 20 years ago. The definition of "forest" today is all plants and all wildlife. That's why we feel that if you want to entitle a crown forest sustainability act, all of those good things you are doing must be under the umbrella of this legislation and then sublegislation for each component. But the way it is now, you've got different pieces of legislation for the same piece of land. You must have legislation, if you want to talk about forest sustainability, that encompasses all uses, and that includes the anglers, the hunters, the tourists.

Mr Wood: I understand that the members of your association have been involved over the last six months with the intense negotiations that are at the present moment, as we're speaking, taking place with your member companies --

Ms Rauter: With Carman?

Mr Wood: -- negotiating what is called the Bob Carman exercise, and that agreements are very close to being signed with some particular members of your association. I just wonder if you want to reflect on that.

Ms Rauter: Yes, and with respect to those negotiations, Bob Carman, by just about all companies, has been told of the concern about what this legislation means, and that there are some companies that will be looking at certain amendments, but that does not mean they are very close to signing the entire package deal. One of the reasons they're very concerned is because of the way this legislation reads.

Mr Wood: I'm sure we could go on for an hour with comments back and forth, having a history of close to 30 years in the pulp and paper industry in northern Ontario and being anxious to see some changes made, but I'll give my time to Gord. Gord Mills has some questions.

Mr Gordon Mills (Durham East): First of all, thank you for coming. I listened, believe it or not, very intently to everything you said, and my immediate reaction was that Bill 171 must be a disaster because of all I heard you say, particularly your comments about the environmental assessment.

There are two questions I'd like to ask you. I understand there were some preparations for the manual, and I just wonder if you had any input into that. Second, were all these concerns you've brought forward this morning brought forward at that time? I'm interested to know, is this the first time we've heard all of this?

Ms Rauter: No, it's not. How far back to go? When we first heard this legislation was being drafted, we requested the opportunity for discussions to discuss what was in the draft and how to move forward. We were not afforded that opportunity. When first reading came down --

Mr Anthony Perruzza (Downsview): Was a reason given?

Ms Rauter: We were just told that it was in the very preliminary stages and there was not the opportunity. We did that several times, asked both at the bureaucratic level and at the political level, and we were not afforded an opportunity for discussion prior to first reading.

Mr George Mammoliti (Yorkview): Verbally or in writing?

Ms Rauter: Verbally.

The Acting Chair: Order, please. Mr Mills has the floor.

Mr Perruzza: Do you have the names of the people you spoke to in that regard?

Ms Rauter: Not just now.

The Acting Chair: Order.

Ms Rauter: Mr Chair, do you mind if I could just finish?


The Acting Chair: Order, please.

Ms Rauter: If I could go through the sequence of events --

Mr Mammoliti: These are really important questions, Mr Chair.

The Acting Chair: Yes. Wait your turn, please.

Ms Rauter: We were quite concerned. We supported new legislation; we wanted legislation. Then, when first reading came out, we did have an opportunity to meet with some of the ministry people and I suspect they probably appreciate some of our concerns, but again, when you have worked day and night on something and you think you've done the best job possible, when another party comes and starts to tear it apart, you get very defensive and start justifying what you did instead of trying to understand where another party is coming from.

When we saw that guidelines and manuals were in the legislation, we asked if we could participate. Even though we've had downsizing and we've had trouble in participating in a number of initiatives that the MNR has had, I committed to the minister that we would find the bodies. So we helped in terms of some of the preliminary work with those guidelines, and I think both the ministry and the industry people who were sitting there were really trying to do a job.

One of the problems is that it's only a first cut. It's been done at such a pace that -- as I understand from some of our people, they had a particular date where they thought they were going to write their chapter and submit it so the rest of the committee could look at it, but there was not the time even for review of different chapters because the deadline dates had passed, because your committee was starting, and they needed to get something out for the public to read. So even though we've been there, there's not been the opportunity to really fully discuss what's in there and how we're going to move forward.

The Acting Chair: You have a short question?

Mr Mammoliti: I'm wanting to know why you didn't put all of this in writing. If there was some communication both with bureaucrats and political staff, why did you not put it in writing and why wouldn't you want something in writing responded to you?

Ms Rauter: I guess because I really try to work with people and I don't like to have to use that as a recourse. I suspect that if I go to my correspondence, there is a letter to the Premier that indicates the concern we've had with some of the actions over the last six or eight months, but that's not the type of thing I like to go public with.

Mr Mammoliti: The issue here is your request to have input with the ministry. My concern is that perhaps in future -- my recommendation to you would be to put it in writing. To come to a committee and say, "No, we haven't had any input and we're upset that we didn't have any input," but at the same time, it was all verbal -- I find that, at this point and at this level, unacceptable. We would like to see it in writing in the future.

The Acting Chair: I'm afraid I'll have to cut you off. The time has expired. Thank you very much for your presentation.

Ms Rauter: Thank you very much.


The Acting Chair: We will now proceed with the next presenter, the Wildlands League, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

Interjection: It's not quite 11 yet.

Mr Brown: Call the cops.

Mr Mammoliti: Mr Chair, we're not allowed to speak here. Mr Brown, we're not allowed to speak.

The Acting Chair: I'm trying to be fair with everyone. I follow the clock very closely, and I can assure you that the Chair is extremely fair.

Mr Gray, good morning. You have half an hour for your presentation. Whatever time is left after you've made your presentation will be divided equally among the three parties and this will be the time for them to ask you questions. So the total exercise is for half an hour.

Mr Tim Gray: For half an hour? A 15-minute presentation, then?

The Acting Chair: Whatever time you want to take for your presentation, if you want to start now.


Mr Gray: Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to present to the standing committee regarding the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. My name is Tim Gray. I'm the executive director of the Wildlands League, which is a chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society based here in Toronto. We are an organization that was founded in 1968. We have 16,000 members nationally. Our focus is on protecting representative natural areas in a wilderness designation or parks, and also working to develop sustainable management of crown and private lands throughout the country.

My involvement with the organization began in 1988, and I've been involved with forest issues in Ontario on a volunteer basis and on a professional basis since the mid-1980s. We've been involved in the class environmental assessment on timber management. I sat as a member of the old-growth forests policy advisory committee for the last two years. I'm also the national coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund Canada endangered spaces program.

What I'm going to do is provide what I see as a brief overview of forest issues in Ontario since the mid-1980s and bring us to where we are today with the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. In the early 1980s, the Ministry of Natural Resources was asked to prepare an environmental assessment of its activities -- how timber management, timber harvest, affects crown lands in Ontario -- as a requirement under the Environmental Assessment Act.

The development of that document started in the mid-1980s and we got to the hearing stage by 1987, and after long years of hearings, which I'm sure everyone has heard about in some way or another, we finished that up. We heard endless testimony about the impacts of forest harvest in northern Ontario, the economic consequences, the ecological consequences. A lot of time, money and effort by all parties involved was spent.

In the late 1980s, there was a consultants' report done for the Ministry of Natural Resources as a way of trying to figure out what was wrong with what was happening in the forest and what should be done at a provincial level, at a policy level, by the government to fix the situation.

Then the 1990 election occurred and the New Democratic Party took office and launched the sustainable forestry program.

Since then, there have been two agendas going on within the Ministry of Natural Resources: One I'll call the forest agenda, and the other one is the timber agenda.

The forest agenda included a lot of the programs under the sustainable forestry initiative: the forest policy panel; the old-growth forest initiative; the wildlife strategy; the audit of regeneration in the boreal forest; endangered spaces commitments to complete our protected areas system by the year 2000; changes to the fish and wildlife act in Bill 162; promises of new endangered species legislation; and promises to revise the badly outdated parks act.

On the other side of the agenda, the timber agenda, was old-style MNR: Timber comes first; the forests are only a source of fibre. That included programs such as the timber production policy, the Forest Industry Action Group, and the outcome of the class environmental assessment.

I think everyone in this room sitting behind me was intimately involved in all those things, from policy staff with the Ministry of Natural Resources to NGOs to business groups to members of the general public. We have been, as I'm sure lots of people have told you in these hearings around the province, consulted to death about what we wanted to happen with Ontario's forests.

Almost every single committee travelled extensively throughout the forests of Ontario and the towns of Ontario trying to come up with what the Ontario public could live with and where it wanted to go in the management of its forests. At the end of the day, and this really is the end of the day, we have come up with a broad level of consensus on the forestry side of the agenda. When everybody started into this process in 1990, I think you wouldn't have found very much optimism that anything productive would come out of it. It's not often that you can get the forest industry and all the different environmental interests, tourism interests, municipalities and everybody to sit down and come up with a set of common principles they can agree upon.

There are documents such as:

-- The Ontario Forest Policy Panel's report, which was developed with a wide consensus, and generally roundly supported by everyone in the province who took part in it.

-- The old-growth forest policy panel, which I sat on, which had representatives from all those different stakeholder groups, produced a consensus report telling the government to implement protection for old-growth forests.

-- Wild Life Strategy for Ontario, multi-sector again.

-- The boreal audits, which show that we do not have sufficient regeneration in our forests in northern Ontario.

With all these things, I think people saw: "Okay, this is what the problem is. Here's what some solutions are. Let's move ahead." The sustainable forestry agenda issues have broad public support, have had broad public involvement, and have had the expertise and the new vision for where we need to go forward brought into them. The old-style, 1970s MNR approach to forestry -- timber management -- is reflected in the class environmental assessment, reflected in the decision to arbitrarily increase the provincial harvest by 50% and to move forward with a timber production policy that does not reflect ecosystem thinking.

Now we're at the point, in the summer of 1994, where we have to make a choice. We need a new act. In fact, our organization and several others have been asking for all of the forestry agenda items to be consolidated into a new act for some time, so I was very pleased in May of this year when I heard from the Ministry of Natural Resources and from the NDP that they would be coming forward with a new act that would consolidate these initiatives. I must say it was very, very disappointing to sit down with the draft just a couple of days before it went to the House for first reading to realize that what we were seeing was not the new forest sustainability act but the Crown Timber Act, part 2, 1994 version.

So now here we are. We've got three and a half, four years of public debate during this government, we've got God knows how many years of debate under the Tory government, two years under the Liberal government, and this act in its current form is going to wrap all of that discussion together and take us back to 1964. I think we should consider very, very carefully the implications of doing that.

If we pass this act as it stands, we'll have no clear rules for sustainability and no definition. We'll have no rules for the forest managers to use. We'll have no guarantees for other users of the forest that their interests will be provided for.

You can imagine, if you're a field manager working for the Ministry of Natural Resources and you've been told that you're going to practice sustainable management and there's no definition of it in the act that encompasses this, there's no definition in the regulations, there's no definition in the manuals that you have to use on a day-to-day basis about what it is that you're supposed to be sustaining, what are you going to do? You're going to give in to whatever the demand of the day is. If the demand of the day is that a mill that's unsustainable needs more wood, you're going to give in. If it's for a particular local tourism operation that happens to be very strong and very, very vocal, maybe you'll give in and the mill won't get some wood. If it's an environmental dispute that becomes international, maybe you'll give in on that. Because you've got no basis to work from: You've got no definitions; you've got nothing to hang your hat on.

This act in its current form also helps to preclude the protection of our protected areas system, and is in fact a backtracking from the existing Crown Timber Act. There will be no way, if this act is passed, during the period in which timber licences are signed, to withdraw land for other purposes, either for protected areas or to settle native land claims. Effectively, this act will make timber management planning the land use planning of northern Ontario, and it's solely unsuited to do that.

The international reputation of Ontario is going to suffer if this act is passed. I have submitted to you copies of letters from the World Wildlife Fund for Nature in Switzerland, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature UK, and one from World Wildlife Fund Canada. This will become both a national and international issue. There are moves afoot in this province and nationally to certify the logging industry as sustainable. If this act is passed it'll make that very, very difficult for that to occur in Ontario. International pressure will increase if this act goes ahead and we back off on our commitments here to bring in sustainable forestry and a completed protected areas system.

When we get to this point in this province, the general public really has to ask themselves, "Why did we participate for all this time, go through all these processes, sit in these long meetings with industry to come up with consensus only to have it ignored by government?" I think people are very, very tired of it.

I think it's your obligation as this committee to make sure that changes are made to this bill that require sustainability to occur in this province -- not just to suggest that it may occur or allow it to be developed at some time in the future, but to include clear, concise objectives for how forest managers can carry out sustainability in the field.

This act does not have to pass the way it is. We don't have to go down the road of increasing conflict and having legislation that takes us back to 1964. There is a choice here, and I think we need to make it today. Thank you very much.


Mr Gary Carr (Oakville South): Thank you very much for your presentation. You said that as a result of this bill there will be no clear rules, no definition, and you just summed up by saying it would take us back to 1964. I take it, then, if you were me and you had a vote on third reading, you would like us to vote against this bill?

Mr Gray: If this act is not substantively modified, I would definitely vote against it.

Mr Carr: You may have heard the forest industry say the same thing as we went across northern Ontario. They said to vote against it, for different reasons. We've had all this consultation over the last little while. Do you think we can ever come to some consensus where we would get everybody around the table to agree?

Mr Gray: Yes, I think so. This spring, cabinet adopted the principles of forest sustainability, for example, from the Ontario Forest Policy Panel. That particular exercise was carried out with a huge amount of public consultation. I think they stopped in 40 different communities and spoke to thousands of people. The level of discussion about forest issues in that process was so much broader than a committee is able to carry out, say, when you have a very short time in the middle of the summer.

You may be hearing, when you go to the towns in which you've been in the last few weeks, a lot of confusion or a lot of discussion about what it is that people want. But you have had a group of fairly expert individuals that developed that policy and it was adopted by cabinet, and I haven't heard a lot of complaint or a lot of people saying it doesn't reflect what we want from our forests. I think there's a high degree of consensus there.

Cabinet saw fit to adopt it as policy, and when the act was announced in the spring there was a commitment that the act would reflect those principles of forest sustainability, but that didn't turn out to be true. They're not reflected in the act.

So I don't think it's that difficult to do it. I think the biological imperative inherent in the concept of sustainability is understandable to most people. We're moving towards that in British Columbia, we're moving towards that in the United States, we're moving to that in Nova Scotia. Ontario doesn't want to be the last one on the boat.

Mr Carr: This makes it difficult. As I went through the north, the biggest employer in Kapuskasing, Spruce Falls, said to vote against it; Avenor did, the biggest in Thunder Bay; E.B. Eddy. It makes it very difficult. Groups have come in and said there are so many problems in it.

There is an opportunity for amendments. Maybe you heard the forest industry using the analogy of trying to fit somebody into a size 16 dress when it was made for a size 10. Do you think there can be any amendments come forward? As you know, you've got ministry staff here who can present amendments that are coming up in clause-by-clause. Do you think the bill can be -- and I hate to use this term -- "fixed" through amendments in clause-by-clause, or do you favour what the forest industry said this morning, to go back and do it right from the beginning? Do you think it can be fixed in clause-by-clause or should we start again?

Mr Gray: I think its basic framework can probably survive. We submitted our brief yesterday; Chris Lompart from the Federation of Ontario Naturalists handed in a joint submission that a lot of the NGOs worked on together. We have gone through the act in a sort of a clause-by-clause way, looking at what the things are that need to be changed. I'd be willing to work with the existing act to make those changes; I don't think it has to be thrown out. But there's just no way it should pass in its current form.

Mr Carr: As you know, so much is in regulations. One of the reasons that governments -- and I don't say this government -- puts it in regulations is that it allows for a tremendous amount of flexibility. You talked about the people at MNR in the field. Whoever the minister is can basically dictate, without legislation, how the act should be interpreted. It gives broad, broad powers to the minister. I guess if you're the minister of the day you think it's a good thing, but knowing that governments change and probably will change -- of all political stripes -- do you think we are giving the ministry too much power through this act to decide and interpret rather than doing it through legislation, which of course makes it more difficult for the minister to challenge?

Mr Gray: Certain key things need to be in legislation, both to protect the minister and the government and the public but also to make things very clear for managers because they know what the bottom line is.

The exact opposite approach to what is being pursued here in Ontario is being pursued by British Columbia. Here in Ontario we've chosen to leave everything out of the legislation and, as far as I can tell so far, leave everything out of the regulations and the manuals as well. But in BC they've taken a much more legislation-oriented position where they've tried to put virtually everything, every practice you can imagine, into the legislation. I don't think that's necessarily the way to go either, but there's got to be some guarantees to the public and to the crown that forests are going to be managed on a sustainable basis.

Especially for the ruling party of the day, it's going to be very important in the future, because more and more, the responsibility for forest management is going to lie with industry. I mean, a section of this act deals with the development of trust funds to facilitate that transfer. If there are no rules, no audit procedures and no accountability for how the forest industry is managing Ontario's forests, first of all, how will we know? And second, how will we force it to happen if it isn't occurring? I think those sorts of minimum guarantees need to be in legislation. You don't want to legislate exactly how far apart the trees have to be cut when you're spacing them after a harvest or something; those things can be done in manuals. But as to the broader objectives and principles, there's absolutely no reason those can't be in legislation.

Mr Carr: Thank you, and good luck.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much for bringing forward your ideas and suggestions. Just a couple of comments and maybe a question. I understand that you or your organization were involved in the drafting of the manuals during the month of July?

Mr Gray: No. We went to a workshop to review what had been prepared. I would not at all say that we were involved in the drafting of the manuals whatsoever.

Mr Wood: But you were involved in the workshop?

Mr Gray: Yes, we were involved in the workshop.

Mr Wood: There has been some concern that more has to be put in the legislation compared with the regulations and manuals. The manuals, because of the way the regulations are drafted, are binding, and the legislation means very little without the regulations and the manuals that follow. I understand workshops are still going on, as we speak, in revisions and correcting spelling errors in the manuals. Is this not good enough, to talk about sustainable forests and the ecosystem into the future?

Mr Gray: If the legislation itself required that sustainability occur and specifically required the manuals to detail through objectives how that was going to occur, that may be a practical way to do it. But that does not occur right now. The legislation does not say what sustainability is and does not require that specific objectives for sustainability be defined and be developed in the manuals or in an individual management plan.

You have to make a choice. Are the rules going to be found in the manuals for how it's actually going to occur on the ground and how sustainability is going to be measured, is it going to occur in the regulations, or is it going to occur in the legislation? You can't have it loose everywhere. You can't have loose legislation, loose regulations and loose manuals. Somebody's got to say where it's going to happen, and it doesn't say it anywhere.

We went to those workshops, as you mentioned, and we were very, very clear about the things that needed to be included in those manuals. The second draft has come out; they're not in there. The principles of forest sustainability, the cabinet document, they told us was going to be incorporated into the manuals. It's not. It's in the front three pages of the binder. It's not part of the manuals, and it's not required to be pursued or to be followed.


Mr Wood: Under the draft regulations, there is provision for three different areas where the minister may withdraw land from a licence. When a licence is transferred, 5% can be reduced, there is provision for natives -- there are provisions for at least these two and I believe there's a third one the minister has to be able to withdraw land, because I understand that right now 50% of the crown land is tied up in licences to the large pulp and paper companies and third-party licences from there. There are provisions for withdrawal of productive land for other uses in the regulations.

Mr Gray: Yes. I'll clarify that comment. That section of the act provides for withdrawal of up to 5% when licences are changed, discharged, when they're transferred to other operators.

The concern I expressed earlier was that there is no provision in there, and it appears to make it more difficult than currently, for the minister to withdraw land for other uses during the tenure of a forest management plan, that five-year period when the licences are signed. It appears -- and I've discussed this with ministry staff and had some agreement on this -- that, for example, if you wanted to settle a land claim in a particular area that was under licence, the only way you'd be able to do that is when that timber plan is up for renewal in those five-year intervals. If you wanted to create a new protected area, such as we had in Sault Ste Marie recently, you'd only be able to do that within the timber management planning period, like that window when the licence expires and you start a new one.

I know this is something the forest industry has wanted for a long time, their security of tenure, but we're very disappointed not to see that provision for withdrawal delivered in this legislation. I can agree and sympathize with wanting to have long-term security over the land base in which you're operating, but there's been a failure in this province to address real land use. To assign forest areas for protection, for settlement of native land claims, for remote tourism areas -- we've just treated the whole area as if everything can occur on it when there's obviously a lot of incompatible uses. If we finish up an overall land use planning process in this province that assigns a use to all those commitments we've made, I think it makes sense at that time to have permanent tenure for forest companies, but not until.

Mr Wood: Some of those terms and conditions are being negotiated as we speak, and I understand they're very close to an agreement being reached on some of the terms and conditions for converting from timber management plans to sustainable forestry agreements with the companies. They're taking place, and I'm sure we're going to hear more as the press conferences are called to explain the agreements that have been put in place. Hopefully, some of that concern can be addressed. We don't like to reveal in the middle of negotiations, but as they get closer to finalizing, I'm sure the agreements will be changed to reflect what is in the legislation and the manuals. The third draft is being drafted right now, I understand, of the manuals.

Mr Miclash: Tim, it's always a pleasure to hear your views, and I thank you for a very good presentation here this morning.

Earlier, you heard that there would be some legal implications, some conflict between the class EA, which you indicated you had involvement in, and this act. Could you expand a little on what you see as some of these problems that will be faced by the government?

Mr Gray: That's not an area I focused on in reviewing this. The Canadian Environmental Law Association has spent a lot more time on that. My concern is that we not be restricted by the outcome of the class EA, which did very much enshrine the old-style approach to forest management. But in terms of clause-by-clause conflicts, you're much better off to talk to Rick Lindgren or Michelle Swenarchuk about that.

Mr Miclash: I appreciate that. During our hearings, we've also heard a lot about one word in the title of the act, that of course being "sustainability." Do you or your association have a preferred definition in terms of sustainability?

Mr Gray: I think sustainability in the short term means putting back what you take out. Most people intuitively understand that. When you start operating on a forest or something as complex as that, what you're trying to do is sustain the ecosystem and all the components of it, so you're going to have to come up with some kind of measures that can be measured effectively, relatively inexpensively, that allow you over time to monitor whether the forest is being sustained.

In our brief, we submitted a list of what you could call surrogates for determining whether your forest is being sustained. In an overview, the basic elements are that you want the forest composition that exists there now; you want it to stay there. You want to continue to have conifer, you want to continue to have poplar. You want to have a variety of age classes, because a natural forest has a variety of age classes. You want to be able to harvest at the level you're harvesting now as long as you want to so that you will always have a wood supply. You want to maintain wildlife habitat in the form in which it's there and that reflects the natural forest that's there.

Those things can be measured. We have the ability, even with some of the inadequate technology we have now because of lack of resources, to know in a particular management unit what the variety of forest types are there, how old they are, what it takes to grow them back. We can set objectives for maintaining those. We don't have to have 25th-century technology to be able to do this stuff. It's very easy to set clear objectives about what you're trying to sustain in your management unit and move forward to develop plans that will sustain those.

That's been made very clear to all these processes over the last three or four years, that these things can be done. This is not rocket science. It's being done in other jurisdictions. I can see no reason why these things are not being included in the manuals and required by the legislation.

Mr Brown: Thank you for coming today. I'm going to come back and be very perplexed again. I think you were here when I was discussing ecosystems with a previous presenter. One of the things that strikes me about ecosystems is that they are always changing. It is a dynamic system; it isn't set right here in stone this minute. We have other factors that affect things, global warming, for example.

You also have to look at an ecosystem over a period of time. I know. I live on Manitoulin Island, and some years we have too many raccoons, some years we have too many skunks. This year is the year of the porcupine. If you measure that year after year after year with wildlife populations, you're going to see quite a fluctuation in what's going on out there, so you need to look at it over periods of time also. That's very hard for us humans to do, especially when you're talking about trees, which seem to have a life expectancy usually, depending on the species, but it's fair to say roughly the same as for people. So we're looking at it very long-term.

I just wondered if you'd give me some thoughts about the ecosystem, because I'm not very sure that the current one is necessarily the one that would have been there if we hadn't intruded as humans or the one that we as humans would want if we got to choose. In other words, there might have been a different species of tree there, might have been different things, and the reason there isn't is because we intruded in that forest.


Mr Gray: To plan, I think you need to look at these things from a conservative point of view.

Mr Brown: There you go, guys.

Mr Gray: Not to offend anybody: a biologically conservative point of view. It's important to look at what systems were put here naturally, and for that we can look to the areas that we have set aside where we haven't intervened and where we have tried natural processes to proceed.

It's true that forests change and that forests change over time, but the way in which they're changing because of our intervention is something completely different from what they would have normally done and what they have done in areas where we have intervened. Just as a good example, if we look at what's happened in the boreal forest over time, we've seen a system that was once dominated by conifers being converted, in areas where we've harvested, into areas that are dominated by poplar and birch.

That has economic implications in that we no longer have that softwood supply that we once did, and it has ecological implications because the wildlife that has adapted to the boreal forest does not particularly like to spend all of its time in regenerating poplar and birch. It needs conifer: It needs conifer to eat, it needs conifer to den in, it needs conifer to breed in. All the neotropical birds that come up from Central America and South America don't come here to feed and breed in poplar stands; they come here to the boreal forest.

Our contribution to global environmental health is dependent on us keeping the forests in a state which is reflective of what nature would have provided here. Changes like global climate change, continental change, glaciation, definitely occur, but they don't occur to that scale in the brief period of time in which we've caused them to occur. You don't see entire forest types changed in composition over a 45-year or 50-year period. Nature works much more slowly. Species have the time to move, time to adapt. The kind of changes we're causing on this planet and the kind of changes we're causing in our forests in Ontario are at such a rapid rate that -- I think time to move, never mind adapt. It's scale and time that you have to be aware of when you're talking about what's happened to the forests.

The Acting Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Gray.


The Acting Chair: I will now call upon Mr David Milton from the Ontario Lumber Manufacturer's Association. Mr Milton, I understand that you know how the system is working.

Mr David Milton: Yes, I do, sir.

The Acting Chair: Okay. So, if you want to, start now.

Mr Milton: Thank you very much. Members of the committee, my name is David Milton and I am pleased to be here today as president of the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association. As many of you are aware, the Ontario Lumber Manufacturers' Association is the trade association which represents the interests of the majority of the province's sawmillers in the quality of production, public forest policy, and international trade.

The OLMA's principal activity is providing its members with a system of lumber quality control and grading which ensures market access within North America and around the world. Throughout its 28-year history, the OLMA has been involved in provincial public policy direction and the policy initiatives of the government. The OLMA supports the principles of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act as they have been outlined: sustainable forests, sustainable forest industries, sustainable communities and sustainable jobs.

We recognize the need to update and reform the current legislative framework governing forest management practice in Ontario and see this as an opportunity to achieve common goals and remove current inequities. We have a principal interest in the legislative process and we are pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the new act.

We want to stress that we believe this can be done in cooperation with all the concerned stakeholders. The continuation of sustainable forestry practices in Ontario will help ensure that Ontario maintains a forest base available for the wide range of uses which are important to Ontarians.

As I said, there is broad support for the goals of the legislation, but critical issues are arising in how these goals are to be realized. Having reviewed the Crown Forest Sustainability Act and its accompanying regulations and manuals, the OLMA has identified some of these issues and concerns which need to be addressed in the new legislation. We would like to take this opportunity to touch briefly on these major concerns. We have identified these and other concerns and offered suggestions for improvements to the legislation in our written submission to the committee.

First, the new act needs to define Ontario's industrial forest land base if it is to achieve the goal of sustainable forests. A definition of what's available for harvest will also determine, therefore, what is not available for harvest and what should be defined as parks, heritage sites, wilderness areas, scientific interest areas etc.

Such a definition should be based on the area of productive forest land available to supply industrial fibre, should pay attention to the geographic availability of timber and should be determined within the framework of a timber production policy.

To complement this, we believe the new act must include an enabling clause which will allow the minister to compensate licence holders in specific cases of allocation reduction or in the loss of capital investment. Forestry companies depend on access to timber for their business. This business creates jobs: It is the primary source of employment for a number of northern Ontario communities. In specific cases where the resource is diminished, a negative effect is had on the jobs and the lives of the people who depend on them.

Second, the act must recognize the principle of most suitable end use. Under current forest management practices, sawlog-sized timber is being converted into furnish for pulp mills while sawmill co-products such as wood chips are not fully utilized. This results both in the loss of valuable sawlog timber and wastes the co-products of fully manufactured lumber. Not only is this an inefficient economic use of the forest resource, it has had negative effects on sawmill jobs.

To address this issue, the act must contain a provision which addresses the most suitable utilization of our forest resource. This will reflect recommendations made in the Forest Industry Action Group report, which suggested that the Ministry of Natural Resources should "establish the most efficient and effective economic and environmentally sound end use of fibre supplies on a regional basis." In this regard, the OLMA feels it is important for the Crown Forest Sustainability Act to be amended to contain a clause which requires that co-products from sawmills, such as wood chips, be considered the first source of furnish for pulp mills.

Third, the Crown Forest Sustainability Act must base stumpage fees on sawlog timber rates to encourage fibre exchange. Current stumpage regulations provide a financial incentive to chip sawlog-sized timber. This reduces revenues to the crown, reduces jobs and hinders forest sustainability. By continuing the current practice of charging different stumpage rates for timber depending on its destination rather than its size or form, the crown is in effect providing a subsidy for bush chippers to convert valuable sawlogs into chips for pulp furnish.

In this regard, we are pleased to see that the new legislation contains provisions to license forest processing facilities, both stationary and mobile. We hope the ministry will utilize this provision. It helps to ensure a level playing field within the whole of the forest industry.

This, however, is not enough. We recommend that the act be amended to contain a provision to require that all softwood timber of straight and sound quality greater than eight inches in bottom diameter or five inches in top diameter is charged at the sawlog stumpage rate, regardless of use. This will encourage fibre exchange, encourage the most suitable use of the resource, ensure that the people of Ontario get the best rate of return through charges on the forest resource, and preserve jobs.

Fourth, we believe it's important for the new act to improve current practices regarding wood allocation, the reallocation of non-utilized fibre, and access to perishable timber. We're pleased to find under section 21 apparent powers being given to the minister to make available resources on a management unit following the completion of a competitive process. We hope this means the minister will take an active role in ensuring that non-utilized timber intended for harvest is allocated before the end of its useful life.

In order to ensure fair access to this resource, it's important for the act as proposed to be amended to ensure that prime licensees are able to recover legitimate costs incurred in management of the forest resource when providing access to third parties to harvest non-utilized timber, but should prevent them -- that is, the prime licensees -- from profiting from the sale of the timber, given that the resource is not the property of that prime licensee but of the crown.

Fifth, the OLMA finds it disturbing that the government has chosen to focus penalties for infractions on measures that are primarily punitive, rather than encouraging restoration. While we support some measure of fines being levied, we believe it will be more productive for parties found to have committed a violation to be required to return the damaged area to a productive state.

In addition, the act should refer to a "licensee" rather than a "person" in part VII. Licences are not necessarily held by individuals, and using the term "licensee" will cover all possible holders.


Sixth, we are pleased with the decision to establish the forest renewal trust fund and the forest futures trust fund. Sustainable forestry is based on responsible harvesting and reforestation practices, and the implementation of these two trusts will help ensure that this does occur.

In the case of the forest renewal trust, the OLMA maintains that the new act should ensure that third-party harvesters with a mill licence, and not the prime licensee, have management of the funds contributed to the trust by their activities. This will ensure that the funds contributed to the trust by third-party harvesters which operate mill facilities will be applied to forest renewal in a way that will meet the long-term production objectives relevant to that third-party mill licence holder's production requirements.

Above all, it is vitally important that the provisions of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act with regard to tenure, access and first right of refusal be applied fairly across the whole of the forest industry.

A lot of focus has been placed on the manuals in these hearings, and rightly so. The OLMA is pleased that we've had the opportunity to have had input into the development of the manuals. We understand that they continue to be a work in progress, and we respect that this is happening. We are also pleased to know that a second workshop will be scheduled prior to third reading of the bill. We are concerned that the preparation of the manuals is key and that there is too much haste now to finish without due regard to allow time to digest the contents across the whole of the industry.

At this point we offer only brief comment on the content of the manuals as they now stand.

We understand the focus of the manuals to be a hands-on guide to forestry in Ontario. However, at this point they appear to be overly complicated from an operational point of view. We would strongly recommend that the manuals be drafted to strive for and focus on end results rather than process.

The OLMA is of the opinion that the Crown Forest Sustainability Act should be the first priority of the ministry and the government. Without a completed Crown Forest Sustainability Act, neither the new business relationship being facilitated by Bob Carman nor the implementation of the residual value taxation system of stumpage should be considered. These and other major amendments to the way forest management is practised in Ontario cannot be adequately and fairly completed when we have yet to implement the new act.

Overall, we are supportive of the broad principles of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. Our analysis leads us to believe that it is an improvement on the current Crown Timber Act. There continue, however, to remain a number of major outstanding issues that the act needs to address. We hope the committee will ensure that the act, as proposed, is amended to correct these deficiencies.

The OLMA believes the creation of the new legislation provides an opportunity to resolve existing inequities in current forest management practice and that it is in the best interests of all Ontarians to achieve a fair, workable and forward-looking act which will see the industry into the 21st century.

Thank you for this opportunity to provide our thoughts. I will be happy to answer any questions.

Mr Wood: Thank you very much. You've come forward with an excellent presentation and you've covered a lot of area and suggested amendments we should be looking at.

I want to get into two questions: the penalty, and then the mobile or permanent chippers. On the penalty section, I understand that the emphasis is on trying to restore any damage that is being done out there, that if there's $20,000 worth of damage that's been done the land will be restored back, and if there's a direct refusal to stop doing this damage it could end up in court action for refusing a direct order and the penalty could go up to $1 million. But the primary reason for the penalties is to restore the land as close as possible to its natural state before the damage occurred.

On the section you're talking about in terms of the stationary and mobile chippers, as you're aware, we toured northeastern Ontario and northwestern Ontario and got feedback from quite a few presenters. One of the questions I asked some presenters who came forward is, how big are the logs or wood they chip? One answer was that their portable chipper in the bush will chip up to 23-inch logs. In the area I live in and have worked in, there are four-, five-, six- and seven-inch logs going through sawmills trying to produce lumber, yet in another area, people are telling me it's quite reasonable that you would chip logs up to 23 inches. I just want to see what reaction you'd have to that.

Mr Milton: It comes down to the facilitation of the most suitable end use among all the primary products that are harvested in the forest and through the licensing of such machinery as mobile in-bush chippers. There's an opportunity, then, that the ministry can track how efficient the exchange of roundwood is for its most suitable end use. What we're suggesting is that there should be an enhanced opportunity for people to undertake commerce among themselves to exchange or barter or actually buy and sell to an invoice the thing which is most useful for the intended purpose.

The observation in sawmilling is that you derive the widest, highest-grade pieces from the largest, soundest logs, particularly the ones that are straight. It is possible to manufacture standard-size lumber out of four-inch butt-end diameter pieces, but all of it is number two or number three, two by three, one by three and perhaps one by four, and on the bottom line of a sawmill, that's the product which is the least attractive, usually. Access to large enough logs that will make good lumber speaks to the ongoing viability of the sawmills.

Mr Wood: I understand, having a bit of experience, like I said before, that the best end use, value added products -- some will argue that it's a roundwood mill that is a filler for newsprint sheets, some will argue that it's a craft mill where you produce the fine-grade finished paper, others will argue that it's a sawmill, others will argue that it's the best value for the finished product being shipped. If I understand what you're saying, there has got to be a mechanism where the users out in the forest get together and exchange this to the best end use and get the best value added finished product they can for the sawlogs or the chips or roundwood or whatever.

Mr Milton: We're using our suggestion of the amendment in the act to cause this facilitation, this mechanism. We're not intending, other than by definition of what a sawlog is, that the act should pretend to direct sawlogs to sawmills. That's in the realm of commerce. But if there isn't a definition of what a sawlog is, it's a very difficult beginning point.

Mr Miclash: Thank you for your presentation. This morning we heard from the Ontario Forest Industries Association, and they suggested that the bill would certainly need a good number of revisions before they could ever support it, yet you seem to be quite positive towards what Bill 171 will do for your industry. Could you maybe expand on that a bit?

Mr Milton: I can expand on that to describe a number of opportunities the act provides to remove inequities that have crept into the old Crown Timber Act, particularly in those areas where the level playing field has disappeared among the various types of licence holders.

We're not without our concerns on the content of the act as it is now. In fact, we've hit six major points in this short presentation. Our document of amendments speaks to many of the clauses, things we didn't touch on here. It isn't perfection. We would rather be supportive of a new act than to attempt to continue with the Crown Timber Act and patching it. That's the most direct answer.


Mr Brown: Thank you very much for coming. I want to come back to Mr Wood's question about most suitable end use. Maybe you could elaborate and help us a little bit about the stumpage fees. I'm particularly concerned about this new residual value tax --

Mr Wood: Fee.

Mr Brown: I think we have a difference of opinion -- and how that will impact on changing the way lumber may flow. For example, a sawlog may have at that point a relatively high residual value and therefore you're paying high tax, and pulp may be at a relatively low level etc.

Mr Milton: There are two concepts there. One is the concept of marginal value added, which means that at any given time the thing which receives the greatest return in the marketplace is where you should devote your resources.

On the other hand, to take that example to its next degree, if craft pulp were to be selling in the marketplace at US$1,000 per ton and saw and dimension lumber were to sell in a similar marketplace at $250 per thousand board feet -- yes, there's the grimace there too, inwardly here -- we've advantaged the craft pulp producers over what their status has been for the last couple of years, but in that example we've depreciated the value of roundwood for lumber, where it now is in the range of, some were suggesting, up to $500 per thousand board feet. That's the marginal value aspect.

The most suitable end use has to do with, principally, quality, size and form. This is a very narrow view from the sawmill industry, in that lumber, which is manufactured in the traditional way and is accepted under the building codes, predicates that you manufacture that from a round log. Now, there are opportunities for laminated veneer lumber and other things as well. The North American, in fact the international, system is based on taking the natural fibre, sawing it, conditioning it and sizing it. The larger the piece, the higher the engineering properties per unit of bending tension, whatever, and therefore the more valuable as a saleable item. If the sawmills in Ontario can be assured of a certain percentage of logs of a size that will produce the wider, higher-grade material, it just speaks to their viability in the long run.

I get away from using the term "best end use" because it generates a lot of arguments of what you mean by best end use. We are talking about most suitable end use and we're giving that from the perspective of the sawmill industry.

Mr Brown: And the issue of residual value tax?

Mr Milton: The issue of the residual value taxation system has to do with -- frankly, it's a corporate tax issue in the sense that the proposed system predicates that there is a sharing of the residual value of the sold product once you have accepted an industry average for the costs, plus some return on your capital employed, plus some entrepreneurial risk, and you share thereafter. The thing that's unclear is how that will differ from the share under a corporate taxation system that says: Here are costs of manufacturing, delivery and sale, here are gross revenues, and what is left at the top end is subject to corporate taxation at whatever prevalent rate is published by the government of Canada or any other jurisdiction.

We argue, in fact, that the residual value tax is a conflict of corporate taxation. It may be methodology; it may be arithmetic. It's not an issue of sharing in the wealth of the province with the landlord. I think it's more methodology than anything else. The association's position is a very firm one, and has stated it many times, that we're against it, we're against it and we're against it, for the reasons I've just outlined.

Mr Hodgson: I just want to say that we've put out many platforms on how to avoid taxes to remain competitive; we feel the tax rate's too high. But in fairness to Mr Wood, he'd rather call that a fee or a royalty so you don't share that with the federal government.

I've three questions. One is on this stumpage, and the others are on the chips and, if I have time, about this tenure being fair. I believe I've got a few minutes, Mr Chair, with your leniency.

On the stumpage, I haven't had time to read all your recommendations, but if I can get this straight, what you're saying is that we're the owners of the land, and if you have an oak tree you should get more for the oak tree than you would for a poplar and the stumpage should be paid according to that. The problem I have is, how do you envision this working on the ground? If you have a chipper that goes in, do you go around afterwards and count the stumps, or do you have to have an inventory system up to date and off to market?

Mr Milton: Under the scaling and billing system which is in place with the Ministry of Natural Resources now, there is the opportunity to sample, on a periodic basis, what the composition of roundwood flowing to a mill facility is by species form type. It's a matter of sampling and then applying that sample across the consumption of roundwood for a period of time. I won't offer what the frequency of sampling should be or the periodicity of that sample, but it can be done.

It's not a matter of measuring every piece or every load to determine what fractions of products are in there, because with the prevalence of mass scaling as an efficient method of approximating the volume of roundwood, it seems retrogressive. It seems a confusing and complicated system to take every load apart and try and lay out the pieces which would be suitable for which end use.

It's really a sampling issue, by independent people who would then report to the parties, the crown and the receiver.

Mr Hodgson: You talked about tenure being the same right across. You're referring to tenure on third-party agreements?

Mr Milton: Yes. I refer to the whole complex of forest management agreement holders, company units, crown management units, third-party operators on a prime licensee's area, and the multiplicity of licensees operating on the same ground. There are some layers of people who harvest for different species.

Mr Hodgson: We had some people who came in who had concerns about the one-year licence renewal.

The last point is the chips. If you've followed the committee hearings, we spent some time in Thunder Bay and Fort Frances and we had a quite a few presentations from people who are concerned about the licensing of mobile chippers. You've gone one step further than this act calls for. You're suggesting that chips produced from a sawmill operation are automatically given first right at the pulp mills. Now, there is a market component to this.

Mr Milton: There is?

Mr Hodgson: The people who run the mobile chippers, the independents or the companies, are concerned that when there's a lot of chips at the sawmill they'll shut down the chippers in the bush and lay them off because there's a high demand for lumber this month. How do you do that? There's a relationship there, where you have to take into account the cost of trucking over the large distances involved.

Mr Milton: Exactly.

Mr Hodgson: If we just put it into law that says they must take chips, wouldn't there be a tendency to inflate your costs of truckage?

Mr Milton: There may be that tendency. The point in the whole package of proposing licensing of in-bush chippers, definition of a sawlog, and that co-products of fully manufactured lumber be the first furnish for a pulp mill -- the three of them all tie together -- isn't contradictory to the interests of people who are operating a viable business with in-bush chippers. The theory is a simple one: Please don't chip the sawlogs. It makes the most economic use of all the roundwood. If those pieces which are not suitable for sawing because of their size, their form or their condition are chipped in the bush by a chipper, why would you drag the rat-tails and the small sticks to the sawmill, pound it through an inefficient chip manufacturing machine at a sawmill, and then ship it back down the road or barter it with somebody who has a few sawlogs?

Sawmillers are motivated by making lumber -- not much fascination in making wood chips. The higher the proportion of lumber to roundwood coming in is the motive of sawmillers. Taking those all together, I know there will be many logging operations associated with sawmills that will in the future use in-bush chippers. Having segregated the sawlogs to go there, they will condition those pieces which are not suitable for sawing and manufacture them into wood chips in the bush.

The Acting Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Milton.

Mr Milton: You're most welcome, Mr Chairman.

The Acting Chair: Morning deliberations have ended. We'll resume this afternoon at 2 o'clock.

The committee recessed from 1200 to 1404.


The Acting Chair: Okay, we'll start. Our first presenter this afternoon is Mr John Ebbs from the Ontario Professional Foresters Association.

Mr John Ebbs: Thank you, Mr Chairman. My name is John Ebbs. I am a registered professional forester. You have heard from a number of registered professional foresters throughout the course of your hearings, including Ms Rauter, Mr Armson and Mr Milton from this morning. They are all registered professional foresters and members of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association, of which I am the executive director.

I am here because the association and registered professional foresters are specifically mentioned in the current Crown Timber Act, in the class EA decision and in the proposed amendments to the Crown Timber Act.

The association was created by concerned professional foresters for the purpose of maintaining and enforcing the standards of practice of its members. It was incorporated in 1957 and it now has over 900 members, 630 of whom are registered professional foresters active in forestry in Ontario.

Your clerk has given you a fact sheet concerning the association, as well as a copy of our most recent newsletter, which should be delivered to your offices about four times a year. Being the most current, it does cover some of the issues you've heard about in the last several weeks.

The association is totally funded by membership fees. We have an office in Richmond Hill and two full-time staff, of which I'm one. Through things such as the newsletters, committees, meetings and contacts throughout the forestry community in Ontario and Canada, we act as an educational forum and a communications conduit for members of the association and from those outside the association and profession.

Membership in the Ontario Professional Foresters Association is voluntary. It is not necessary to be registered with us to practise forestry in Ontario -- only in British Columbia and Quebec are foresters licensed in this country -- but from a survey we did of employers in 1989, two thirds of those practising forestry in Ontario do belong. While there are a few positions where employers require membership, foresters join out of their commitment to the principles of being a part of a self-regulating profession. The majority of the employers support them in that.

Of the registered professional foresters active in Ontario, about 40% work for the Ministry of Natural Resources, 24% work for the forest industry, 15% are independent consultants and contractors and the balance work for the federal government, other provincial departments and agencies, colleges, universities and associations, and individuals such as myself.

The mainstay of a profession consists of three key elements: a similar educational background, a common area of practice, and a voluntary commitment to a code of ethics. So a registered professional forester has received the educational training and experience to make professional decisions concerning manipulation of the forest cover and, no matter what the endeavour, abides by a code of ethics which guides his or her relationships with the public, employers and the profession in their dealing with our forests.

These hearings are about the proposed amendments to the Crown Timber Act. I'm here because the Crown Timber Act and any amendments, regulations and manuals are going to affect the standard of practice of the members of my association. The principles of sustainability and ecosystem management and their implications that are implied by the intent of the legislation are not new to forest management. As long as there have been professional foresters in this country, which is only about 90 years, we have been increasing our knowledge through research and experience so that it can better provide for the needs of society and of our environment.

The foresters have moved and are continuing to move their traditional view of stands and management units to landscape and global levels. I'm sure you've heard these kinds of comments from other members of my association and from others outside the forestry profession. But we also recognize that there will always be more to learn and more that we can experience.

The proposed amendments are indeed future-thinking, but it's in the regulations and manuals that the vision of the authors will begin its translation into practice in the field. It is not possible to develop manuals, let alone legislation, which can do any more than express the current state of the art, the current state of knowledge of forestry.

If we want to be able to move ahead, we need manuals, guidelines which are not cookbooks. Unfortunately, bureaucratic necessity frequently ends up making rules out of guidelines and destroys our ability to adapt to changing conditions and new knowledge.

Sustainability itself, as I see it, is about people, but it's also about science and very definitely it's about human choices. As we learn more, we can make better-informed decisions, both the practitioners in the field and the public itself. We believe that the EA board decision, which is echoed to an extent in the proposed amendments to the Crown Timber Act, does address mechanisms to help ensure that we can all make the best possible decisions.

Also in sustainability, and indeed in legislation, we should be thinking in terms of the forest as an investment rather than an expense. The establishment of trust funds was a very significant change, something the forestry community had been asking for years. How frustrating it must have been for field foresters to write what could have been the best possible forest management plan for that unit and yet not have funds available to carry out the plan by way of regeneration. The change from thinking of our forests as an expense to dealing with them as an investment is true for government and the industry, and it applies to both money and people.

I have heard some reason, had discussions with people who have spoken to you around Ontario, and certainly I was here this morning to hear the views of those three individuals.

It is very evident that the future of our forests is far more dependent on such a broad range of legislation that we cannot possibly begin, in several pages of legislation, to accomplish all we need to.

Forest management is a highly complex series of interconnected systems. It's not possible to tinker with one part without carefully examining the effects on all the others and making appropriate changes in them as well.

From the view of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association, from this position I'm in, I see that the timber class environmental assessment decision and the proposed amendments are going to place increased responsibilities and accountability on registered professional foresters. We feel we're somewhat hanging out there as it's the only natural resource manager profession mentioned in the legislation. However, the responsibility is there and the membership is more than willing to rise to the challenge of accepting it.

These responsibilities aren't new to many. However, for some, we're going to have to be sure that those who are going to be authoring management plans and chairing planning teams have the necessary skills, not only in forest management but in such things as communications, negotiation skills and so on.

It's important to realize that for foresters in the field we're not just bringing processes into line with current practice, which is what frequently happens with legislation, but that we're adding new responsibilities and accountability. We have to assure ourselves that the practising foresters and the other natural resource managers have the support and mechanisms in place to assist them.

In response to an interrogatory during the class EA hearings, I learned from the Ministry of Natural Resources that of the 77 unit foresters -- and from the ministry side, that's about the number we're talking about who are registered professional foresters who are going to be directly affected by this -- of the 77 having responsibility, 65% had been on their units for less than five years. That's less than one management plan cycle. For those with experience in other units, there need not be as much concern, perhaps, as for those who are just starting their careers.

The unit forester, now the area forester -- those positions are among the most junior positions in the government service. We should explore the additional support that may be necessary for these foresters, some of whom are responsible for immense areas of land.

I don't know much training will be necessary. We are beginning discussions with the ministry as the result of the EA decision to explore what will be necessary. The implications of this legislation coming so quickly on the heels of the EA decision are certainly going to cause all of us to have to re-examine how we're going to support those who are actually going to be accountable for the management.

I'd be pleased to answer any questions.


Mr Brown: Thank you for appearing. I believe we heard from your president in Thunder Bay, and it's good to have you here.

As we're going through, what isn't often said and should be said is that the registered foresters, and indeed the companies they work for, have produced a good product for Ontario over the years, and as we've evolved in the knowledge of what happens in the forest, things are obviously changing: Practices 20 years ago aren't acceptable today and practices 40 years ago weren't acceptable 20 years ago. So we are in this constantly changing state of knowledge.

As I was listening to you, I was also having a look at your publication. I wonder if you could give us some insight particularly into the number of certification programs that are going on for sustainability out there right now. I notice, quickly looking at it, at least three are going on.

Mr Ebbs: I couldn't begin to count. Would you care to make a guess, Mr Armson. Do you mean internationally?

Mr Brown: I'm just looking at your publication. Let's hold it to three you mentioned.

The Acting Chair: Why don't you invite Mr Armson to come and sit beside you?

Mr Ebbs: Certainly. Would you do that, Mr Armson?

Mr Brown: As we have Mr Armson here, we can talk about the CSA one, which I know he just wrote about.

The Acting Chair: Please state your name, sir.

Mr Armson: My name is Kenneth Armson. I'm a registered professional forester. As was explained this morning, I believe, I was the chief forester and then provincial forester for the province of Ontario until 1989.

I can speak with some high degree of certainty about the Canadian Standards Association program. This is a process for obtaining national certification for sustainable forest management systems, and I emphasize the last word. The process involves representation on a technical committee from producers, from consumers, from the general public and environmental groups, from academics, practitioners; in other words, a very wide array of representation.

The purpose is to develop two documents, one a document of guidance or guidelines, and the second one a specification document. The first document would be used by any organization, government or private, such as a company undertaking forest management, either on public or private lands, and would in fact inform them about the kinds of system and the elements that should be in that system that would be required if they were to apply for certification. The specification document then outlines not only the criteria but the standards, and these would then be subject to external, independent audit.

Mr Brown: The reason I asked is that that idea intrigues me. When we were in Thunder Bay, I think, we heard from at least one presenter who suggested that what we should be doing is pursuing excellence and not making -- I think you referred to guidelines and rules -- and that we should be encouraging innovation and encouraging better outcomes rather than worrying about every little piece along the way and how that's done. This intrigues me because it seems to me that this is a way to pursue excellence based on outcome. Is that a fair assessment?

Mr Armson: That is true, sir. You're perfectly correct. Perhaps I didn't make the point sufficiently. The provincial governments are represented on that committee, as is the federal government. In fact, it is proceeding with, if you like, the blessing of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, so that it is generally accepted procedure and the products are acknowledged as the type of product at the national level.

I would also add that in early summer next year, it's proposed to take the Canadian certification system to the international level, to the International Organization for Standardization.

Mr Carr: I have one quick question for Mr Armson. You were the chief forester up till 1989?

Mr Armson: Yes. I was chief forester from -- let me get the dates right -- 1981 to 1983, and then I was provincial forester from 1986 to 1989.

Mr Carr: I'd like to ask a question I've been asking quite a few people as they come forward. There have been a lot of amendments, a lot of discussion on everything from definitions -- we had an excellent tour last week through northern Ontario. The trouble I have is that there are so many concerns on both sides of the issue and, unfortunately, we have to make a decision on how we're going to vote on this. I've asked other people this question, and I don't mean to put you on the spot, but if you were me and the vote was coming up for third reading and the bill was as is, would you vote for or against it?

Mr Armson: No, I would not vote for it, and I give you that answer having gone through the bill very thoroughly. I should also tell you that I was involved in the negotiations and the drafting of the amendment bill to the Crown Timber Act that brought in the forest management agreements, so I have some knowledge of that process at that time.


Mr Carr: Thank you very much; that's very helpful. I believe Chris had some questions on another line.

Mr Hodgson: Actually, to follow from Gary's, that was a fairly definite no, that you wouldn't pass it.

I'd like to go back to what Mr Brown was talking about, this idea of registered foresters. You mentioned that sustainability is people, science and choices, and that, as was brought up in Thunder Bay, maybe we don't need the "cookbook" approach. You mentioned it here as well, that guidelines become rules and we're locked into that prescription and only that prescription. If you're going to have some of this based on outcomes, how do we assure, as trustees for the public of this crown land, that the outcomes are accountable? If you take out the supervision or you take out the prescriptions, then how do we know it's accountable, when you're looking at accountability in terms of outcome, in 80 years? That's the forest rotation.

Mr Ebbs: It's a question as to whether the checking up, if you will, should be done before the decision is made or as the decision is being made. Obviously, as you said, the effects could be 80 years in advance. We have had and are increasing our experience in forestry in audits, in going in and looking at what the intention was by way of the plan, what the plan actually said, and, given the proper expertise, it is possible to predict what the possible outcome might be. Rather than having cookbooks that someone could tick off boxes to create a management plan, given the objectives for that particular area, professional resource managers can adapt, use current knowledge, apply it in different ways and different situations, and other experts, independent, can come in and look and see if that is an appropriate procedure.

Mr Hodgson: What do you see in this bill that stops that from happening?

Mr Ebbs: There is a natural tendency of legislation to create process rather than looking at the end result. Principally, the concern is that if we rush into this legislation, which is so highly dependent on the manuals, we may have difficulty in applying adaptive management techniques. It's not easy, as I'm sure you've discovered, to talk about the legislation without talking about the manuals, because the legislation is so highly dependent on the manuals. I would have to reserve judgement about whether the manuals will achieve the kinds of ends that we believe they should.

Mr Wood: It's unfortunate that our time for asking questions is restricted, but I just want to go back a little. The sustainable forestry initiative was launched about three years ago. The environmental assessment hearings went on for a number of years. There's been broad consultation and dialogue with thousands of people and industry out there.

The intention of bringing forward the legislation based on the public consultation over the last three years is that, coming through a recession, we had to find a way of protecting the billions of dollars involved in the industry, for one thing; and then there's the forest as a total. There's also protecting the communities, protecting the jobs that are there and creating jobs. Large investors have come forward and said: "We have plans. We'd like to use the hardwood species out there that are not being used." I think we've announced the creation of about 1,500 jobs and millions of dollars of investment, including, in my home town, about 200 jobs at Spruce Falls for a new sawmill chip and saw operation.

We've had broad consultation, we've had dialogue with a lot of people, and the feeling was that sustainable forestry should become the law of the land and that the province, as the landlord and managing that, should come in with legislation to manage that.

Some people have said there hasn't been enough dialogue, some people are saying that they haven't been involved enough, and yet when you ask the question, they say: "Oh yes, we've been involved in the environmental assessment hearings. We've been involved in the drafting of the manuals, the regulations, the legislation coming up." I'll leave that if you want to comment, because I know Mr Bisson wants to question.

Mr Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South): This cookbook issue is one I find of interest, what I'm hearing from you and from other people. This whole, as you term it, "cookbook" approach to forest management has been the practice. Every piece of legislation, not only in this province but any other province or any other jurisdiction, is defined by regulation. I'm current with the Mining Act. There were revisions under the Liberal government to the Mining Act that were completed under us, where there is a definite process about how things are to happen.

I can understand your intent as a professional forester, but I find it extremely interesting that you're telling me as a legislator that what we should do is write a piece of legislation that says, "In the end, this is what we want, and as legislators we really don't care how you get there and we're not going to define what happens in the event that you don't get there, and we'll leave it in the abstract." I don't know of any piece of legislation in Canada, the United States, Europe, on either side of the Iron Curtain that used to exist, that operates in that way. I just find that a very interesting comment.

Mr Ebbs: May I respond to that?

Mr Bisson: What I want you to respond to is this.

Mr Brown: Mr Chairman, let him respond.

Mr Bisson: Excuse me, Mr Brown, we have the floor. The question I have for you is that I understand this legislation to be enabling legislation. The reason so much is left in the manuals is to allow professional foresters and others, as our knowledge base increases, to better adapt how we manage timber and the forest through those manuals. So I'm really curious. How would you do it?

Mr Ebbs: On the issue of manuals, the way the legislation is constructed at the present time, the manuals would become regulations. In other professions it is not common to have exact procedures. In some professions it may be possible to have exact procedures. I don't wish to go to a doctor who has to abide by regulations in order to cure me. In certain fields it may be more possible. In more mechanical-related fields such as surveying and certain aspects of engineering it may be possible. But where we are learning, where we are adapting so quickly at the present time, the difficulty is that any regulation that is written today contains knowledge that we know today. It does not include knowledge that may come tomorrow or in the future.

Mr Bisson: If you're a forester and you're putting together a forest management plan to be consistent with this legislation, it would take into account what happens inside the forest. That's how this legislation is written. It's not written in a way that: "You shall (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e). If you find a snail under the root this is what you're supposed to do." It doesn't define in those to terms. It says, "Here are the requirements you need to do in order to do the job you have to as a forester." You can't leave it in the abstract. You have to in some way define what it is that you want to get to and what the intent of the legislation is.

Mr Ebbs: The situation up until now has been that there have been silvicultural guidelines, for example, and the intent of Mrs Coppen and Mr Martel in their EA decision was that foresters would be presented with, in essence, a series of possibilities. The EA decisions says they should look at those silviculture guidelines, for example.

However, if those do not fit the situation, then from our point of view as a self-regulating profession the forester has a responsibility not to use them.

Mr Bisson: And that's how the legislation is drafted.

Mr Ebbs: Our concern, sir, is that it will end up being in the regulations saying, "You must do this."

The Acting Chair: Thank you very much, Mr Ebbs, Mr Armson. Is Mr Wishart here? Not yet.



The Acting Chair: We'll call on Professor Aird. Are you familiar with the format? You make your presentation, and if it takes 15 minutes then the members will have 15 minutes to ask you questions. The total amount is a half-hour.

Mr Paul Aird: Thank you. My name is Paul Aird. I would like to preface my remarks by thanking you for the opportunity to participate in this discussion. I believe it is extremely important, and I will develop that point as I proceed. Though I am a professor in the faculty of forestry and a member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association, this is a personal brief. You've all received my personal brief, but I'm only going to dwell on one topic within it and develop it more fully, and that is the topic that has been put in bold print.

The title of my presentation is Two Factors Shape Ontario: Nature and Human Nature. This is what generates the distinctiveness of Ontario. It is the natural system and how we manage it. Our distinctiveness is built upon the kinds of soils we have, the kinds of plants and animals we have, the water we have, the air we have and how we manage them, and the position of these materials on the globe, how much sunlight we get. So our distinctiveness is not due to our people; people are the same all over the world. Our distinctiveness, what makes Ontario different from other places, is because of the natural resources we have, and how we manage these resources is critical to our survival and our distinctiveness.

We use some of these features in our everyday activities, our cultural activities. We have plants and animals on our flags, our armorial emblem, our coins, in our literature -- we refer to them in literature and poetry and art. In the chambers upstairs, when you people deliberate, there's an owl facing one half of you and an eagle facing the other half. This is all part of the human nature and the nature integration that I am talking about.

As a result of our interest in these natural forms of life, the Legislative Assembly created the Arboreal Emblem Act, I think about 1984. As a result of that, there are two eastern white pine trees planted on the lawn in front of this building, planted by Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1984. I was there to watch them do it. It surprised me that they didn't actually plant the tree. Someone else had already planted the tree, staked it, and there was a little pile of earth beside it and a shovel was put in the little pile of earth and a little shovelful was dropped on top. They effectively planted it.

But as a result, I've had some interest in the trees surrounding this building, and I became rather disturbed when the construction started on this side of the building and the constructors were really doing terrible damage to the existing trees. I went in and spoke to the Honourable David Warner, Speaker of the House, and he was concerned as well and he put protection around each of the trees. Then, when the constructors moved to the other end of the building, they performed just as they had before -- another call to David Warner. When you go around there, you will see around almost every tree fences to protect the trees. I just say that you people are doing it better than the city of Toronto and even the University of Toronto, taking better care of your trees.

But the point I want to make is that though we are a forested province, we are not a forest people. We don't seem to have acquired the concern to sustain our natural heritage, and that's what this act is about. This act is trying to force people to sustain it properly because of the feeling that they are not sustaining it properly.

So what should be the number one priority of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario? Have you ever questioned that? To me, it is to sustain the natural diversity of our natural heritage, our plants and animals and micro-organisms and soils, for all time, to benefit all people. This is really important. It's because of this that I really believe we have to put much more attention on knowing and understanding what is happening. This is largely absent from this act. Public education about forestry is a major issue and it doesn't come out at you from this act. It's sorely neglected.

I would like to say that Elie Martel made a major contribution to public education about forestry in 1979. This is written up in the Oxford Book of Canadian Political Anecdotes by Jack McLeod, a professor at the University of Toronto, and Cynthia Smith, who is director of legislative research here. Among the anecdotes is this one about William Davis.

"The Conservative government of Ontario made an election promise to plant two trees for each one harvested and to regenerate every acre logged," and this was a promise that made a lot of people vote for them. But then when they brought in new legislation, as referred to earlier, when they amended the Crown Timber Act, this was not mentioned. Elie asked, "Why not?" and there was no answer, and so he moved an amendment that it "shall provide for the yield to be sustained on the basis that at least two trees are planted for every tree cut under the agreement and to regenerating every acre harvested."

This plunged the government into a quandary, because they had to vote for Premier Davis's fine words. Elie said he had no choice but to move the amendment to enshrine Premier Davis's noble words in a piece of legislation. They had to vote for it, yet they couldn't, because if they did, they'd have to plant trees on every new road and trees on every campsite, even on tops of the buildings and trees on areas that had been properly regenerated.

So a compromise was reached. Elie withdrew his amendment and the government agreed to provide audited statements to the Legislature of Ontario on the status of certain properties under forest management agreements. So this was the introduction in the 1980s of audited statements on the effectiveness of forest management in Ontario, and it was laughed into law in 1979.

Audited statements, then, began by tending to be self-serving. You would have some friends and they would review your operation and you would help review theirs, and there was minimal information provided and it was not an independent audit. But that has changed. Audits now tend to be independent, they're much better, and we have to strive to have them become complete.

Then a little later, when the Liberal-NDP liaison began, the NDP established a condition that there be a provincial audit of forest regeneration. Because of this condition, it was acted upon, and you've heard about this report. It was an interesting report, but I thought it was incomplete because the chairman would not examine the biological diversity implications of the regeneration; he just reported on the regeneration. But that was a significant event, when we had an audit of regeneration.

Proceeding from that, just last December, we have an Environmental Bill of Rights, and in it an Environmental Commissioner who will be providing educational material to the public. That act is providing educational material, and I suggest that this one should, too.

There is something mentioned in section 19, on page 7, and it's very brief. It says, "The minister shall from time to time prepare a report on the state of the crown forests." I suggest that in this case it should be much more precise than "from time to time." It should be regular. It could be an annual report, it could be a biennial report, but it should be regular.

Another point is that it should not be just a report on "the state of the crown forests," but it should also add the word "sustainability" because this is what's in the name of the act and the intent of the act. This would give it a future dimension, if it's on the state and the sustainability of the forest.

Then I'd go further, to say that this report should cover all the forests of Ontario, not just the crown forests. You might ask, how can you have a crown forest act and have it relate to the non-crown forests? I suggest that this could be simply done by having it be a report on the state and sustainability of the crown forests of Ontario and the associated privately owned forests, because they tend to be mixed together in a number of areas.


Finally, I feel this report is so important because it leads to responsible management and accountable management, if it is independently assessed. It is so vital to the future of Ontario that we know and understand exactly what's happening to our forests that we should dedicate a requirement that this be independently assessed.

I'm concluding by suggesting that a bold education trust should be inserted into the act. This is a point that is not in my brief; I'm taking it a stage beyond my brief. If we turn to section 1 of the bill, it tells the purposes, and then I'm adding a phrase on to the purposes.

I'll first read what is said. "The purposes of this act are to provide for the sustainability of crown forests and, in accordance with that objective, to manage crown forests to meet social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations." I add a comma and say "...and to educate the public on the value, state and sustainability of Ontario's forests." I see that the need for this act is not only to manage the forests but also to educate the public on the value, state and sustainability of Ontario's forests.

If there is concern that inserting the word "educate" will infringe on the Education Act, you can do what they did in the Environmental Bill of Rights Act and say "...and assist in providing educational material to the public." But to me, there is a way to do it and it is something that should be done.

I want to applaud the present government for sustaining the budget for the libraries of Ontario. It is education that is so critical to the advancement of our welfare in this province, and it's education about our forests that is going to be critical to managing them properly, so I really see that the central part of the purpose should include education.

In closing, I want to recognize the fine work done so far in the preparation of this bill. I'm impressed with what the staff has prepared so far. I want to thank the government for initiating this bill, for clearly, from the people I have heard, there is a general agreement that a new act is needed. The government deserves applause for beginning the process. And because this is such a vital task, I look forward to all parties joining together in cooperating to do this as well as we can.

I brought along this little wooden plane, part of our natural heritage, part of my collection. It's just got a little piece of metal in here; otherwise, it's all wood. There's a little spot here that normally is a wooden dowel, but in this case it's a metal thing. The reason is that instead of injuring the tool, you can tap with your hammer here and here and get this just perfect so that you can shape what it is you're shaping just perfectly. I'm using this as a model to say that the Crown Forests Sustainability Act should not be rushed through; it should be shaped as nearly perfect as we can make it. The members of the Legislative Assembly must take the time to create the best possible forest conservation legislation for the fulfilment of all.

Mr Carr: Of the various groups that have come in, the Ontario Forest Industries Association said we should vote against it; the Wildlife League this morning said we should vote against it. When we were in Fort Frances, the native delegation said we should vote against it; Spruce Falls Inc said we should vote against it. The overwhelming consensus is that there are too many problems. The intention is good; everybody applauds the government. All three parties supported it in the beginning because of the intent, but it hasn't worked out, for a number of reasons.

You've added some of your definitions, but what are your thoughts? The way it is now, with all this opposition from the groups I mentioned, what is your feeling? It makes it very difficult for me to support the bill. If you were me, would you suggest -- I hate to use the term -- that I hold my nose and vote for it, or should I vote against it when it comes up for third reading?

Mr Aird: My feeling is that regardless of your party affiliation -- and I do not know what it is; forgive me -- you should support changing this to the point where it is acceptable. I think the thrust is in the right direction. Everyone agrees that we should go ahead and create a new act. I have said that I am impressed by what they have done, but there is room for improvement, and this is what I feel is the function of your committee too. I would say no, don't vote against it yet.

Mr Hodgson: Thank you for coming in. I enjoyed your presentation. You brought up a lot of history that I'd forgotten about when you spoke of the wise words of former Premier Bill Davis and his promise to plant two trees for every one. We've elevated that into almost natural reproduction in the last few years, so it was undefined.

There is a bit of politics involved in this process. We were going to four-lane the whole of the north in the last election, and now we're going to sustain the jobs in their community and the forest as a whole, and it has to be rushed through in third reading right now.

With the purpose of trying to make this better and to constructively look at concerns, I'd just like you to explain this in more detail to me. It's in regard to part V of the bill -- this is on page 2 of your brief, but you didn't mention it -- about the trust funds that were created under Bill 160 and there's going to be a trustee appointed. As to how the money's collected, you say, "To be absolutely fair, all forest users should be tithed to pay for forest renewal, including hikers, hunters, and newspaper publishers, and not just those that harvest the forest resource." Is that a tithe on their before-tax income or after-tax income? What's the concept here?

Mr Aird: The concept is to point out that it should be more than just the people who cut the trees down who should pay for the management of the forest, because there are other parts to managing forests, their protection and various other aspects. We are all benefiting; we should all pay. Governments have tended to say, "Oh, no, it's just those who harvest the trees who should pay for the regeneration," and I say no. Part of the profit of the Globe and Mail should go towards regenerating the forest too, because it's using the newsprint and that's why the trees are being cut. Some extra money should be dedicated to forest renewal and not just coming from those who cut the trees.

Mr Wood: Thank you for the history in politics. There's more I could add to it. Just prior to 1990, a position had been taken by the former government, but it didn't follow through with it. It was more important to try to get a new mandate than to do the legislation we're doing now.

I just want to go back over some of the presentations. We heard from the IWA, Fred Miron, saying that at one point in time, you'd cut a tree and God looked after the rest, that He'd plant a tree for every one. He said, "But now He's falling a little bit behind and He needs a helping hand."

We've heard expressions where planting 150 million or 160 million trees doesn't necessarily have to be done in every area. In jack pine areas you can cut a few trees and just kick the soil around and you'll have hundreds of trees that'll come up from the cones, whereas in other areas of the province it won't happen.

I just want to get a bit of a comment from you on sustainability, knowing the different ways you can sustain forestry and how it should be handled in the act, in the manuals. Just a brief comment; I know Mr Bisson wants to ask a question as well.


Mr Aird: Nature abhors a vacuum, so some day the city of Toronto may be another lost civilization and trees will be growing here again despite the concrete. This is what happens. Something comes up, but it may not be what you want. And often jack pine does not come up even if you do kick the ground. You have to kick the ground properly and you have to provide the seed properly and you have to get the proper conditions; there are a number of things.

With respect to sustainability, I wrote my brief essentially without consulting anyone, so it's rather interesting to see that virtually everyone has said that sustainability should be defined and it should be in this act. This is the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. What do you mean?

I just criticize "sustainability," but I don't like the "forest ecosystem" definition; "forest" hasn't been defined. The definitions part of legislation is extremely important. It's just as important as every other section, so I feel that should be done.

With respect to definitions, I brought for each of you -- I'll ask if this could be passed around -- a list of 140 definitions of forest conservation terms that I have prepared. I didn't do "sustainability," but I did "sustain" and "sustained use" and "sustained management." I tried to select the best definition possible from the literature. If I didn't like what was there, I took the liberty of modifying it a little bit, and if I really didn't like it, I created it myself.

But this is a target. This is not necessarily the definitive thing; this is a target. Although I am giving you this English version, I also have another version in French and another version in Spanish, and this is being put forward so we can start talking a common language around the world about forestry. This is part of the trouble you are having. We foresters are having it as well, but it's people who aren't foresters who are having most of the problem, so that's why this has been prepared. I ask that this be passed around.

The Acting Chair: The clerk will do that for you, Professor. Mr Bisson, if you are very quick.

Mr Bisson: We're not going to be able to get into the debate, but I thought your comments with regard to education were bang-on. Some people may not appreciate where you're coming from, but I see that one of the big problems we have in the industry -- and not only in this industry but in mining as well -- is that often people are not aware of what's actually happening in the forest. I think, to a certain extent, the forestry companies are to blame in the sense that they've done some really good things that nobody knows about.

The Acting Chair: I asked you to be brief. Please be brief.

Mr Bisson: Well, I'm looking at the time, Mr Chair.

The Acting Chair: I'm trying to be fair with everyone.

Mr Bisson: I'm trying to be fair to myself as well, Mr Chair.

The point I'm getting at is that I think you're right, but your assertion that we have to wait for perfection -- in an ideal world it may be possible, but the world is less than perfect or ideal, and what you do is base legislation on the best technology of the time, with the best ideas about how to do it, and then you move forward. The definition of many of the things you talked about are yet to be dealt with, because our understanding and our knowledge base is for ever growing. No time for questions, so we'll move on.

Mr Aird: May I respond?

The Acting Chair: Yes. I am trying to divide the time equally; I'll give you one minute, Professor.

Mr Aird: I said not to wait until we've achieved perfection but to strive towards perfection, and I think there is a chance here to make this a better act.

The other point I want to make is that the government needs to do more to educate the public about forestry. I've been in the Ontario Forest Industries Association office and they've got lots of material; so does the Ministry of Natural Resources have lots of material. It just has to be more widely distributed and pushed.

Mr Brown: Thank you for making a very good presentation. You've raised the point, and Mr Bisson alluded to it, of education. You are actually only the second presenter, I think, over the past three weeks who has made that point. When we were in Thunder Bay, Lakehead University talked about education. They also talked about research and the need for increased funding for research.

As we come to this debate in this year of 1994, we discover that the forest companies and the people in the forests are paying double the area fees they were just four years ago, they're paying quite large increases in stumpage fees, they're now faced with something called the residual value tax. The point is, there's a lot more money coming out of the forests of Ontario for, I don't know, whatever. Some of it just goes to the general revenue fund. It seemed to us over here that some of it should be going to research and education. You've talked about the education component. Maybe you could discuss the research side of it a bit, from your point of view.

Mr Aird: I am often asked, what do you do in the summertime --

Mr Brown: They ask us that too.

Mr Aird: -- and how much time do you spend doing research and how much teaching? I say it's like asking the lamb, "How much time do you spend growing wool and how much time do you spend growing mutton?" The two, to me, are just so intimately connected that you can't separate them. This thing of definitions I did was a part-time three-year task. It's research and it's education, and they're just both in there together.

So yes, they're fundamental parts and they should be recognized in the act. I think research is going to emerge because our advancement is dependent upon it, and to create these manuals requires research and evaluating it. But I want to be sure that there's a recognized, clear focus on education.

Mr Brown: We as legislators are, at best, generalists. We know a little bit about a lot of things and not very much about anything in particular. Sometimes it's said that a little knowledge is dangerous, and I always worry, sitting here on a committee and having taken a three-week crash course in what sustainable forestry is, that that little bit of knowledge could get the public into a lot of trouble.

I just want to say to you that I agree with what you're saying, that this bill needs very careful consideration. We'll have to go through it as best we can to try to improve each and every section and each and every definition and each and every clause. We only, as somebody said, get at kick at this every 30 or 40 years as legislators, and we'd better get it right this time. I appreciate your comments.

Mr Aird: Thank you.

The Acting Chair: Thank you very much, Professor.

I will now call on the next presenter, Mr Wishart, if he's here. Mr Rick Wishart, Ducks Unlimited? He's not here. Therefore we will adjourn and meet tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

The committee adjourned at 1459.