THUNDER BAY, ON ---- April 5, 2011 --- Thunder Bay Chamber Again Requests Bill 151 Hearing to be held in Thunder Bay
On March 25th, 2011, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the
Chair and Committee Members of the Standing Committee on General Government to
request that a Hearing on Bill 151 (Forest Tenure Reform) be held in Thunder Bay
prior to 3rd reading in the Legislature.
The issue of Tenure Reform has been the focus of considerable review throughout
Northern Ontario, and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce participated in all
opportunities to provide input throughout the process to date. We were satisfied that it
appeared that many of our concerns and recommendations were being addressed in
the legislation as it was developed.
Issues have arisen with the legislation in its current form which are contrary
to the advice and previous support of the business community; indeed, the Bill is not
consistent with the Minister’s announcement in the Chamber offices on January 13.
There are plans to hold a single hearing in Toronto, which is unacceptable. A vote is
underway by the Committee this afternoon. We requested that Thunder Bay be
included to ensure that a full understanding and discussion of the Bill and its potential
impacts occurs where it will have the greatest impact. We have not had a response
from the Committee, nor from our own local MPP’s and are shocked to find out that a
decision has been made by the government not to include Northern Ontario for any
hearing on this critical piece of legislation.
The Thunder Bay Chamber asks our MPP’s Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle to
support Thunder Bay’s inclusion in the hearing schedule immediately.