As the Conservative Shadow Minister for Northern Ontario Economic Development, I expressed my disappointment following the Liberal Government’s Speech from the Throne.

Northern Ontario has been completely abandoned by the Liberal Government.  With not a single mention of helping those who work in the forestry or mining industries, nor a focus on rural economic development, this Government continues to leave Northern Ontario and its workers behind.

Eric Melillo, newly elected Conservative MP for Kenora, stated that “the Liberal Government’s promise to ‘preserve Canada’s natural legacy, protecting 25 percent of Canada’s land and 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025,’ will actually make it more difficult for Northern Ontario workers who work in the logging industry to access land to harvest.

“Properly managed forestry is not only good for the economy, it’s good for the environment as well. While I am committed – as all Canadians are – to protecting Canada’s land and water, I believe we have to strike a balance to avoid hindering the hardworking men and women of Canada’s forestry industry, particularly in my riding of Kenora.”

The restriction of loggers access to land will also drive Canada further away from the new net-zero carbon targets announced in the Throne Speech. 

The young trees, which loggers plant three for each one harvested, consume more carbon dioxide then mature trees do.

It is just another example of politicians in Ottawa thinking they know better than families and workers who have worked the land for generations. 

This real-life, hands-on experience is why the foresters of Northern Ontario have been recognized as excellent stewards of the land.  Using their world-class silviculture practices also reduce the incidence of wild fires.

The Forestry and Mining sectors account for 12 percent of jobs and are the backbone of Northern Ontario. 

The economic potential of the Ring of Fire, which can provide prosperity for decades, remains dormant.  Instead of igniting the Ring of Fire, the Throne Speech has left Northern Ontario out in the cold.

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