[Agroforestry] Green Party Challenges Forest Industry Subsidies

John D Wendygem at bmts.com
Tue Sep 27 18:49:30 EST 2005


For Immediate Release
September 27, 2005




TORONTO - "Subsidizing current forestry practices won't solve the crisis in 
the woods," said Frank de Jong, Green Party of Ontario leader. "I question 
the wisdom of the Liberals throwing money at the forest industry for 
operating expenses like road construction costs and electricity production."

The Green Party maintains that the government should facilitate a shift to 
low impact forestry complemented by value-added, labour-intensive 
manufacturing in northern communities.

Forests are complex ecosystems that are degraded when managed to maximize 
wood supply. When wood is taken out of the forest its ecological functions 
must be maintained. Humans should respect the forest and not require the 
forest to adapt itself to our demands.

During the period of change to ecologically appropriate forestry, the 
government must ensure that the principles of "Just Transitions" are 
extended to the people affected.

The Green Party of Ontario holds that:
·       The use of herbicides is incompatible with maintaining healthy 
forests;
·       Only native species should be used in reforestation, not hybrid 
poplar or Norway spruce;
·       Genetically modified trees should never be used;
·       Protected lands including Living Legacy sites must remain closed to 
logging;
·       Large-scale logging should not occur north of the present cut 
allocation and must be First Nation driven;
·       Large tracts of old growth conifer forest must be preserved for 
woodland caribou habitat;
·       Agri-fibre (hemp, switch grass, flax and wheat straw) should be 
developed as a substitute for tree-based paper products;
·       Aggressive paper recycling is needed as forty percent of paper 
products are still land filled; and
·       Lumber from demolition and renovations should be re-used in other 
construction.

Tax Shifting:

Forestry companies currentlyreduce costs by employing as few people as 
possible, by using heavy equipment best suited for clear cut forestry, and 
by exporting mostly raw lumber and pulp which creates value-added jobs 
elsewhere.

The Green Party would change the tax structure to accelerate the move to 
sustainable forestry. Taxing resources (stumpage fees and area charges) 
rather than labour and profits would provide incentives for forestry 
companies to employ more people, use less machinery and energy, reduce fibre 
extraction, and engage inmore local value-added production.

-30-



Green Party of Ontario
244 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 2G2
Local: 416-929-2397
Toll free: 1-888-647-3366
Fax: 416-929-7709
Email: admin at greenparty.on.ca
Website: www.gpo.ca



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