The Toronto Star, has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: Ontario has scrapped plans to expand mining in an ecological gem that is home to North America’s largest stand of old-growth red pine trees near Temagami.
A Star story in December detailed the Ministry of Natural Resources’ proposal to change the “forest reserve” designation for 340 hectares around Wolf Lake — 50 kilometres from Temagami — to “general use,” which would have put a greater focus on mining instead of forests and recreation.
The ministry now says it won’t tamper with the government protections around Wolf Lake. “It was really about finding the appropriate balance,” Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle said in an interview Tuesday.
“We are always trying to find that balance between making sure we maintain the opportunity for economic development in northern Ontario while at the same time . . . we are very committed to the protection of our forests, particularly old-growth forests,” Gravelle said.
The decision is a victory for the 300-year-old red pine trees, said Ontario’s environment commissioner, Gord Miller. He said the plan would have allowed logging of the ecologically treasured trees if the mining intensified.
“The essence of the ecological dispute in that area is whether or not we should preserve the red pine old-growth system,” Miller said.
“The trees are the key issue. The government has reconsidered and that means the trees stay, which is critical in the long term.”
When the story originally broke, Premier Dalton McGuinty told reporters he was unaware of the planned change until reading about it in the Star, and spoke of paddling the pristine lakes and rivers around the Temagami area with his children.
Conservative MPP Norm Miller (Parry Sound—Muskoka) told the Star’s Tanya Talaga the premier should be thinking about job creation instead.
For the rest of this article, please go to the Toronto Star website: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1145737–ontario-scraps-plans-to-expand-mining-in-an-old-growth-area-near-temagami