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In 1994, Ontario adopted the grandly named Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA). A long, bruising environmental assessment (the Timber Management EA) had shown that we were ravaging Crown forests with a short term focus on extracting the most timber now, damaging the future of the forests and everything that lived there. It will be better now, the government said. The CFSA begins with impressive (if wordy) promises. But almost 20 years later, have our Crown forests become sustainable? Alas, no. See our article at SLAW, Canada’s best legal blog.

In the run up to the election, the CFSA is being amended, to increase employment in logging areas,

i.e. to increase logging, and to reduce the costs of complying with the Act. “The Ontario Forest Tenure Modernization Act, 2011, if passed, would enable the modernization of Ontario’s forest tenure and pricing system. Modernization of Ontario’s forest tenure and pricing system would help make Ontario’s timber supply and prices more responsive to market demand, create new business opportunities for entrepreneurs and facilitate greater local community and aboriginal peoples participation in the sector.” The CFSA regulation is also being amended, to allow the interval between audits (now five years) to extend to seven years “in some circumstances”.

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