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2014-06-26 at 17:11

Serious commitment

Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro says forestry a key component of his new portfolio.
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro says forestry a key component of his new portfolio.
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By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Bill Mauro is taking his new post seriously.

The Liberal MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan was named to Premier Kathleen Wynne's cabinet Tuesday as the Minister of Natural Resources, a portfolio that includes forestry.

Mauro said forestry is a key component of the ministry and much of its role in the industry is to foster economic development.

"Here in the North, our economy in Thunder Bay and region has been very, very good for three, four, five years. The forestry piece obviously still has room to grow, much of that growth is not determined by what the ministry does," he said.

Factors like global demand for products drive the industry, but Mauro said the ministry has a role to play ensuring they are present and ready to help companies looking to set up shop.

And Mauro said there is good news in the forestry sector with the increase of housing starts in the U.S.

It bodes well for the region's sawmill industry, he said.

"It's not where it was pre-2006, but it's moving in a positive direction."

Mauro returns to Queen's Park next week when the legislature resumes. He said the party's first priorities are the Throne Speech and the introduction of the budget.

In March, Mauro was named the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing after Linda Jeffrey stepped down.

Northwestern Ontario now has two ministers in the provincial cabinet as Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle will keep the Northern Development and Mines portfolio.


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
sudbury yahoo says:
If Bill is going to do anything, he needs to change the culture inside the MNR where they're introducing an honest to goodness BUSINESS component to the ministry instead of trying to save spotted turtles. Amphibians don't pay the bills that support families and government social programs. Forestry workers are really the threatened and endangered species.
6/26/2014 5:27:06 PM
animiki says:
It's much more complicated than that. Environmental protection is AN issue, but so are Aboriginal concerns, competing land use activities like tourism, a lack of productivity in the regional forest products industry because of a past reliance on a low Canadian dollar, high fuel and insurance costs, an outdated forest management model, strong competition from other jurisdictions, market demands for forest products that adhere to certain quality and environmental standards, and so on.

The MNR can deal with some of these, but some are much larger, even global. Just the value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar, something far beyond the province's control, has a huge impact on the region's industry.
6/27/2014 11:17:25 AM
unknowncronik says:
so yer just NOW taking this position seriously?
6/26/2014 7:54:02 PM
Tiredofit says:
Ummm.. he just got the position.. Unreal
6/27/2014 10:04:54 AM
tudor says:
unknowncronik you take a sentence from an article that is not a quote from the Minister and use it for your commentary.

How ridiculous
6/27/2014 6:22:34 AM
joepublic says:
Why are most saw mills closed, yet Ontario's on demand/ use for lumber could keep all the mills running year round? Is that because the mangement of the forest has failed? or is it greed like previous owners of the sawmills who pocketed millions while short changing the government and the employees?

I hope Bill can make some changes, but I doubt it.
6/27/2014 9:21:12 AM
BuddhaMum says:
I wonder how difficult it would be, regarding our mills up here, to retrofit them to become recycling facilities? It would employ tradespeople during the retrofit then retrain the millworkers for employment within the recycling facility. We could implement recycling programs in all NWO communities (therefor employing more people at the recycling facilities) and provide AZ/DZ drivers with employment as well.
Just a thought that's been kicking around in my brain for a few years.
6/27/2014 4:09:05 PM
lori says:
I thought no one ever paid any attention to us here in the north and that we never get anything.

2 MPP's. Two members of cabinet.

Meanwhile in our nations capital, MP's Bruce Hyer and John Rafferty continue to bring........................ to our region.

On a positive note, both MP's will qualify for a gold plated pension for the rest of their lives which sums up what they have been able to achieve for us in Ottawa. Terrific job fellas
6/28/2014 9:34:46 AM
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