An Act With Respect To Land Use Planning and Protection in the Far North
On June 2, 2009, Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield introduced proposed legislation that would permanently protect at least half of the Far North of Ontario in a network of conservation lands and allow for sustainable development of the region’s natural resources.
The proposed Far North Act, 2009 would enable a community-based land use planning process that gives First Nations in the Far North a leadership role in determining areas to be protected. Community-based planning would also identify where sustainable development of natural resources such as forests, minerals and renewable energy may take place. Under the planning process, sustainable development must benefit local First Nations and take into consideration ecological and cultural values.
To support community-based land use planning, the proposed legislation will ensure the creation of a Far North Land Use Strategy that includes mapping of ecological and cultural values, and policy statements on matters of provincial interest.
By protecting at least 225,000 square kilometres – an area three times the size of Lake Superior – the proposed legislation would safeguard habitat for more than 200 sensitive species. Protecting such a vast area would also ensure the boreal landscape continues to fight the effects of global climate change by maintaining its capacity to absorb and store carbon from the air.
During the summer, the Ministry of Natural Resources will be conducting outreach sessions on the proposed legislation across the Far North. Read more >