Legislative Review Process For Parks And Protected Areas Moving Ahead – TORONTO
The Ontario government is moving forward with the legislative review aimed at strengthening the laws that protect Ontario’s provincial parks and other significant natural areas, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said today. “Last fall, I asked people across the province for ideas on how to improve legislation for Ontario’s provincial parks, conservation reserves and wilderness areas” said Ramsay. “This is the first time in more than 50 years that our protected areas legislation has been reviewed, and I am pleased that so many people took the time to provide us with their thoughts and suggestions.”.
More than 400 people attended open houses in nine cities, and 140 written submissions were received from a variety of stakeholders, Aboriginal communities and individuals. Ministry staff also met with stakeholder and Aboriginal representatives on request. In addition, more than 1,500 people filled in surveys that included questions about what principles should guide the province’s management of protected areas, and what activities should be allowed in protected areas. The Ontario Parks Board of Directors, a citizen committee that advises the minister, has also provided recommendations for the review based on presentations the board received from major stakeholders and input from the public consultation. The boards recommendations and the ministry’s summary of the consultations have been posted on the Ontario Parks website at www.OntarioParks.com. “I want to thank members of the public, stakeholders, Aboriginal organizations and the Ontario Parks Board of Directors for their advice during this process,” Ramsay said. “It is our intent to introduce legislation later this year and give the public another chance to comment.”