Temagami Stewardship Council
To preserve, protect, restore and improve, the natural resources and environment of Lake Temagami & Cross Lake !
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Biodiversity, Just a Smoke Screen

Former Ministry of Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield was dropped from Cabinet in

McGinty’s cabinet shuffle of January 18th but not before completing what she had been put in place to

accomplish. A complete organizational re-structuring within the MNR that saw the forestry file moved to

the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines and sweeping changes implemented to the internal

structure of an MNR that no longer includes a Fish & Wildlife Branch. The MNR has been turned into a

ministry of biodiversity and environmentalism.

The new minister Linda Jeffrey inherits an MNR rendered insignificant. A Ministry gutted by

years of funding shortfalls and political indifference. A ministry with a new “biodiversity” strategy to

protect and conserve the biodiversity in Ontario. Unfortunately, the Liberal government is using the

word, biodiversity, with no idea of what it means. It is yet another attempt by the governing Liberals to

provide the perception that they care as they continue to do nothing to benefit Ontario’s natural resources.

Biodiversity is, “the interconnectedness of all life forms from trees to bees, humans to bacteria.

In their many connections, these organisms create systems necessary to support the health of our

environment and those who live within it.” Common sense would dictate that the management of

Ontario’s ecosystem would recognize the interconnectedness of our natural resources. Forestry science

and forest management are an integral part of the ecosystem and the management inseparable from

responsible management of the fishery and the rest of our ecosystem.

If the Ministry of Natural Resources is as it’s motto states, responsible on behalf of the people of

Ontario for protecting and managing Crown forest lands and resources in a sustainable manner for a wide

range of values for both present and future generations then perhaps the MNR needs to be given the

direction and the wherewithal to get the job done. When other departments of natural resources in their

respective areas of the world are making great strides to enhance the natural resources for the recreational

well being of citizens it is sad to watch Ontario’s natural resources slide into disrepair.

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