Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To All Our Supporters - Ontario's boreal gets much needed protection!

Ontario Nature thanks you for your contribution to the recent announcement regarding the protection of Ontario's northern boreal! On July 14, Premier McGuinty made a landmark commitment announcing that over half of Ontario's northern boreal will be protected from industrial development. It is the biggest protected areas announcement in Canada's history. The size of the area to be protected is approximately 225,000 square kilometres, which is more than 20 percent of the total land base of the entire province. Put another way, the protected area will be roughly the same size as the United Kingdom (or 140 million NHL hockey rinks).

This announcement could not have happened without your support and the support of thousands of others who told the provincial government that the boreal needs to be protected. The Province listened and seized a unique opportunity to protect this vast and largely intact landscape, a vital breeding ground for millions of birds. You can help demonstrate solid public support for this announcement by sending the Premier a thank you note (a template letter is pasted below).

Decisions regarding which areas to protect from industrial development are to be based on sound conservation and the development of land-use plans across the region. The land-use planning process will allow for the full involvement of First Nations communities and consultations with stakeholders. Until land-use planning has been completed, no new logging or mining projects will be allowed to proceed in the region.

Ontario Nature will work with the provincial government to ensure that these ambitious goals are met, and that the areas protected include critical habitat for endangered and declining species such as the woodland caribou.

Template Letter to Premier

Please submit your letter to the Premier through his website at https://www.premier.gov.on.ca/feedback/feedback.asp or by fax at 416-325-3745.

DATE

Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier McGuinty,

Thank you for your precedent-setting announcement to protect at least 50% of Ontario's northern boreal. Such protection is crucial for the millions of breeding birds and wide-ranging mammals like woodland caribou, wolverines and lynx that depend on the area. This announcement clearly demonstrates your dedication to sustaining this globally significant ecosystem for generations to come.

I am pleased to see that you will consult with scientists and First Nations communities in the development of community-based land use plans. I trust that planning and consultation will place equivalent value on meeting the needs of boreal birds and woodland caribou, whose populations have declined so dramatically.

I also commend you for undertaking the review of Ontario's antiquated Mining Act during this initiative. In addition to addressing important concerns regarding Aboriginal rights and claim staking, I anticipate that you will also address the need for adequate environmental assessments at each stage of the mining process.

I look forward to seeing this ambitious conservation process unfold and am happy to put my support behind it.

Sincerely,

Your name

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Caribou can't survive without a place to live. Tell industry and government that you expect them to take action to secure a brighter future for this species at risk.

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