Seeking answers

Dear Editor,

The Crown Forest Sustainability Act (CFSA) states – the Minister shall not grant a Sustainable Forest Licence without following a competitive process for the forest resources contemplated in the SFL.

This explains why the MNRF did not grant a new Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence to Boundary Waters Forest Management Corp.(BWFMC) on April 1 2020. The MNRF did not transfer a SFL

to BWFMC either. The Crossroute SFL was amended by the Minister on September 10 2020.

The Crossroute SFL was granted in April 1997 and as stipulated in the CFSA after 20 years expired on March 31, 2017. The SFL for the Sapawe Forest was terminated when the Licence Holder went bankrupt.

The new Boundary Waters Forest Management Unit must be managed under a Sustainable Forest Licence. The Sapawe SFL was gone and the Crossroute SFL was set to expire on March 31 2017.

A new SFL would have required a competitive process for all those participating, including Resolute. To ensure the wood allocated to Resolute would not change, corporate MNRF had to somehow secure

the extension of the Crossroute SFL beyond 2017 without completing an Independent Forest Audit for the 201`2-2017 years. Thus the representations corporate MNRF made to Cabinet referenced in

the December 2017 Order of Council. The Crossroute Forest SFL had already expired by December 2017. The omission of the critical 2012-2017 independent Forest Audit by corporate MNRF to Cabinet

precluded the need to explain why the MNRF wanted to extend the SFL for an additional 10 years to a mill that had already been closed for four years.

The nature of corporate MNRF representations to Cabinet to secure the extension of this SFL are also material to any legal opinion sought by the Town of Fort Frances to determine if the Licence Holder was compliant with the terms and conditions of this Licence.

Ms. Drysdale indicates she sought several legal opinions but none supported the Town’s position. Thus my question to Councillor Judson related to the scope of the Town’s legal opinion. A legal opinion must include a review of the Licensee’s performance relative to the terms and conditions of the SFL between 2012 – 2017 . Perhaps the Town will make these legal opinions available for public review.

Ms. Drysdale and Mr. Willick are working for Rainy River Future Development Corporation and indirectly the Town of Fort Frances. Mayor and Council may have been presented with the foregoing  information. If so I question their lack of engagement and action to protect the economic vitality of Fort Frances.

Thank you,
David Kircher