Who’s playing and what are the rules?

Dear Editor,

Who are playing the Games? And Why did Council not Know?

We have recently (July 12/21) learned that several legal opinions were obtained by the Town and/or RRFDC to consider Resolute’s  compliance with the terms and conditions of the Crossroute Sustainable Forest Licence. In an email to Councillor Judson, the morning of July 13 2021, I asked if the legal opinion procured by the Town included the review of the alleged 2017 Crossroute IFA. Ms. Drysdale, in the July 14/21 edition of the FF Times, stated, “We could never find anyone in the legal community who was writing us opinions that would back up our premise. We wish we could. But we could not.”

A legitimate Independent Forest Audit of the Licensee’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the Crossroute SFL from 2012 to 2017, does not exist.

A copy of this IFA, requested and received by Mayor Caul, is not available on the MNRF site; nor has an Action Plan been filed to address any audit recommendations as required by the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

If a legal opinion does not incorporate a review of this alleged IFA and does not consider the fact that the Fort Frances facility was substantially non-performing between 2012 to 2017, then the opinion would have little merit, and one would conclude that Resolute was in compliance.

March 31 2017 marks the last day of the 20 year term of the Crossroute Sustainable Forest Licence and without a legitimate 2017 Independent Forest Audit, the last day of that SFL.

Corporate MNRF represented to Cabinet that the Crossroute SFL expired on March 31 2022. In fact the SFL had expired 8 months earlier. One cannot extend a Licence that does not exist. Boundary Waters Forest Management Corporation has a valid 2020-2030 Forest Management Plan however it does not have a valid Sustainable Forest Licence. One cannot amend a SFL that does not exist.

The games here are being played by corporate MNRF, not by Resolute. The rules of this game are established by the Legislature in the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

Resolute owned the Fort Frances mill and had every right to sell the facility or not. The wood and its allocation belong to Ontario not Resolute.

A legal opinion should have considered all of the above. Further, the Town should have known that the Crossroute SFL expired on March 31 2017 and the wood allocated available for competitive procurement.

As a resident and ratepayer within the Town of Fort Frances I would like to know why that information was not presented to Council. This is material to our Town’s economic future. There is no question that our community would be in a better position today had this information been shared with Council. I like many others are looking for Mayor and Council to provide some leadership to ensure our economic future.

Thank you,
David Kircher

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