Province proceeds with Far North land use planning

Press Release

Ontario has taken an important step forward with Far North land use planning.
Proposed amendments to Bill 191 (Far North Act) recently were submitted as a result of discussions with First Nations’ communities, development stakeholders, and environmental non-governmental organizations.
Ontario also has committed $10 million in new funding to support First Nations’ communities in the Far North in their efforts to develop land use plans.
Earlier this year, Ontario announced $2 million annually over three years for skills training related to community-based land use planning.
If passed, Bill 191 would create a foundation for First Nations and Ontario to work together on land use planning as part of the McGuinty government’s “Open Ontario” plan to support the Far North’s economy and environment.
“Our government is listening, and we are acting on what we’ve heard through proposed amendments to the bill and additional funding for First Nation communities,” said Natural Resources minister Linda Jeffrey.
“As part of our government’s ‘Open Ontario’ plan, land use planning is a priority and Bill 191 presents an extraordinary vision for the Far North,” she added.
Bill 191 is going through a clause-by-clause review by a legislative standing committee this week (Sept. 13-15).
Land use planning in the boreal region is part of the Far North vision which sees Ontario working with First Nations on land use decisions.
The 2008 provincial budget included $30 million over four years to support the many components of the Far North Land Use Planning Initiative, including direct support to First Nations’ communities, tribal councils, and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation for land use planning in the Far North.