Snobelen defends ‘Lands for Life’

It was a quiet visit to Fort Frances for Natural Resource minister John Snobelen–almost.
During a question and answer session at a PC fundraising dinner at the Red Dog Inn, the minister to defend the “Land for Life” process.
Questions from the floor skirted around the “Lands for Life” round tables–until one man bluntly told Snobelen the whole idea should be scrapped.
“Let us manage the forests as we have,” he said. “Let us stay with it.”
Another person was even more brunt–and less polite–with his concerns.
“Have you ever worked in a sawmill?” he demanded of Snobelen. “How the hell are you going to come in here and tell us how to run the woodlands?
“You couldn’t run the education system, now you’re going to ruin the woodlands [system]!” he charged.
But Snobelen remained unfazed and staunchly defended “Lands for Life,” noting the round tables were a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Ontario residents to have a say in managing their natural resources.
“I think the process is fair and reasonable,” he argued. “But people who have stewardship, those who live closes to the resources, should have the majority of the say.
“All the special-interest groups are equally paranoid about ‘Lands for Life’ so it must be a fair process,” he laughed.
In related news, Snobelen announced last week that the deadline for the “Lands for Life” round table committees to make their report back to him has been extended until June 30 due to the vast amount of input being received.
“We have promised a quick turnaround on these reports,” Snobelen said. “They will be made public as soon as they’re received.”
Snobelen also toured the Abitibi-Consolidated mill here and the Voyageur Panel OSB plant in Barwick during his visit yesterday.