Angus tree seed plant: Ontario Liberals abandon Ontario’s forests, Greens charge
Green Party of Ontario leader Mike Schreiner
Green Party of Ontario news release September 21 2017
GPO leader Mike Schreiner made the following statement on the closing of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant:
“I’m deeply disappointed in the Ontario Liberal’s decision to close the door on the 94-year old Ontario Tree Seed Plant–a public institution that is a world leader in preserving biodiversity, protecting the environment and supporting the province’s forestry sector.
“Just like the privatization of Hydro One, the Liberals are again being extremely short-sighted. We need the Ontario Tree Seed Plant now more than ever because of the stress on trees caused by climate change and pressures of development.
“This decision is a slap in the face of the province’s forestry sector and undermines Ontario’s biodiversity efforts.
“Why are the Liberal’s choosing to be negligent in closing this 94-year old institution? We need to be active in protecting our biodiversity. Moving backwards on environmental issues is what Trump does. We shouldn’t be bringing that short-sighted thinking to Ontario.”
Ontario’s forest trees are under tremendous stress from invasive pests and diseases. Emerald ash borer, beech bark disease, butternut canker, white pine blister rust and dutch elm disease are just a few examples currently causing havoc.
The Ontario Tree Seed Plant gathers, processes and store trees seeds from across the many seed climate zones of the province. It protects that genetic diversity of our forests so that we can find varieties resistant to foreign pests and we can assist the migration in response to the rapidly changing climate zones.
For almost a century, Ontario has had an institution dedicated to protecting the genetic diversity of our forest trees. The reference to a replacement “genetic seed archive” is unclear and won’t have the volumes or collection mechanisms necessary to mitigate the challenges our forests face today. Help us save the Ontario Tree Seed Plant by sending a message to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry today.