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Wilson “trying to score cheap political points,” McGarry says

In Council Watch
Oct 6th, 2017
MNRF Minister Kathryn McGarry

AWARE News Network

Simcoe Grey MPP Jim Wilson’s question to Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Kathryn McGarry, MPP (Cambridge) in the legislature on October 4, 2017

Re: Closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Facility

MPP Jim Wilson:

“Has this government decided it is no longer important to protect the environment, support the forest sector, or adapt to climate change?”

MPP Kathryn McGarry’s response:

“I’ve met recently with Bob Keen of Forests Ontario as well as Steve Hounsell who is chair of that board and I’ve listened to their concerns. As Ontario’s forestry practices have changed the demand for the services provided by the tree seed plant have decreased significantly and it no longer makes sense to operate such a large facility. As a result we’ll be moving toward a more efficient and modern Seed Archive.

“During this transition we’ll be encouraging new market opportunities for Ontario’s nurseries to provide native seeds to grow trees for the industry and the public.

“Because we are modernizing these services, there will be significant savings to the Ontario taxpayers through used operating and capital costs, and by developing new policies like the new Seed Zone Policy and creating a modern Seed Archive will be better positioned to respond to changes associated with climate changes including successfully delivering on the 50 million tree program.”

MPP Jim Wilson’s rebuttal question:

“Will she (McGarry) agree to meet with my constituents and to explain what is happening, why it’s happening, and to formulate a good plan going forward?”

MPP Kathryn McGarry’s response:

“I’d like to thank again Rob Keen and his team who came in to speak with me from Forest Ontario and from that team delivery the 50 Million Trees Program and this year’s Green Leaf Challenge. We’re going to continue to look at all the options working with our partners and ensure that this is a win-win situation for Ontario residence and our partners.

“Speaker, the member opposite know that we are working with our partners to provide a smooth transition and is just trying to score cheap political points. He knows what we’re doing is moving from an outdated model to a more efficient and modern one, one that will save taxpayers money.

“It was, unfortunately, it was his party in 1996 that opened our province’s provincial nursery program for privatization and put the tree seed plant in this position in the first place.

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