Monday, September 22, 2014
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Rickford reacts to First Nations declaration

Written by Brenden Harris

kenoraonline.com

Kenora MP Greg Rickford says he hopes First Nations and other parties involved with forestry in the Whiskey Jack forest can come to a resolution.

"That's largely a provincial matter, but I hope that the collective efforts of both the First Nations and the private sector are to meet the growing demands for forestry product," he said.

His comments come after chiefs from Wabauskang, Grassy Narrows and Whitefish Bay all signed a declaration, hoping to take over the management of the Whiskey Jack Forest.

When it comes to reviving the forestry industry in northwestern Ontario, Rickford says there are steps that need to be taken to ensure a viable operation.

He says the region can't simple start up because of a recovery in the American housing market.

"We need to invest in technology and skilled trades people in a responsible way of managing our forest, so that we can have more sustainable mills in the future for our region, that are not subject quite so strongly to market conditions in other parts of the world," he said.

He said he'll be focusing on technology for the forest industry in his position as Minister of Science and Technology, as well as FedNor.  

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