Saint-Jacques, NB: Our forests and crown lands are a treasure to be passed on to future generations and they are also a cornerstone in New Brunswick’s economy. For those reasons and many more they need to be better protected and under a PC Government they will be. Today PC Leader Blaine Higgs announced his government would overhaul the outdated Crown Lands and Forestry Act.
“This Act has a direct impact on our natural resources, our citizens, and our economy,” says Blaine Higgs, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick. “Beyond our forest sector it also encompasses biodiversity, wildlife, water protection, the maple sugar industry, the blueberry industry, the peat moss industry, and more. It hasn’t been updated since the 1980’s. It is time to modernize the Act to reflect today’s realities and position us to protect our natural resources while we create jobs.”
Mr. Higgs’ approach to modernizing the Act consists of two important initiatives:
Conduct a full assessment of the government’s role in the forestry sector, as owner and manager of the resource; in partnership with industry and ecological stakeholders, to ensure fairness and to confirm that we are receiving the best value from our Crown Land reserves while at the same time watching carefully to ensure best practices are being followed.
Convene an independent panel to oversee the legislative review process and ensure objectivity. The panel will be tasked with gathering data and input from all interested stakeholders to ensure they are part of the process of updating this important legislation. These stakeholders would include private woodlot owners, outdoor enthusiasts, industry representatives, and citizens and groups with environmental concerns – including concerns about glyphosate. The panel will also review the Auditor General’s 2015 recommendations.
“New Brunswick’s forests are a precious resource that needs the kind of active stewardship the Gallant Liberals have failed to deliver,” says Higgs. “Modernizing the Act will give taxpayers and industry – including private woodlot owners – the opportunity to contribute to new legislation that delivers results.”