Wilson questions government for fourth time about Ontario Tree Seed Plant closurePublished on April 12, 2018
Today, Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson questioned the government for a fourth time over the closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant located in Angus. Wilson reiterated concerns brought to him by constituents working in the industry and broader community whose questions have so far gone unanswered by the Wynne government.
“Industry experts as well as environmental advocates in my riding and across the province tell me that they continue to receive template responses from this government when it comes to concerns raised over the closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant,” said Wilson. “Without the Ontario Tree Seed Plant how does the government plan to ensure a sufficient supply of high quality, source identified seed for dozens of native tree species throughout the province?”
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Nathalie Des Rosiers said that 80 percent of seeds are already being provided by the private market and won’t be impacted by the closure. She indicated that the province’s seed zone policy is in place to ensure seeds are planted in their appropriate zones and mentioned the new genetic seed archive.
“Tree growers across the province remain concerned about where they will find appropriate seed needed for future crops,” said Wilson. “How will the government ensure that the private sector develops the capacity to plan for, collect, process and bank enough seed to respond to catastrophic events in Ontario, such as beetle and forest fire devastations, and can the government assure growers that the private sector will readily replace seed in time for normal annual reforestation projects?”
The Liberals announced the closure of the Ontario Tree Seed Plant in September 2017, and plan to close the facility by September 2018. They made the decision without doing any consultation within the industry or community.