May 10th, 2022

Accountability, oversight needed for ecological forestry transition

Halifax – Almost four years since William Lahey’sIndependent Review of Forest Practices was released, the Houston government is moving forward with limited oversight or accountability. A Ministerial Advisory Committee created to help implement the Lahey Review hasn’t met since the summer and the government let the appointments of committee members expire in late 2021.

“This is an important sector in our province. The work to implement the Lahey Review should be done based on the advice of experts and voices from different parts of the forestry sector,” said NDP Natural Resources and Renewables spokesperson Claudia Chender. “When we think about transitioning to a more sustainable forestry system and move to designate specific areas for the triad, we need to ensure all the voices are at the table.”

The Lahey review lays out a forest management framework that gives priority to the protection and enhancement of ecosystems and biodiversity, putting Nova Scotia on a path to ecological forestry. It recommended ensuring a process of arms-length external accountability to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

“The Minister needs to ensure there is a comprehensive long-term plan for implementing ecological forestry. Professor Lahey says in his evaluation report that the Advisory Committee should be involved in developing that plan. The fact that the Minister declined to meet with this group for eight months and then let their mandate expire is unacceptable,” said Chender.