[Sust-mar] Action Alert from Standing Tall: Forests for Life Campaign
jocook at hfx.eastlink.ca
Mon Jul 31 14:36:40 EDT 2006
Hullo Sust-Mar Subscribers:
Many of you already know that the Nova Scotia government's going to
be developing a new Natural Resources strategy over the next year,
made up of Forests, Mining, Parks, and Biodiversity sections. A
keystone of the Ecology Action Centre's Standing Tall campaign has
been the demand to open up public consultations around the Natural
Resources strategy; we want the government to listen to all Nova
Scotians with interests in the health of our forests. We've
emphasized that the very best route would be to use Voluntary
Planning, the independent Crown agency that carried out the ATV
consultations in 2004.
Why are we so concerned about how the Nova Scotia Department of
Natural Resources will manage this planning? Because, as many of you
already know, DNR's track record on public consultation is terrible.
You may have been involved in the game sanctuary delisting
controversy. Or the IRM consultations. Or the development of the
existing Forest Strategy in the mid-1990s. Or any one of the other
issues on which the Department has asked for public opinion -- and
then ignored it.
We need your help -- now!
During the election campaign, we asked Premier Rodney Macdonald, on
behalf of the Conservative Party, "If elected, will your government
commit to ensuring that these consultations are conducted by a third
party and are truly inclusive of the Nova Scotia public, being
conducted in communities across the Province and open to everyone who
wishes to participate?"
Premier Macdonald responded:
Yes, a Progressive Conservative government will continue our
commitment to ensuring that public consultations are conducted by a
third-party and are inclusive of the Nova Scotia public, being
conducted in communities across the Province and open to everyone
who wishes to participate.
Voluntary Planning is a citizens' policy forum that operates arm's
length to the provincial government. Our mandate is to engage
non-governmental volunteers and citizens in policy discussions
important to the future of Nova Scotia. Members participate on task
forces, project teams and sector committees representing many
aspects of the economy and society. Policy advice and recommendations
go forward through our Board of Directors to the Premier and
Executive Council via the Minister of Treasury and Policy Board.
In carrying out their work, members and staff adhere to an approach
and guiding principles that are based on Voluntary Planning's
extensive public policy experience.
To this end, Voluntary Planning strives to include all Nova Scotians
geographically, sectorally and socially; and to operate in the
service of government's policy needs but at arms' length from
government. Finally, the process is transparent so that it is fair,
and is perceived to be fair, in representing the views of citizens.
Further information on the Voluntary Planning mission and its
principles can be found on
We've written the Premier and the Minister of Natural Resources
highlighting this commitment, and asked for a meeting with the
Minister as soon as possible.
But we also need your help.
Please, call or email the Premier and the Minister ASAP, and tell
them you want Voluntary Planning tasked right away with the Natural
Resources Strategy consultations. They've promised. Let's hold them
Premier Rodney Macdonald
Toll-free Message Line: 1-800-267-1993
email: premier at gov.ns.ca
The Hon. David Morse
Minister of Natural Resources
email: MIN_DNR at gov.ns.ca
If you send an email, do cc: it to your local MLA. If you don't know
their email address, check the
list of MLAs and click on your member's name. Their email address,
if available, will be on the next web page.
Thanks. And please -- feel free to forward this to your contacts, and
encourage them to sign up to Forest Alert, at
Joanne Cook and Minga O'Brien
Joanne Cook (mailto:jocook at hfx.eastlink.ca)
Coordinator, Standing Tall Campaign for Environmentally Responsible Forestry,
Ecology Action Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia;
http://www.novascotiaforests.ca & http://www.ecologyaction.ca
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