McGuinty can’t see the forest or the trees!! ECO report highlights failing tree planting commitments

For Immediate Release:
September 23, 2010

St. Thomas: Opposition Environment Critic Toby Barrett echoes the concern for lacklustre provincial tree planting commitments highlighted in the Environmental Commissioners (ECO) report.
The ECO report indicated that while Federal guidelines recommend watersheds have 30 per cent forest cover, most Southwestern Ontario watersheds are just over half that – for instance Essex County is at only 5 per cent. The report also notes that while McGuinty has promised to plant 50 million trees by 2020, it is not enough.

“From my inquiries, Mr. McGuinty is not on track to even meet his 50 million tree target,” Opposition Environment Critic MPP Barrett said. “I point out that in the past, one tree nursery alone at St. William’s shipped out one billion trees during its tenure – the same number Mr. Miller is advocating MNR commit to planting.”

As the ECO report points out: “Trees and woodlands are critically important to our urban areas and ecosystems. They provide wildlife habitat and welcome green space for people; they store and filter groundwater; they help cool urban areas and streams, and they soak up carbon dioxide.”

“I question whether Mr. McGuinty has provided the resources to stakeholders to meet even his 50 million tree commitment,” stated Barrett. “Planting trees is hard work – it requires resources both human and financial.”

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For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at
(519) 428-0446 or (905)-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629