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Canadian Forest Policy

Canadian Forest Policy: Adapting to Change

  • Book Info
    Canadian Forest Policy
    Book Description:

    Arguing that the complexity of policy-making in the forest sector has led many analysts to focus exclusively on specific sectoral activities or jurisdictions, this collection of essays offers a simplifying framework of analysis.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7219-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)

    • Chapter One Introduction: Policy Regimes and Policy Change in the Canadian Forest Sector
      (pp. 3-20)
      Michael Howlett

      The forest sector, historically, has been Canada’s largest industry and largest employer and remains today the source of most of Canada’s positive balance of trade on goods and commodities.¹ Forestry continues to play a major role in every region of the country and, in this sense, is one of a very few truly national Canadian industries.² Despite its significance, however, the sector has received relatively little treatment in the policy literature. This is because of a number of reasons related to the decentralized nature of the forest industry with regard to both production and jurisdiction. Divided into several major industrial...


    • Chapter Two The Business and Government Nexus: Principal Elements and Dynamics of the Canadian Forest Policy Regime
      (pp. 23-62)
      Michael Howlett and Jeremy Rayner

      For over 300 years, the competing interests of governments in rents, industry in profits, and labour in wages have led to a succession of forestry policy regimes in Canada. Both before and after Confederation these regimes have been heavily influenced by the differing political strengths of capital, labour, and landowners, as well as by how the major actors have exercised their power within the prevailing context and organization of the Canadian state. The defining contextual feature since 1867 has been the authority of the provincial governments over forests and forest land as granted to them by Canada’s constitution.¹ The result...


    • Chapter Three The International–Domestic Nexus: The Effects of International Trade and Environmental Politics on the Canadian Forest Sector
      (pp. 65-93)
      Steven Bernstein and Benjamin Cashore

      Canada contains 10 per cent of the world’s total forest lands and exports more forest products than any other country.¹ These factors result in two countervailing forces: on the one hand, the world’s economic and population growth place heavy demands on Canadian forests as a major source of world fibre; on the other hand, growing international concern about sustainable forestry puts pressure on Canada to maintain its forest ecosystems and old-growth forests. Depending on their fundamental interests, domestic groups identify with one or the other of these pressures. In response, state officials must walk a policy tightrope in their efforts...

    • Chapter Four Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk: Reflections on the Early Influence of Ecosystem Management Ideas
      (pp. 94-126)
      Jeremy Wilson

      The proponents of ecosystem management have had a pronounced impact on the discourses surrounding Canadian forest land use and practices issues. Throughout the 1990s, concepts such as biodiversity, natural disturbance-based management, and landscape connectivity figured prominently in both the environmental movement’s critiques and the forest industry’s defences. As other chapters in this volume show, a number of provincial governments have given ecosystem management perspectives a prominent place in new legislation, policy statements, and planning manuals.² Pilot projects implementing these perspectives are under way in various provinces.³ This chapter considers the difficulties faced by those trying to engineer a shift from...

    • Chapter Five The Canadian Forest Industry: The Impacts of Globalization and Technological Change
      (pp. 127-156)
      Roger Hayter and John Holmes

      Over the past two decades or so, Canada’s forest industry has experienced profound volatility. All-time record levels of production and profits in the late 1970s and late 1980s separate prolonged periods of downsizing and financial losses. This volatility has been especially pronounced in the long-established, dominant forest regions of the country, none more so than British Columbia. Thus, following the boom of the 1970s, which stimulated a major round of capital investment, by the early 1980s, B.C.’s forest industry was in the throes of the biggest recession since the 1930s. Between 1981 and 1984 the industry lost $1.1 billion, more...

    • Chapter Six Environmentallism and Environmental Actors in the Canadian Forest Sector
      (pp. 157-171)
      Lorna Stefanick

      The forest policy regime in Canada has seen dramatic changes in the past two decades. As was noted in the Introduction, this regime is characterized as ‘forest management for timber harvest.’ Historically, Canada’s economic dependence on the extraction of resources meant harvesting the forest, along with other types of primary industrial activities. This was seen as not only an honourable endeavour, but as a critical component of Canada’s economic development strategy. In the early years of settlement, felling trees was conceived as an integral component of ‘taming’ the vast and often hostile Canadian wilderness. As such, little thought was given...

    • Chapter Seven Model Forests as Process Reform: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Multistakeholder Planning
      (pp. 172-202)
      Joanna M. Beyers

      Multistakeholder decision-making processes as a way of settling the many increasingly urgent and thorny land use disputes have emerged as attractive alternatives to protracted, damaging, and costly fights, whether conducted in the courts or in the bush. These new avenues for decision-making are in the dispute settlement or conflict management tradition.¹ Closely allied with the phenomenon of public participation, multiparty fora provide an opportunity to study the effects, if any, of these innovations in process on policy regimes.

      The mediation literature, and the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) literature in general, identifies the structural environment in which policy decisions are made...


    • Chapter Eight Atlantic Canada: The Politics of Private and Public Forestry
      (pp. 205-236)
      Peter Clancy

      The forest politics of the Atlantic provinces is a study in contrasts, although not without several strong common themes. Of the four, only New Brunswick figures among the leading provincial jurisdictions by size. Ranked by timber harvest volume or value, it rounds out the top five, following British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta. It was even more prominent in earlier times, when New Brunswick served as Britain’s ‘timber colony’ in North America. When the profession of forestry was launched, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the University of New Brunswick founded Canada’s second degree program in 1908. If there...

    • Chapter Nine Quebec: Consolidation and the Movement towards Sustainability
      (pp. 237-278)
      Luc Bouthillier

      Contemporary Quebec forest policy is the result of a process that started at the beginning of European colonization. Today, it is a political–administrative edifice of such forbidding complexity that its very legitimacy can be called into question. The purpose of this chapter is to describe how the edifice was constructed, and more specifically the origins of Quebec’s forest domain – the forest owned and controlled by the government, or, put more generally, by the public – and how it has been managed. Various ‘diagnostic’ elements are identified in this chapter, and facilitate the evaluation that follows of the management...

    • Chapter Ten ‘Perpetual Revenues and the Delights of the Primitive’: Change, Continuity, and Forest Policy Regimes in Ontario
      (pp. 279-315)
      Jamie Lawson, Marcelo Levy and L. Anders Sandberg

      Communities of living things are always characterized by ceaseless mutual interactions and adjustments. In Ontario, human beings have been part of that process for thousands of years, but it is during the past two centuries that the province’s vast forests have come under unprecedented pressure from human intervention. In southern Ontario, forests have been cleared to provide land for farming and cities, and in the western and northern parts of the province trees have fuelled industrial development. The suppression of fires and the establishment of parks have also done their parts in changing forest ecosystems.

      In this chapter, we employ...

    • Chapter Eleven New Players, Same Game? – Managing the Boreal Forest on Canada’s Prairies
      (pp. 316-347)
      Ian Urquhart

      The phrase ‘Prairie forestry policy’ may strike more than a few readers as either overly optimistic or an oxymoron. After all, trees are a rare sight when you are driving on the asphalt ribbon of highway joining Calgary to Winnipeg. The view from the TransCanada Highway, however, camouflages the ecosystem reality of the three Prairie provinces – more than half of their territory is forested, mostly by the species making up the boreal forest, Canada’s largest. In terms of forest industry development in Canada, the boreal is a late bloomer, a forest which has become commercially attractive only with the...

    • Chapter Twelve The British Columbia Forest Practices Code: Formalization and Its Effects
      (pp. 348-377)
      George Hoberg

      Throughout the 1990s, the forests of British Columbia have been the flashpoint for some of the most dramatic environmental controversies in Canada. Conflicts have raged between forest companies and workers, on the one hand, and environmental groups, both domestic and international, on the other hand. The provincial government has struggled to manage the controversy, and introduced a number of significant policy reforms, including a strategy to resolve land use conflicts, a review of timber supply, and a ‘forest renewal’ program to invest in ecological restoration and improving the productivity of the land base. The centrepiece of policy reform efforts was...

    • Chapter Thirteen The Federal Role in Canadian Forest Policy: From Territorial Landowner to International and Intergovernmental Co-ordinating Agent
      (pp. 378-416)
      Michael Howlett

      Understanding the development of the federal role in the formation of Canadian forest policy is somewhat more problematic than is the case with the development of forest policy in the provinces. This is because of the constitutional division of powers which awards control over forests to the landowner and the fact that, at present, the federal government owns or controls forest resources only in minor patches on Native reserves, in national parks, on such federal installations as armed forces bases and airports, arid in the generally poor forest lands of the Northwest and Yukon territories. Unlike in the provinces, then,...


    • Chapter Fourteen Making Sense of Complexity: Advances and Gaps in Comprehending the Canadian Forest Policy Process
      (pp. 419-446)
      Evert Lindquist and Adam Wellstead

      This book demonstrates that the Canadian forest policy regime is an increasingly complex policy area to analyse. There is now an impressive web of policy actors, institutions, ideas, bureaucratic capacities and processes, and governing arrangements that affect policy outcomes and attempt to grapple with many overlapping issues that do not respect jurisdictional divides. Our goal is to remind readers, however briefly, of the complexity that analysts confront and then examine how some scholars have attempted to make sense and impart coherence on contemporary policy-making in Canada. We also seek to evaluate the progress made to date in applying these models...

  10. Contributors
    (pp. 447-448)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 449-449)