Local News

Ontario Government Boosts Funding for Forest Access Roads, Enhancing Connectivity and Safety

Toronto, Ontario – In a bid to bolster connectivity and safety across Ontario’s vast forestry landscape, the provincial government has announced a significant investment of an additional $6 million into the Provincial Forest Access Roads Funding Program. This injection of funds brings the total budget for the program to over $59 million for the fiscal year 2024-25.

The Provincial Forest Access Roads Funding Program plays a pivotal role in the construction and maintenance of essential infrastructure, including over 19,500 kilometers of public forest access roads. These roads serve as vital arteries for regional travel, the transportation of goods, emergency response, and support for the burgeoning tourism and industry sectors.

Graydon Smith, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, emphasized the importance of this investment, stating, “Many people rely on this road network every day for travel between work and home and everywhere in-between. This investment will keep people and vehicles moving safely, support efficient business operations, and build safer, stronger communities.”

The significance of this funding is echoed by Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, who highlighted the government’s commitment to improving the quality of life in Northern and First Nations communities. “We understand the unique challenges that forestry partners face as part of their operations in the North, and we are pleased to deliver a solution that is beneficial to northern and Indigenous communities alike,” Rickford remarked.

Key stakeholders have also lauded the government’s decision to increase funding for forest access roads. Ian Dunn, President & CEO of the Ontario Forest Industries Association, praised the government’s leadership, stating, “Well-maintained forest road infrastructure is critical to the success of Ontario’s forest industry, communities, and all users of Ontario’s forests.”

Laurie Marcil, Executive Director of Nature & Outdoor Tourism Ontario, emphasized the importance of safe and quality outdoor experiences, especially for the tourism sector. “Providing safe and quality outdoor experiences is paramount for the resource-based tourism sector,” Marcil commented.

Danny Whalen, President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, and Wendy Landry, Mayor of Shuniah and President of the North Ontario Municipal Association, both expressed their support for the increase in forestry road funding. They highlighted the positive impact on employment opportunities, emergency response capabilities, and overall prosperity in Northern communities.


The Ontario government’s decision to invest additional funds into the Provincial Forest Access Roads Funding Program is a crucial step towards enhancing connectivity, safety, and economic prosperity across the province. The forest access road network serves as a lifeline for various industries, communities, and visitors, particularly in Northern Ontario. By prioritizing the maintenance and construction of these essential routes, the government demonstrates its commitment to supporting sustainable forest management practices and fostering resilience in remote and Indigenous communities. This investment not only strengthens infrastructure but also lays the foundation for continued growth and development in Ontario’s forestry sector.

Samantha Deschamps

Samantha Deschamps serves as the Queens Park Reporter, offering insightful coverage of provincial politics with depth and accuracy. With a keen understanding of legislative intricacies, Deschamps provides invaluable perspectives on matters affecting Ontario. For inquiries or feedback, contact Samantha at samantha.deschamps@gtaweekly.ca.

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