MNR Minister David Orazeitti wades in on Espanola staff reductions

To the Expositor:

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is in the midst of implementing a three-year transformation plan, which was first communicated in the 2012 Ontario budget. The plan is designed to modernize the way the ministry does business and help put the ministry on financially sustainable footing.

The 2013 Ontario budget permanently returned $40 million to MNR’s base budget- funding that was not part of the ministry’s original reorganization plan, and is a clear signal of the importance our government places on managing and protecting our natural resources, parks and protected areas. Specifically, this funding is allowing the ministry to retain staff and facilities across the province.

Last week, the ministry communicated to staff a reorganization of MNR’s field offices and science division. This will result in a change in MNR staffing levels at some locations across the province as MNR moves towards a more regional service delivery model. While some offices may see a reduction, other offices will see additional staff as part of this re-organization.

These were difficult decisions and I know they have a very real impact on the staff who are affected.

It’s important to note, however, that the ministry’s three regional offices, 25 district offices and 10 field offices will continue to operate. Once the reorganization is complete in the spring of 2014, MNR will have approximately the same number of field operations staff and science and research staff as we do now. Overall, there will be a slight increase in the number of MNR staff across the North.

Northern Ontario is an integral part of Ontario’s economy and there is no question that our government wants to ensure that our Northern communities remain on track towards prosperity and growth.

I’m confident that this reorganization will enable MNR to continue delivering quality services to Ontarians while focusing on the ministry’s core mandate of protecting our province’s natural resources.

David Orazietti
Minister of Natural Resources