MPP JOURNAL for the week of February 19th, 2001


As students look towards the summer break, many are making plans for their summer jobs. The Minister of Natural Resources has recently launched six employment programs for Ontario's young people, creating more than 2,300 hands-on jobs and learning opportunities to deliver Ontario's Living Legacy.

I am pleased to see our government is investing more than $10 million in natural resources youth employment programs. Ontario's Living Legacy is the most comprehensive natural heritage program in our provinces' history.

Ontario's Living Legacy is your legacy, yours to enjoy, yours to protect. If you are looking for school-to-work opportunities that also help Ontario's natural environment, I encourage you to look at all our programs as part of your job search this year. We have been offering youth employment programs in natural resource management for 57 years and many of our alumni tell us it's an experience they will never forget.

High schools, colleges and universities around the province will receive MNR employment information for their guidance offices and placement centres by the middle of February. Information is also posted on the ministry's Youth Programs Web site at

I had several opportunities to meet with young people working in our programs last year. Their efforts have gone a long way in helping to implement Ontario's Living Legacy and protecting and enhancing Ontario's natural environment for future generations. I also want to thank all the partners who support our youth employment programs, including conservation authorities, the forestry industry, Ontario Parks, fish and game clubs, private landowners and stewardship councils.

As part of Ontario's Living Legacy, young people will be working on a variety of projects this year including wetland habitat recovery and information management, as well as on environmental stewardship projects, including the Don River in Toronto and other areas in the Greater Toronto Area. Young people will also be working in provincial parks across Ontario. The ministry is actively seeking to pilot project with First Nations people on James Bay and other locations in Cochrane District.

MNR's youth employment programs are part of the Ontario government's Youth Opportunities Ontario Strategy. Ontario has the most extensive youth employment initiatives in Canada, spending $211 million in 2000/2001 on programs for 214,500 young people.

I have spoken with students who have participated in some of these programs, and they enjoy the opportunity to see a different part of our beautiful province, while doing hands on jobs that enhance our environment. If you are interested in any of the programs I have mentioned above, I would encourage you to visit the web site and apply for this summer.


David Tilson, MPP Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey


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