TORONTO, July 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Stunned by the Liberal government's
decision last autumn to abruptly eliminate the 70-year old Ontario
Forest Ranger program, former rangers are planning a jamboree in
Huntsville on Aug. 24 in a first step to have the popular environmental
"This is a call-out to 78,000 former junior rangers to join our campaign
to have the program restored in the 2014 provincial budget," said
Martin Dubuc, co-founder of the Friends of the Ontario Rangers Program
(FORP). "They can demonstrate their support by joining us in Huntsville
on Aug. 24 to begin plans to support our campaign to convince the Wynne
government to reverse the decision made by her predecessor Dalton
"This government has pledged to improve employment opportunities for
young people but 278 summertime ranger jobs for 17-year-olds have been
cut from last year."
Without any public consultation, the provincial government eliminated
the Ontario Ranger Program - formerly known as the Ontario Junior
Forest Ranger Program - in September, 2012. It insisted the program was
simply rolled into the Stewardship Youth Program (SYP).
But Dubuc points out there are significant differences between the two.
The SYP is a community-based, day-only program that employs four young people per community and a team leader. The forest ranger program,
by contrast, was an eight-week program that typically employed more
than 20 young people in each of more than a dozen remote locations
across Ontario where they frequently worked in provincial parks
clearing trails, planting trees, maintaining canoe routes, cleaning
latrines and undertaking fish and wildlife projects.
The current day program prohibits applications from youth living in
urban centres; the ranger program was open to all young people
regardless of the size of their community or where they lived in the
province. It was a low-cost program where young people worked for
minimum wage and paid for their own room and board.
Notable former rangers include one-time Toronto Mayor David Crombie and
federal MP Olivia Chow.
The Aug. 24 jamboree in Huntsville will feature former rangers breaking
a two-kilometre trail outside the Waterloo Summit Centre for the
Environment that will feature minimum-edge effects and minimum habitat
fragmentation so wildlife can use this area as their home.
To learn more about restoring the Ontario Rangers Program, please visit:
On the web: www.savetherangers.ca
On Facebook: friendsoftheontariorangerprogram
On FORP's blog: www.friendsoftheorp.com/blog
On Twitter: twitter.com/Savetherangers
SOURCE: Friends of the Ontario Rangers Program (FORP)
For further information:
Friends of the Ontario Ranger Program