Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
|Ministère des Richesses naturelles et des Forêts (French)|
The ministry's headquarters at
Robinson Place in Peterborough
|Jurisdiction||Government of Ontario|
The Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry is a government ministry of the Canadian province of Ontario that is responsible for Ontario's provincial parks, forests, fisheries, wildlife, mineral aggregates and the Crown lands and waters that make up 87 per cent of the province. Its offices are divided into Northwestern, Northeastern and Southern Ontario regions with the main headquarters in Peterborough, Ontario. The current minister is Greg Rickford.
In 2021, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry again merged with the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines to form the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, while the Ministry of Energy became a separate ministry.
The first government office charge with responsibility of crown land management in modern-day Ontario was the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Northern District of North America, created in 1763 and initially headed by Samuel Holland. Holland was initially appointed Surveyor General of Quebec, but offered to assume the larger responsibility at no increase in salary. In 1791, Upper and Lower Canada were created via the Constitutional Act 1791. Holland continued to serve as Surveyor General for both, but openly advocated that they should be separate posts.: 14
In 1792, David William Smith was named by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe to be acting Surveyor General of Upper Canada (against Holland's advice to appoint William Chewett as his replacement), Smith and was subsequently officially appointed to the position in 1798 and held the office until his resignation in 1804.: 14 The previously overlooked Chewett and Thomas Ridout were appointed to the position jointly in the interim. In 1805, Charles Burton Wyatt was appointed (along with Joseph Bouchette) but was suspended in 1807. Ridout was named to the office in 1807 and held the position until 1829.: 15
The Office of the Commissioner of Crown Lands for Upper Canada was established in 1827. By the 1840s, however, the crown lands department had been established over which the Commissioner presided, and by 1860, this was renamed the Department of Crown Lands. The primary responsibility of the department was the sale and management of public lands and the granting of land to settlers. Between 1827 and 1867, the responsibilities of the department expanded to include the duties of the Surveyor General (in 1845), as well as those of the Surveyor General of Woods and Forests (in 1852). By 1867, the Department had responsibility over mines, fisheries, ordnance lands, colonization roads, and Indian affairs, as well.
In 1867, the Department of Crown Lands for the Province of Canada was replaced with the Department of Crown Lands for Ontario. Ordnance lands, Indian affairs and fisheries were, however, transferred to the federal government in 1867. In 1900, the department also acquired responsibility over immigration and colonization.
In 1905, legislation was passed which renamed the Commissioner of Crown Lands to the Minister of Lands and Mines. With this change, the department was renamed the Department of Lands and Mines. At this time, responsibilities for forestry were transferred to the Department of Agriculture. In 1906, the department was renamed the Department of Lands, Forests and Mines, resuming responsibilities for forestry. It also resumed responsibilities for immigration and colonization between 1916 and 1920.
In 1920, the department was renamed Department of Lands and Forests when a separate Department of Mines was established. Responsibilities for immigration and colonization were also transferred back to the Department of Agriculture.
The department existed until 1972, when it amalgamated with the Department of Mines and Northern Affairs to form the Ministry of Natural Resources. The ministry was responsible for northern affairs until 1977, and for mines until 1985. It was again merged briefly between 1995 and 1997 with Northern Development and Mines to form a single Ministry of Natural Resources, Northern Development and Mines.
In 2014 the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, but responsibilities did not change.
In June 2021, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry once again merged with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to form the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
List of Ministers (Commissioners prior to 1905)
|Name||Term of office||Name||Term of office||Political party
|Commissioner of Crown Lands|
|Stephen Richards||July 16, 1867||July 25, 1871||Liberal|
|Matthew Crooks Cameron||July 25, 1871||December 21, 1871|
|Richard William Scott||December 21, 1871||October 25, 1872||Liberal
|October 25, 1872||December 4, 1873||Liberal|
|Timothy Blair Pardee||December 4, 1873||January 18, 1889||Resigned due to poor health, subsequently died on July 21, 1889.|
|Arthur Sturgis Hardy||January 18, 1889||July 21, 1896|
|John Morison Gibson||July 21, 1896||October 21, 1899||Liberal
|Elihu Davis||October 21, 1899||November 22, 1904||Liberal
|Alexander Grant MacKay||November 22, 1904||February 8, 1905|
|James Joseph Foy||February 8, 1905||May 30, 1905||Conservative
|Minister of Lands and Mines|
|Francis Cochrane||May 30, 1905||April 27, 1906|
|Minister of Lands, Forests and Mines|
|Francis Cochrane||April 27, 1906||October 12, 1911|
|William Howard Hearst||October 12, 1911||October 2, 1914|
|October 2, 1914||December 22, 1914||Conservative
|Howard Ferguson||December 22, 1914||November 14, 1919|
|Minister of Lands and Forests||Minister of Mines||United Farmers
|Beniah Bowman||November 14, 1919||July 16, 1923||Harry Mills||June 26, 1920||July 16, 1923|
|James W. Lyons||July 16, 1923||March 1, 1926||Charles McCrea||July 16, 1923||December 15, 1930||Conservative
|Howard Ferguson||March 2, 1926||October 18, 1926|
|William Finlayson||October 18, 1926||December 15, 1930|
|December 15, 1930||July 10, 1934||December 15, 1930||July 10, 1934||Conservative|
|Peter Heenan||July 10, 1934||May 27, 1941||Paul Leduc||July 10, 1934||September 30, 1940||Liberal
|Robert Laurier||October 7, 1940||October 21, 1942|
|Norman Otto Hipel||May 27, 1941||October 21, 1942||Hipel was concurrently Provincial Secretary and Registrar (October 27, 1942 – May 18, 1943)|
|October 21, 1942||May 18, 1943||October 21, 1942||May 18, 1943||Liberal|
|May 18, 1943||August 17, 1943||October 21, 1942||May 18, 1943||Liberal|
|Wesley Gardiner Thompson||August 17, 1943||November 28, 1946||Leslie Frost||August 17, 1943||October 19, 1948||PC
|Harold Robinson Scott||November 28, 1946||October 19, 1948|
|October 19, 1948||May 4, 1949||October 19, 1948||May 4, 1949||PC|
|May 4, 1949||June 3, 1952||Welland Gemmell||May 4, 1949||June 3, 1952||PC|
|Welland Gemmell||June 3, 1952||June 18, 1954||Philip Kelly||June 3, 1952||July 18, 1957||Gemmell died in office|
|Clare Mapledoram||July 7, 1954||July 4, 1958|
|Wilf Spooner||July 18, 1957||December 22, 1958|
|Wilf Spooner||July 23, 1958||November 8, 1961||James Anthony Maloney||December 22, 1958||October 1, 1961|
|November 8, 1961||October 25, 1962||George Wardrope||November 8, 1961||November 23, 1967||PC
|Kelso Roberts||October 25, 1962||November 24, 1966|
|René Brunelle||November 24, 1966||March 1, 1971|
|René Brunelle||November 23, 1967||February 13, 1968|
|Allan Lawrence||February 13, 1968||June 26, 1970|
|Minister of Mines and Northern Affairs|
|Allan Lawrence||June 26, 1970||March 1, 1971|
|March 1, 1971||February 2, 1972||Leo Bernier||March 1, 1971||April 2, 1972||PC|
|Leo Bernier||February 2, 1972||April 7, 1972|
|Minister of Natural Resources|
|Leo Bernier||April 7, 1972||February 3, 1977|
|Minister of Natural Resources||Minister of Northern Affairs|
|Frank Miller||February 3, 1977||August 18, 1978||Leo Bernier||February 3, 1977||June 26, 1985|
|James Auld||August 18, 1978||April 10, 1981||Auld was concurrently Minister of Energy|
|Alan Pope||April 10, 1981||February 8, 1985|
|Mike Harris||February 8, 1985||June 26, 1985||PC
|Harris was concurrently Minister of Energy from May 17, 1985 onward|
|Vince Kerrio||June 26, 1985||August 2, 1989||René Fontaine||June 26, 1985||June 26, 1986||Liberal
|Kerrio was concurrently Minister of Energy until September 29, 1987|
Peterson was minister while Premier
Conway was concurrently Government House Leader
René Fontaine held the separate title of Minister of Northern Development from September 29, 1987 onward
McLeod was concurrently Minister of Energy
|David Peterson||June 26, 1986||September 29, 1987|
|Sean Conway||September 29, 1987||August 2, 1989|
|Lyn McLeod||August 2, 1989||October 1, 1990||Hugh O'Neil||August 2, 1989||October 1, 1990|
|Bud Wildman||October 1, 1990||February 3, 1993||Gilles Pouliot||October 1, 1990||July 31, 1991||NDP
|Wildman was concurrently Minister Responsible for Native Affairs|
Shelley Martel held the separate title of Minister of Northern Development from October 1, 1990 to July 31, 1991
|Shelley Martel||July 31, 1991||October 7, 1994|
|Howard Hampton||February 3, 1993||June 26, 1995||Hampton was concurrently Minister Responsible for Native Affairs|
|Gilles Pouliot||October 7, 1994||June 26, 1995|
|Minister of Natural Resources, Northern Development and Mines||PC
|Chris Hodgson||June 26, 1995||October 10, 1997|
|Minister of Natural Resources||Ministry of Northern Development and Mines|
|John Snobelen||October 10, 1997||April 14, 2002||Chris Hodgson||October 10, 1997||June 17, 1999||Hodgson was concurrently Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet|
|Tim Hudak||June 2, 1999||March 8, 2001|
|Dan Newman||February 8, 2001||April 14, 2002|
|Jerry Ouellette||April 15, 2002||October 22, 2003||Jim Wilson||April 15, 2002||October 22, 2003||PC
|David Ramsay||October 23, 2003||October 30, 2007||Rick Bartolucci||October 23, 2003||October 30, 2007||Liberal
|Concurrently Minister Responsible for Aboriginal Affairs (June 29, 2005 – June 21, 2007), Minister of Aboriginal Affairs (June 21, 2007 – October 30, 2007)|
|Donna Cansfield||October 30, 2007||January 18, 2010||Michael Gravelle||October 30, 2007||October 20, 2011||Gravelle was styled as Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry between June 24, 2009 and October 20, 2011|
|Linda Jeffrey||January 18, 2010||October 20, 2011|
|Michael Gravelle||October 20, 2011||February 11, 2013||Rick Bartolucci||October 20, 2011||February 11, 2013||Bartolucci was concurrently Chair of Cabinet|
|David Orazietti||February 11, 2013||June 24, 2014||Michael Gravelle||February 11, 2013||June 29, 2018||Liberal
|Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry|
|Bill Mauro||June 24, 2014||June 13, 2016|
|Kathryn McGarry||June 13, 2016||January 17, 2018|
|Nathalie Des Rosiers||January 17, 2018||June 29, 2018|
|Jeff Yurek||June 29, 2018||November 5, 2018||Greg Rickford||June 29, 2018||June 18, 2021||PC
|Rickford was styled Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and was concurrently Minister of Indigenous Affairs|
|John Yakabuski||November 5, 2018||June 18, 2021|
|Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry|
|Greg Rickford||June 18, 2021||incumbent||Concurrently Minister of Indigenous Affairs|
MNRF is organized into divisions; within each division are branches/regions, sections, and units.
- Regional Operations Division
- Provincial Services Division
- Policy Division
- Corporate Management and Information Division
The Ministry is responsible for:
- Fish & Wildlife Management – sustainably managing Ontario's fish and wildlife resources.
- Land & Waters Management – leading the management of Ontario's Crown lands, water, oil, gas, salt and aggregates resources, including making Crown land available for renewable energy projects.
- Forest Management – ensuring the sustainable management of Ontario's Crown forests.
- Ontario Parks – guiding the management of Ontario's parks and protected areas.
- Forest Fire, Flood and Drought Protection - protecting people, property and communities from related emergencies.
- Geographic Information – developing and applying geographic information to help manage the province's natural resources.
Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services
The Ministry's Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (AFFES) program coordinates forest fire detection, monitoring, suppression and public information and education services for Ontario. AFFES also provides aviation services for the Ontario government and leads emergency management planning and response for natural hazards such as forest fires, floods, erosion, dam failures, unstable soils and bedrock, droughts and oil and gas emergencies.
The Ministry's entrance into the field of aviation started with hiring Laurentide Air Services to carry out fire patrols however the government soon realized it could save money by carrying out the operations itself and formed the Ontario Provincial Air Service, (O.P.A.S.) in February 1924 with 13 second hand Curtiss HS-2L flying boats that had been originally built for the US Navy. The OPAS was an early pioneer in the use of aircraft for the discovery and extinguishing of forest fires. Initially this involved carrying warnings of fires back to existing fire patrols, to be extinguished by teams that travelled by canoe or overland but soon they began landing firefighters (never more than a few at a time due to the limited carrying capacity of the aircraft available) with a hand-operated water pump near a fire. As a part of this program the OPAS completely rebuilt damaged aircraft before they began building a number of aircraft under license to meet their requirements such as the Buhl Air Sedan, and later provided considerable input on the development of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter and finally were central to the invention of the water bomber. The first water bomber was an OPAS DHC Beaver with a tank mounted on the float designed to dump the water out quickly. This had followed unsuccessful experiments with bags of water.
- Current AFFES Airfleet
- 9 Bombardier Canadair CL-415 - firefighting
- 3 Bell 206 L-1 Long Ranger II
- 1 Eurocopter 350-B2s
- 2 Beechcraft King Air 300
- 7 Eurocopter EC 130 B4
- 6 de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otters - firefighting
- 5 de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Mk III Turbo Beavers - firefighting
- 4 Buhl CA-6 Air Sedans
- 2 Canadian Vickers Vedette Flying Boats
- 14 Curtiss HS-2L Flying Boats
- de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver
- de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter
- de Havilland Dove Twin Engine Monoplane
- de Havilland Fox Moth Cabin Biplane
- 2 de Havilland Giant Moth Cabin Biplane
- 17 de Havilland Moth (includes DH.60G Gypsy Moth, DH.60M Moth & DH.60X Moth)
- 4 Fairchild 71 cabin monoplanes
- Fairchild KR-34 (Open cockpit biplane permanently assigned to the Superintendent)
- Grumman CS2F-1 Tracker - firefighting
- 4 Hamilton Metalplane cabin monoplanes
- 1 MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 twin engine helicopter
- 10+ Stinson Reliant Cabin monoplane
- Waco ZQC-6 Cabin Biplane
Aircraft on display
- Former MNR de Havilland Beaver, C-FOBS, serial number 2, the first production Beaver manufactured by de Havilland Canada, is on display at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
OMNR Image Gallery
A Bell 205A-1 on contract firefighting duty with Ministry of Natural Resources parked on the MNR's lower helipad at Nym Lake, ON, 1996
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources deHavilland DHC 2 Mk 3 Turbo Beavers on amphib floats in Dryden ON in 1995
Bell 205A-1 and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters working on Fire 141 in 1995
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters prepare to deploy on an arriving contract Bell 204B on Fire 141 in 1995
- "Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry | Ontario.ca".
- www.ontario.ca https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministries. Retrieved 2021-06-20. Missing or empty
- "History of the Office of the Surveyor General - Science and Information Resources Division - Ministry of Natural Resources, Government of Ontario". Mnr.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- Ballantyne, Dr. Brian (2010). Surveys, Parcels and Tenure on Canada Lands (PDF). Natural Resources Canada. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-100-17563-8.
- Alexander Fraser (1903). First Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario. I. Toronto: L.K. Cameron, King's Printer. pp. 19–25.
- Bishop, Olga Bernice (1984). Publications of the Province of Upper Canada and of Great Britain: Relating to Upper Canada, 1791-1840. Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture. ISBN 978-0774389310.
- Bishop, Olga Bernice (1976). Publications of the Government of Ontario, 1867-1900. Ontario Ministry of Government Services. ISBN 978-1341908729.
- "Act to Amend the Act respecting the Executive Council". Chapter 5, Statutes of Ontario of 1905.
- "An Act respecting the Department of Lands, Forests and Mines". Chapter 10, Statutes of Ontario of 1906.
- MacTaggart, Hazel I (1964). Publications of the Government of Ontario, 1901-1955. Queen's Printer of Ontario.
- "Department of Mines Act". Chapter 12, Statutes of Ontario of 1920.
- "The Ministry of Natural Resources Act". Chapter 4, Statutes of Ontario of 1972.
- Government of Ontario Telephone Directories, 1972-1996
- "Organization Chart for Ministry of Natural Resources - Communications Services Branch - Ontario Government, Ministry of Natural Resources". Mnr.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- West, Bruce. Firebirds. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Queen's Printer, 1974.
- "Current Fleet - Aviation and Forest Fire Management - Government of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources". Mnr.gov.on.ca. 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
- Transport Canada (2 July 2013). "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Government of Ontario (2008). "History of the Air Service". Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (n.d.). "de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver". Archived from the original on 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
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