Ontario To Legally Recognize Recreational Hunting and Fishing
The Ontario government is introducing legislation that, if passed, would recognize recreational hunting and fishing as part of the province's heritage. Natural Resources Minister John Snobelen made the announcement in Sudbury with Northern Development and Mines Minister Dan Newman and Snobelen's Parliamentary Assistant, Toby Barrett, MPP.
The Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act would fulfil the government's commitment to anglers and hunters across the province to legislate the right to hunt and fish in Ontario. At the same time, it would ensure that the government can continue to manage fish and wildlife resources in a sound, sustainable manner.
"We're keeping our promise to anglers and hunters across Ontario," said Snobelen. "This proposed legislation is intended to help ensure that future generations also have an opportunity to enjoy hunting and fishing."
Every year, more than 2.4 million people participate in recreational hunting and fishing in Ontario. These activities contribute more than $3.5 billion to the provincial economy and support more than 30,000 jobs.
"Hunting and fishing are especially important to the economy of Northern Ontario," said Dan Newman, Minister of Northern Development and Mines. "The livelihood of tourism operators and outfitters across the north depends on good hunting and fishing opportunities."
"In recent years, Ontario has seen steady growth in resource-based tourism," said Snobelen. "The proposed Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act would help ensure that this important part of the tourism market continues to thrive."
If passed by the Legislature, the Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act would also establish the Fish and Wildlife Heritage Commission to provide advice to the Minister about a variety of fish and wildlife initiatives and to promote increased public involvement in recreational hunting and fishing.
Today's announcement follows a 30-day public comment period during which the proposal for the legislation was posted on the province's Environmental Bill of Rights registry. During the comment period, well over 18,000 comments were received, with over 97 per cent indicating support for an Ontario Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act.