Advocacy

Hunting and fishing are heritage activities that enrich the lives of millions of Ontario residents, contribute billions annually to the province’s economic, cultural and ecological wealth, and provide the majority of funding for Ontario’s fish and wildlife programs. Anglers and hunters were among the first to call for protection of fish and wildlife species, and have been largely responsible for many of the leading conservation programs in North America, including the North American model of wildlife conservation.

On behalf of OFAH members, supporters and subscribers, and anglers and hunters across the province, the OFAH represents their interests at all levels of government on matters related to fishing and hunting, fish and wildlife conservation, management, restoration and protection.

The OFAH provides expertise to governments on proposed policy, legislation and regulations, meets with party leaders, government ministers, M.P.’s, M.P.P.’s, mayors and local municipal councils, departmental and ministry staff.

The following are some examples of effective OFAH advocacy.

Firearms legislation:

  • Campaign to scrap the long gun registry and action on other firearms issues
  • Changes to the Criminal Code and Ammunition regulations
  • Advise federal government as a member of Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee

Federal legislation and funding:

  • Pushed for creation of the provincial Special Purpose Account to fund fish and wildlife programs
  • Working towards amendments to federal Fisheries Act
  • Opposing cuts to Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Opposing cuts to Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Working with federal departments for funding of Atlantic Salmon restoration
  • Working with federal departments and MNR for funding to prevent and control spread of invasive species impacting outdoor recreation
  • Working with federal and provincial governments to ban game farms for deer and elk, the identified source of Chronic Wasting Disease

ATV and Snowmobile regulations:

  • Achieved exemption for anglers and hunters using OFSC trails to access hunting and fishing opportunities
  • Achieved amendments to Highway Traffic Act to allow use of ATVs on some provincial highways
  • Work with municipalities on bylaws to allow use of ATVs on local roads

Municipal discharge and noise bylaws:

  • OFAH has appeared before over 40 municipal councils to oppose restrictive discharge and noise bylaws for hunting and recreational shooting

Access issues:

  • 2011 "Access denied/Crown land is public land" campaign
  • Seeking amendments to Highway Traffic Act to open up forest and crown land access trails to ATVs
  • Achieved continuation of fishing and hunting access to Kawartha Highlands Signature Site Park
  • Oppose Remote Tourism access restrictions to public
  • OFAH input to proposed policy, legislation and regulation changes at all levels of government

Sunday gun hunting:

  • Convinced province to allow Sunday gun hunting in southern Ontario
  • Have appeared before over 60 municipal councils to advocate for Sunday gun hunting
  • Almost 150 municipalities have adopted since 2005
  • Sunday gun hunting list and maps

Animal Cruelty legislation:

  • Appeared before House and Senate Committees and successfully opposed six federal government and private members’ bills to expand animal cruelty legislation

Election questionnaires and platform input:

Fish and Wildlife Heritage legislation:

  • Working with federal MP’s on federal Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act
  • Appeared before Standing Committee in support of Act
  • Helped create provincial Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act 1997

Fees imposed on hatcheries:

  • Fighting for removal of environmental fees on volunteer fish hatcheries

Native land claims:

  • Represented on Committee of External Advisors for Algonquin Land Claim
  • Meet with federal and provincial Ministers and negotiators on land claims across province
  • Join land claim court cases when necessary

Hunting and fishing opportunities:

  • OFAH helping to create new hunting seasons (elk) and expand hunting opportunities for many species

Creation of National fish and wildlife advisory panel:

  • Working with federal government to create national panel to advise federal government on fish and wildlife issues

Protection of Fish & Wildlife:

  • Opposing implementation of new energy sources (wind/water power) without science based studies that look at impact on fish and wildlife species and habitat