A Penny for the Environment?
Environmental Commissioner Red Flags Lack of Funding for MNR and MOE
According to the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, less than one percent of the province’s budget goes to help ministries manage the environment. That fact isn’t news to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), who have been fighting to increase government contributions to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for years. Combined, the MNR and Ministry of Environment (MOE) receive less than a penny per operational dollar, a percentage that has been trending downward for almost twenty years.
In his 2010/11 annual report “”Engaging Solutions,”” Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller states that the MNR has seen a 22 percent drop in their budget and the MOE a 45 percent drop. The fact that MNR’s reduction is less drastic than MOE’s is due to the MNR’s Special Purpose Account (SPA). The SPA, which pays for at least two thirds of the MNR fish and wildlife budget, is primarily funded through outdoor fees and licenses paid by anglers and hunters.
“”Ontario’s key environmental ministries are chronically underfunded, and have been for far too long. It is one of the reasons that we supported the introduction of the Special Purpose Account in 1996, which was designed to match the contributions of anglers and hunters with government dollars,”” said OFAH Executive Director, Mike Reader. “”The Government of Ontario needs to recommit to that agreement (which we entered into in good faith) by, at the very least, matching funds raised by the outdoor community. It is in every Ontarian’s best interest to have sustainable financial government support for our precious natural resources.””
Miller’s findings build on his 2007 special report entitled “”Doing Less with Less”” and echo remarks he made during his keynote address at the 83rd OFAH Fish & Wildlife Conference, which was held earlier this year in Mississauga. To view the annual report “”Engaging Solutions”” or to watch Commissioner Miller’s video presentation, go to www.eco.on.ca.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.
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