The VOICE of Anglers and Hunters since 1928

Program Cuts at Fleming College Threaten the Future of Natural Resource Management

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) is seriously concerned about the impacts of recent program cancellations at Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay. For many years, the OFAH and Fleming College have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship that provided opportunities and encouraged two-way movement of skilled workers. The programs being cancelled at Fleming include: 

  • Fish and Wildlife Technology;
  • Ecosystem Management Technology;
  • Environmental Technician; and
  • Environmental Technology.

Graduates from these programs often land in biology and land management jobs with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Conservation Authorities, Ontario Parks, the Canadian Wildlife Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, private consulting firms, and non-government organizations like the OFAH. They are sought after by employers due to their expertise in things like species identification, water quality, waste/wastewater management, habitat restoration, and enforcement.

Another victim of the cuts is the popular Conservation and Environmental Law Enforcement (CELE) program. Ontario has been dealing with a shortage of conservation officers for years and the OFAH has lobbied successive governments to train and hire more COs to increase enforcement capacity. Unfortunately, the decision to eliminate the CELE program will make it even more difficult to recruit high quality candidates into a career as a conservation officer or park warden, exacerbating an already serious shortage of on-the-ground enforcement personnel.

“These cuts will reduce the pool of qualified candidates needed to fill natural resource jobs,” says OFAH Executive Director, Angelo Lombardo. “Canada’s biodiversity is facing increasing threats from climate change, invasive species, habitat destruction, and pollution and we are going to need more educated professionals to help steer our country through these problems, not less. The loss of these educational opportunities will be felt across Ontario.”

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