Thank you for reaching out to Ontario’s NDP with important questions from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) regarding wildlife conservation and responsible hunting, angling, and trapping.
Ontario’s New Democrats recognize the unique and important role the OFAH’s members play in ensuring that our wilderness, wildlife, and water are protected.
After years of cuts under the euphemism of “transformation,” Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) now lacks the funding and resources to adequately monitor and protect Ontario’s natural heritage and wildlife.
Meanwhile, the Wynne Liberal government has raised fishing and hunting licensing fees and has made spending from the Fish & Wildlife Special Purpose Account less transparent. Not only are hunters, anglers and trappers paying more, the public can no longer verify that the government is using these funds for their intended purposes, and not diverting them to other purposes while continuing to cut conservation programs.
Ontario NDP MPP Mike Mantha – himself an avid hunter – has witnessed the impact of these cuts first-hand: “When I’m in the bush and walking a trail, doing some partridge hunting with my dog, Abby, my sons and I meet up with a game warden, and we get into a discussion about him not having the proper ability to put enough gas into his four-wheeler in order to do the inspections that we need. That’s the kind of stuff that the MNR needs to talk about and really focus on.”
Such cuts are unacceptable. An NDP government will ensure that the MNRF has the funding and resources to do its job properly.
Ontario’s NDP takes Lyme disease seriously, and Mike Mantha, again, has been a leader here. Mike has tabled many motions over the last several years calling on the government to implement a Lyme Disease Strategy, most recently in February of this year. An Ontario NDP will deliver action on Lyme disease.
The Ontario NDP understands that everyone benefits from wildlife conservation and research, not just anglers, hunters and trappers. We will ensure that the costs are shared fairly.
We believe that funds collected under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act should be used for fish and wildlife conservation — not for government advertising campaigns or consultants’ fees. We will ensure that spending from the Fish & Wildlife Special Purpose Account is transparent and used only for its intended purposes.
Andrea Horwath and the NDP are committed to evidence-based policy for protecting our lands, wildlife, and water. We believe that wildlife policy should be developed in partnership with anglers, hunters, trappers, First Nations and other stakeholders — and not imposed from Queen’s Park without proper consultation.
Together we can ensure that these important public resources can be used, protected, and enjoyed – now and for generations to come.
Ontario’s New Democrats