OFAH Conference provides platform for fish and wildlife discussion
MNR applauds OFAH partnership, warns of impending budget cut impacts
PETERBOROUGH, ON, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The Ontario Federation of
Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) hosted its 84th Annual General Meeting and
Fish & Wildlife Conference in Mississauga from March 15 to 17 and
welcomed more than 700 outdoors enthusiasts.
Several key staff from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) presented
updates on their areas of responsibility, among them Deputy Minister
David O’Toole, speaking on behalf of MNR Minister Michael Gravelle who
was unable to attend due to illness. Mike Morencie, Director of Fish
and Wildlife Services Branch, Lois Deacon, Director of Enforcement
Branch and Christie Curley, Wildlife Management Coordinator, Wildlife
Policy Section also provided overviews on the new fish and game
licensing system, enforcement, and moose management respectively.
“There are so many partnerships that we can celebrate,” said O’Toole, of
the work the OFAH and MNR achieve together. He cited the Invading
Species Awareness Program, Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration
Program and Elk Restoration Program as examples of successful
collaborations, and encouraged hunters to review the current MNR
proposal to extend the elk season, and to watch for a proposal to allow
leashed dogs to track and retrieve big game animals in areas of the
province where it is currently prohibited. O’Toole went on to caution
that all ministries will feel the effects of the upcoming budget, as
the government works to reduce its $16 billion deficit. “There is no
question that there will be fiscal pressure on the [fish and wildlife]
program in the coming year … Every stakeholder that we deal with will
feel the impact of these decisions.”
“We appreciate the cooperation and commitment of the Ministry of Natural
Resources under the leadership of Minister Michael Gravelle, and we
look forward to continuing to work together on conservation and
restoration programs that enhance our natural resources. We understand
that this budget will be a tough one, but we will act on behalf of
Ontario’s anglers and hunters to continue to press for action on fish
and wildlife issues, and to conserve our natural legacy,” said Mike
Reader, OFAH Executive Director.
Tim Hudak, Leader of the Conservative Party of Ontario was the featured
speaker at the President’s reception on Thursday evening. Associate
Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino delivered the keynote
address at the Conservation Awards Gala on Friday evening.
Other speakers included federal, provincial and Algonquin
representatives of the Algonquin Land Claim negotiations and
representatives of the Aquaculture industry. Conference presentations
given between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm on Friday were livestreamed via the
Internet and are currently available online at www.ofah.org/conference.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 675 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 or follow the OFAH on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters
Image with caption: “Deputy Minister David O’Toole and a panel of MNR staff takes questions from the floor of the OFAH conference. (CNW Group/Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120321_C6518_PHOTO_EN_11385.jpg