QUEENS PARK – This morning MPP Yurek rose in the legislature to question the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry on the new service fee that will be charged on all Hunting & Angling licenses and transactions in the province of Ontario.
“In a matter of days your Ministry will introduce a service fee to outdoor cards and licenses. This will result in an increase of 23% in some cases” stated MPP Yurek.
MPP Yurek has been trying to obtain a detailed breakdown of the Special Purpose Account (SPA) since being elected in 2011 however; the Liberal government has not tabled these reports in the legislature for the past 3 years. The lack of openness and transparency from the ministry on the SPA has been a thorn in the side of many hunters and anglers as fees consistently rise while services decrease. “The Ministry is making decisions on new fees based on the SPA, however access to the reports on the funds is being blocked by the Liberal Government” stated Yurek. The SPA is a dedicated account funded by the fish & wildlife license fees and is required to be used for the conservation of Ontario’s fish & wildlife resources.
“The ministry was quick to release that Ontario’s fish & wildlife resources has increased by 31% from 2010-2011 however, they continue to raise and introduce new fees to the hunters & anglers across Ontario” stated Yurek.
The Environmental Commissioner recently stated that “it appears that the Ministry of Natural Resources is walking away from many parts of its job to safeguard wildlife and natural resources.” Yurek asked the Minister why hunters and anglers should continue to give them their money in order for the Ministry to mismanage their resources. Yurek cited the decrease in moose populations, the decrease in fishing limits in Northern Ontario and the lack of availability of printed regulations for hunting and fishing as examples of how the Liberal Government continues to fail the hunters and anglers of this province.
“It is difficult to follow the decision making of this ministry when we do not have access to a detailed breakdown of the SPA fund where these decisions are based from. The Liberal Government continues to mismanage taxpayer’s money yet burdens them with increases in fees. The government needs to eliminate the new fee and table the reports for the SPA fund immediately” MPP Yurek stated.
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