Local MPP wants changes to ‘disrespectful’ hunting-fee spending

Free Press staff

A local MPP has introduced a private member’s bill to strengthen the spending guidelines for government revenues from hunting and fishing licences.

Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek’s proposed legislation would strengthen the spending requirements of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s special purpose account.

Created in 1997, the account is funded through licensing fees for angling and hunting in Ontario and is supposed to reinvest the money back into wildlife management.

But a 2016 report showed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry spent $69,000 to sell, rent and buy housing and another $55,000 on psychologists and other medical services.

“Unfortunately, instead of using these funds for their intended purpose, the Wynne government continues to use this account as a personal slush fund,” Yurek said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“My bill will provide transparency and clarification on how these services fees are actually being spent, and will work towards reversing the years of disrespect towards Ontario’s hunters and anglers perpetuated by this government.”