Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

December 20, 2007 15:33 ET

Auditor General confirms O.F.A.H. position on M.N.R. funding crisis

Report recognizes impact of underfunding on resources protection and assessment

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Sports Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO: O.F.A.H. MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2007) - In his fifth Annual Report released on December 11, 2007, Ontario's Auditor General stated definitively that underfunding of the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) is a primary reason for the lack of enforcement, assessment and protection of resources. In doing so, he confirmed what the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) has said repeatedly over the last three years.

"The O.F.A.H. has appeared before the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs on two previous occasions to outline the need for an additional $35 million in funding for Fish & Wildlife programs, just to bring M.N.R. funding back to where it once was," said O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "In 2003, the government committed to restoring funding to the M.N.R., but has failed to follow through on that promise. In the absence of sound inventory and assessment due to this lack of funding, the Ministry continues to focus its attention on overly restricting anglers and hunters, instead of managing the resource optimally. Given the thrust of his report, the Auditor General clearly reached a similar conclusion."

The Auditor General identified several areas where the government has failed the M.N.R., leaving the Ministry unable to fulfill its mandate. His report identified several areas where the M.N.R. has fallen short, including the failure to conduct proper inventory assessments through aerial surveys that has led to the absence of a comprehensive moose management strategy; the lack of a deer management policy to manage increasing deer populations; a shortage of conservation officers and a lack of enforcement; shortcomings when addressing the threat posed by invasive species; and the clear inability to protect biodiversity.

"The Auditor General made it clear that the province has failed the M.N.R., particularly in terms of funding. This has forced the Ministry to make difficult choices in an attempt to stretch its limited resources, yet while anglers and hunters contribute almost $60 million annually to the Special Purpose Account for fish and wildlife resources, the province's contributions have been steadily declining over the last two decades," said Reader.

The Auditor General's report follows on the heels of last year's report by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario that reached the same conclusions as the O.F.A.H. about M.N.R. underfunding.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), with 82,000 members and 655 member clubs across Ontario, is the largest nonprofit conservation based organization in Ontario.
/For further information: Greg Farrant
Manager of Government Relations and Communications
705 748-6324
Dr. Terry Quinney
O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish & Wildlife
705 748-6324/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES, FORESTRY, POLITICS, SPORTS

Contact Information

  • Lezlie Goodwin, communications coordinator, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 270