Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

May 31, 2006 09:56 ET

McGuinty slashes M.N.R.'s flagship environmental program

CFWIP cut by 50 percent Attention: Agriculture Editor, Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO, MEDIA RELEASE--(CCNMatthews - May 31, 2006) - The McGuinty government has slashed the Ministry of Natural Resources' flagship environmental program by 50 percent, a devastating move that the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says will be the end of hundreds of volunteer-driven community conservation projects.

According to M.N.R. sources, funding for the Community Fisheries and Wildlife Improvement Program (CFWIP) has been cut in half, from $1 million to $500,000 effective immediately.

"This is devastating news," declared O.F.A.H. Executive Director, Mike Reader. "Funding cuts to CFWIP indicates how little the McGuinty government is focused on the environment, and how little it really cares about the thousands of volunteers who, every year, do conservation work in this province."

"As far as the O.F.A.H. is concerned, the Ontario Government is talking out of both sides of its mouth. It wants Ontario taxpayers to buy into its "Biodiversity Strategy" but then it turns its back on 35,000 volunteers who ask for nothing but the opportunity to help," said Reader.

CFWIP is a cost sharing program that, every year, according to M.N.R. sources, inspires about 35,0000 volunteers to get their hands dirty with 600 on-the-ground projects such as stream restoration, fish stocking, tree planting, erosion control, spawning bed and fish ladder construction. CFWIP funding has been used to build nesting structures for birds, and school groups have benefited from CFWIP to turn school yards into more natural environments.

Earlier this year, in good faith, the O.F.A.H. requested financial details about CFWIP because, knowing that the MNR's Fish and Wildlife Program has reached the point of bankruptcy, the Federation wanted to do everything it could to make sure the government would continue to support local conservation work. The Ministry of Natural Resources ignored the Federation's request and provided no details.

"With CFWIP funding now cut in half, so goes Ontario's grassroots conservation work. Meanwhile, the province's biodiversity strategy is looking more like a piece of paper and nothing more," said Reader.
/For further information: Dr. Terry Quinney
Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services
(705) 748-6324 ext. 242

Contact Information

  • Robert J. Pye, Communications Coordinator/Corporate Messaging, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 267
    Secondary Phone: 705-313-1700
    E-mail: robert_pye@ofah.org