Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

March 21, 2011 14:05 ET

MNR Minister Addresses OFAH Members at Annual Conference

Concerns Alleviated Over Steel River but Future of CFWIP Left Uncertain

PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 21, 2011) - The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters hosted its 83rd Annual General Meeting and Fish & Wildlife Conference last week, and welcomed the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources to speak to OFAH members about her Ministry's efforts to conserve and enhance Ontario's fish and wildlife.

While taking questions from delegates both in attendance and via email, Minister Jeffrey committed to taking the Steel River off the table for consideration as a hydroelectric generation site. "At the end of the day, the Ministry of Natural Resources is kind of the last authority that gets to make some of the approvals, whether it's windpower, waterpower, electric power…If MNR has any concerns about fish or wildlife or habitat protection, we get the veto on a lot of projects and it sounds like Steel River should have that veto, so I can reaffirm," said Minister Jeffrey in response to a question from Thunder Bay resident Glenn Rivard, OFAH Zone B Chair.

The Minister's response was far less positive, however, to an email question regarding continued funding for the Community Fisheries and Wildlife Involvement Program, commonly known as CFWIP. The current allocation of one million dollars annually is spread out over approximately 600 projects provincewide, and is further leveraged by matching donations and the contributions of over 35,000 volunteers.

"We have heard from our members that they are concerned about the Minister's response to the CFWIP question. At this point, we can only hope that her inability to assure delegates and all Ontarians of the government's continued support for their on-the-ground efforts, is related to not breaching confidentiality of the budget, and not about the cancellation of this essential stewardship funding," said Mike Reader, OFAH Executive Director. 

The Minister's visit was livestreamed via the Internet. Friday's speakers, including the Minister, OFAH Executive Director Mike Reader, provincial Conservative Leader Tim Hudak and federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea, can currently be viewed online at www.ofah.org/conference/conferencevideo.html.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 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.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Lezlie Goodwin
    Manager of Communications
    705-748-6324 ext 270 or Cell: 705-760-5537
    lezlie_goodwin@ofah.org
    or
    Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Greg Farrant
    Manager, Government Affairs and Policy
    705-748-6324 ext 236 or Cell: 705-875-0274
    greg_farrant@ofah.org