June 12, 2008 10:49 ET

Referring to "Fishing Expeditions" in Discussing the Maxime Bernier Affair Offends Anglers

FishnCanada host Angelo Viola calls fishing a non-partisan sport and urges government and committee members to join him on a genuine "fishing expedition"

OSHAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 12, 2008) - Angelo Viola, host of FishnCanada, took exception to the reference by Ottawa politicians that a House of Commons committee hearing on the Bernier affair would be nothing more than a "fishing expedition". He spoke on behalf of anglers across the country. He was commenting on a report from The Canadian Press on Tuesday June 10th. He added, "the only way fishing is related to this hearing is the smell of three day old dead fish."

"Sport fishing is celebrated and enjoyed by more than 3.2 million Canadians," said Viola. "Government can't make the same claim... except when they trip up. It is outrageous to hear our sport being muddied by partisanship and referred to as though it was some kind of aimless activity. If we want mud, we'd put on hip waders and do it properly."

Viola noted that fishing calms people, contributes to their health and adds more than $7.5 billion to the Canadian economy of the country each year. He challenged the House of Commons, the parliamentary committee or the prime minister's office to document similar benefits from their activities. He said he'd even let them throw in the Senate!

"The continued misuse of "fishing expedition" by our politicians will have a negative impact on both new and young Canadians who have yet to experience this wonderful activity. They might come to associate it with politics, which would be a disaster for the sport," said Viola.

He invited the Prime Minister to join him on a genuine fishing expedition, to get a better appreciation of the contributions that angling can make to mental and physical health. In the non-partisan spirit of angling, he also invited any member of the house committee to tag along - although they should bring their own bait! He also noted that the sport was called fishing and not catching although he is certain that he can make politicians more productive if they visit the FishnCanada website and find out our list of hot spots in Canada this week!

Beyond these offers, Viola wondered what exactly the government spokespeople were trying to express. He suggested that they look for some other phrases to convey their notion in a way that would not offend anglers across the country. Then he added, philosophically, "unless they mean it as something positive that more should participate in."

About Angelo Viola and FishnCanada

Angelo Viola is the executive producer and host of FishnCanada, Canada's most watched fishing show. Fishing is more than his work, it's his life.

Statistics come from Department of Fisheries and Oceans Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada, 2005, released in 2007.

Contact Information

  • FishnCanada
    Monique Tanguay
    (905) 571-3223 or Toll-Free: 1-800 567-7335