The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) congratulates Garry Breitkreuz, MP (YorktonMelville, Sask.), on the introduction of Bill C-655, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (interference with hunting, trapping, fishing or sport shooting).
“Hunting, fishing and trapping are heritage activities in Canada, and are recognized as such in legislation by several provinces,” OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo said. “By seeking to amend the Criminal Code, Mr. Breitkreuz is highlighting the fact that there should be protections afforded to the participants of lawful activities from anyone seeking to disrupt them on the basis of philosophical differences.”
Hunting and fishing in Canada generates roughly $13.5 billion annually, with trapping and outfitting contributing another $1.7 billion. Anglers and hunters are also the leading conservationists of our fish and wildlife, contributing hundreds of millions to projects on the ground designed to protect and enhance our natural resources.
The North American model of wildlife conservation, which has served as the underpinning of fish and wildlife conservation in both Canada and the U.S. since the late 1800s, was created at the insistence of hunters concerned about the potential over use of wildlife resources. Through the use of science and the investment of hunters, a balance between the effects of development and wildlife stewardship was struck.
“In many jurisdictions, Ontario included, regulated hunting and fishing are considered to be one of the most valuable wildlife management tools available to governments, without which, many fish and wildlife populations would go unchecked, to the detriment of the species and their habitat,” Lombardo said. “It’s unfortunate that groups and individuals who are philosophically opposed to hunting, fishing or trapping sometimes cross the line between objection and obstruction, making legislation like this necessary to protect legal activities”.
The national scope of the legislation, which contains similar language to the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and other provincial legislation across Canada, will ensure that the same protection afforded hunting, fishing and trapping in one jurisdiction will be applied equally in all others.
With more than 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 725 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 and follow us on Twitter (@ofah) and like us on Facebook (ofah.org/facebook).