OPASATIKA – A Northern Ontario bear hunt outfitter is upset that the Ontario Government wants him to file all his paperwork online even though he lives in a rural area where his outpost camp has no internet service.
Willy Woodfine lives at a hunt camp on Highway 11 west of Opasatika, which is a tiny village west of Kapuskasing.
Woodfine said he was recently notified by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) that he is required to file all information about his hunting clients and his business; something he said he has been doing for 25 years.
“This new system they have now, it’s out of the Peterborough MNR office. They tell us it’s got to be done by a computer. So I am looking at eight or nine hundred dollars or more for equipment and a printer. They tell you what printer you’ve got to buy and everything. They tell us how many speeds per minute and megabytes and all that stuff,” he said, and conceded he knows little about such devices.
“We tried to call them. The name on the paper here is Dave Brown, director of Fish and Wildlife Services Branch,” he said.
Woodfine provided the details of an 800 number but then said he and his wife tried the number and spent 20 minutes on hold before getting through to another person.
The Daily Press asked Woodfine if he advised the MNRF that he has no internet service and no computer.
“We told them that and they said, ‘Oh everybody’s got one,’” Woodfine said.
Woodfine admitted his wife has been inquiring about the possibility of getting internet service “for quite a few years,” without success.
Article by: Len Gillis