The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is proposing new ways to increase revenue — and hunters and anglers will likely bear the brunt of it.
An Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) posting, which closes for comment on June 2, says that by 2015 the Special Purpose Account (SPA) that funds the MNR’s fish and wildlife programs, which cost $100-million to deliver, will not be able to keep up with shortfalls caused by changing licence purchases, inflation, and an older demographic.
According to the posting, the SPA will have to reduce expenditures in 2015 to maintain a positive budget unless actions are taken to offset the shortfall.
All of the proposed actions are outlined in this Sustainability Strategy for the Special Purpose Account (SPA), 2014-2019 document.
In the 40-page document some of the proposed actions include the following:
- a $2 processing fee for Outdoors Cards and licence purchases;
- increased commercial fishing licence fees; and
- replacing free angling for seniors with discounted conservation and sportfishing licences starting in 2016.
At current licence rates that would mean seniors would pay $23.11 for a sportfishing licence or $13.17 for a conservation licence, plus $9.63 in either case for an Outdoors Card.
The draft strategy’s goals also include improving efficiency and cost savings within the MNR to allow more money to be directed to fish and wildlife conservation, corporate sponsorships, and initiatives that recruit and retain anglers and hunters.
In addition to receiving public comment via the EBR posting, MNR Project Manager Silvia Stobl said that the ministry held presentations at 23 stakeholder sessions from December 2012 to March 2013, and focus sessions for key stakeholders from November 2013 to February 2014.
MNR Sr. Media Relations Officer Jolanta Kowalski said after the 45-day comment period, the MNR will review the comments to develop a decision notice that will be posted on the EBR Registry for additional comments.