|Please note that there are a number of items in this update that we are seeking your input and thoughts on. Please do not hesitate to contact us.
PROVINCIAL FISH STRATEGY
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has prepared a draft Provincial Fish Strategy which is a guiding document for managing fisheries resources in Ontario. It identifies provincial fisheries goals and objectives and tactics to achieve them.
In the ministry’s communication of the strategy which is posted on the environment registry (012-0291), it states that the main purposes of the strategy is to improve the conservation and management of Ontario’s fisheries resources; and to encourage fishing as an activity that contributes to the individual well-being and the social, cultural and economic well-being of communities in Ontario.
MNR is seeking input from the public, stakeholders and Aboriginal people on the content of the draft Provincial Fish Strategy. This input will be incorporated into the final Provincial Fish Strategy and will enable MNR to develop a strategy that reflects and balances the perspectives of all Ontarians.
NOTO was invited to a stakeholder’s workshop to participate in discussions surrounding the draft strategy. Laurie Marcil will be attending that workshop on February 25, 2014 to represent NOTO’s views and position on the strategy. If anyone has any broad concerns please do not hesitate to contact Laurie so that those concerns can be included in discussion with the ministry.
Additionally we encourage that you explore the posting on the environmental registry and voice concerns on that forum. Please be sure that if you choose that option to forward us a copy of your submission so that we can add that to our voice in dealing with the ministry.
It is our intent that after attending this stakeholder workshop and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of what changes they are proposing, we will be in a much better position to engage our members in a more focused discussion and give a clearer picture of what this change will mean for the industry.
MNR’S LICENCE AUTOMATED SYSTEM – COMMISSION STRUCTURE CONSULTATIONS
We have heard from a number of you about issues you have and are currently experiencing with the MNR with regards to your commission for the processing of fishing and hunting licences using the Licence Automated System (LAS).
We have recently learned that an issuer bulletin was released by the MNR announcing Issuer Consultations related to a review of the current commission structure. We spoke to a few members who are issuers that did not receive this bulletin so we want to make sure that everyone is aware. We are providing you the details in the event you did not get the bulletin and are interested in attending one of these sessions. The following dates and locations have been scheduled for the consultations:
- Peterborough March 11 – morning session
- Aurora March 18 – afternoon session
- London March 19 – morning session
- Pembroke April 1 – afternoon session
- Sudbury April 2 – morning session
- Thunder Bay April 24 – morning session
Attendance will be limited to approximately 20-25 people per session and one person per issuing location. Please R.S.V.P. to Linda Maguire at Linda.Maguire@Ontario.ca or by fax at (705) 755-1900; as seats will be assigned in the order the R.S.V.P.’s are received. Please provide Issuer Name and Number, name of person attending and contact information (email and phone number). Time and location details will be provided to the confirmed attendees closer to the date of the session.
If you are unable to attend a scheduled session or are not confirmed as an attendee, you may submit written comments/suggestions until April 30, 2014 to Linda Maguire at the e-mail/fax above or via mail at:
Ministry of Natural ResourcesFish & Wildlife Services Branch300 Water Street, 5th Floor, North Tower Peterborough, ON K9J 3C7
NOTO will be contacting MNR to request the opportunity to attend the Sudbury meeting.
BAIT REVIEW ADVISORY GROUP (BRAG)
NOTO continues to sit on the BRAG. The group has made significant progress since it was formed. Several broad subject areas were discussed and potential policies were drafted. Nothing is finalized at this point.
The broad subject areas that were discussed so far are:
– Anglers use and transportation of baitfish
– Parks and Protected areas
– Commercial Sale and Transportation – currently being discussed
A notification of this provincial bait policy review has been also been posted on the environmental registry (ERB Number 012- 1043). No comments are being sought at this time; however policy options will be posted for public and stakeholders review and comment soon. NOTO will keep you updated when these policy options are posted. In the meantime, if you have concerns about baitfish, especially at this juncture since the focus is on commercial sale and transportation please do not hesitate to contact the NOTO office. Understanding your concerns and constraints always places us in a better position to advocate on your behalf.
ALGOMA CENTRAL RAILWAY
The federal government decision to cut subsidy to the Algoma Central Railway Passenger service can possibly see a number of Tourist Operators going out of business. This unfortunate act which was done without any stakeholder consultation or economic impact analysis has created a state of panic for many businesses which are located along this route and depends heavily on the passenger rail service.
NOTO has been in consultation with many of the tourist operators involved and has assisted in the collection of some data that will be used to strengthen the baseline economic impact analysis that is being put forward by the newly formed Algoma Central Railway Passenger Service Stakeholder Working Group.
The committee’s immediate undertaking is to move swiftly to have a one year extension of the passenger service and then to continue during that period to find a longer term solution. NOTO will continue to work with its members and other stakeholders to support the work of this committee in order to find a lasting solution.
ONTARIO ENERGY BOARD
On January 23rd, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) hosted a province-wide stakeholder meeting as part of its Energy East Consultation process. This was the first of several stakeholder meetings that will take place over the course of the OEB Energy East Consultation process. NOTO was extended an invitation to participate as a stakeholder and attended this meeting by teleconference.
The overall purpose of these stakeholder meetings is to provide a forum in which stakeholder organizations can provide their perspectives and advice to the OEB at key points during the consultation process.
The purpose of the first meeting was two-fold: first, to introduce and seek feedback on the consultation process and second, to introduce and seek feedback on areas of potential impact of TransCanada Pipelines Limited’s proposed Energy East Pipeline project in Ontario (including areas such as natural gas rates, reliability and access to supply; pipeline safety; the natural environment; and the short and long term economic impacts).
Again, please feel free to communicate with our office if you have a concern or want to make a contribution so that we can have your point of view included in our deliberations at the next meeting or in writing to the OEB in advance.
ONTARIO TRAILS COORDINATING COMMITTEE
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is the designated lead ministry for trails in Ontario and has the responsibility for coordinating trail planning and policy matters for the Government of Ontario. The Ministry undertook the development of the Ontario Trails Strategy during 2004/05 and launched the Strategy on October 6, 2005. It articulates a high-level framework to guide public, not-for-profit and private sectors in dealing with key concerns.
The OTCC provides advice on trail planning, policy and coordinating matters of provincial interest including oversight for the implementation of the Ontario Trails Strategy and other frameworks affecting trails.
NOTO sits on this committee as an external stakeholder. One of the main roles we play on this committee is to review and advice on how to best achieve the goals of the Ontario Trails Strategy and other key provincial trail initiatives within the context of the Ontario Trails Strategy’s core values.