Over 90 years later, Government relations remains in the center of NOTO’s focus. NOTO maintains ongoing communication with political leaders and senior civil servants and lobbies all levels of Government to ensure their policies and regulations help the outdoor tourism industry in Ontario grow and prosper.
Recently, NOTO was able to:
- Help many guests with minor criminal records, such as DUIs enter Canada.
- Did you know that guests can call NOTO directly for advice and assistance in clearing up admissibility questions? Immigration consultants charge hundreds of dollars for this advice – NOTO provides it to your guests free!
- Provide information and support to the industry on a wide range of other issues
- Examples include: septic systems, Ministry of Labour inspections, drinking water systems, work permits, funding programs, the list goes on…
- Participate in several Provincial and Federal working groups and committees to represent our members:
- Baitfish Review Advisory Group
- Provincial Fish Strategy Working Group
- Tourism Advisory Committee (MNRF)
- Recreational Boating Advisory Committee
- Canadian Federation of Outfitter Associations
- TSSA’s Liquid Fuels Advisory Group
- Northeast Regional Advisory Council (MNRF)
- Far North Landuse External Stakeholder Group (MNDM)
- Moose Project Focus Group
- Minister’s Tourism Forum
- Lime Disease Stakeholder Reference Group
- Ontario Trails Coordinating Committee
- Provincial Policy Statement Stakeholder Working Group
- and other adhoc working groups regarding bear, moose and fisheries management
- Coordinate the annual Northern Ontario Tourism Summit that brings over 300 tourism industry stakeholders, suppliers and all levels of government together.
- Sucessfully lobbied for the reinstatement of a Spring Bear Hunt, which started in April 2016, under the 5 years pilot for all WMUs.
- Push for changes to moose hunting regulations to improve moose herd populations.
- Lobby for better turn over rates for rehabilitation applications for guests with minor criminal records.
- Lobby TSSA for more appropriate inspection procedures and better communication with industry.
Other NOTO accomplishments include:
- Negotiate an interim agreement on outpost camp transfers that eliminated cuts to bed capacity when an outpost is sold.
- Working with the Ministry of Health for a sensible approach to drinking water safety administered by local health units.
- Encouraging operators to reduce their energy expenses by adopting renewable energy sources and provide information on financial assistance that can pay up to 50% of the cost.
- NOTO continues to be a key player in the development of this initiative to make sure these new funds truly benefit the industry. The government’s new Regional Tourism Organization initiative will bring $4.2 million in new tourism support spending to northern Ontario.
We Need To Do More
There are many more issues facing the nature and outdoor tourism industry…
- A comprehensive resource-based tourism licensing that adds value and increase business investment, and NOTO continues to strongly advocate for a real and meaningful tourism license.
- Allocation systems for moose, bear and other licenses that provide for stable business planning and enhance the value of tourism.
- A simplified border check system to allow large parties to be “pre-cleared” and developing simpler methods for guests to check on potential problems in advance. NOTO is still in talks to move this issue forward!
- To continue to advocate for improved land use planning to protect the natural values that make northern Ontario a world class outdoor destination. Changes in land use can devastate tourism values as forestry, mining, renewable energy and other developments are undertaken.
- Technical and financial assistance to meet new requirements in a variety of areas including renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment, the new fire codes and many others.
- Access to qualified help like foresters, biologists and others who can help us manage our resources better and enhance the value of our businesses.
- Programs that increase access to capital so that we can invest in and improve our businesses.
Being a member of NOTO helps send a message to government that we are speaking on behalf of a strong, united industry. Your membership dollars also pay for the services you need, from lobbying government to providing you with advice and information on issues from water regulations to moose tags.
NOTO’s E-Newsletter, The Outfitter:
The Outfitter newsletter will keep you up-to-date on important advocacy issues and important information. Between issues, members will be notified of any time sensitive matters by email or post.
Annual Northern Ontario Tourism Summit:
With the support of Destination Northern Ontario, this expansion of the traditional NOTO Conference is an opportunity for operators to gain valuable insight on tourism-based business matters.
Workshops, industry speakers, Government Ministers, Preferred Supplier Tradeshow, and evening entertainment make the Summit both fun & educational.
For more information on our upcoming event, please contact our office.