President’s Message – May 2019

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President’s Message – May 2019
Is it May already?! How did that happen? This year we are a bit behind schedule due to our wild winter weather that had my region firmly in its grasp.  I’m sure a lot of operators in the North are dealing with the same issues of trying to open with ice on the water, or flooding of portions of their property. Some of us have seen damage that has presented challenges to opening for the season and both RTO12 & RTO13 have had surveys out asking about how the weather and flooding have affected our industry.
I encourage everyone to read the NOTO Newsletter and correspondence as well as answer the surveys and questionnaires from NOTO and our Regional Tourism Organizations that come through our email.  While this can seem like a hassle when we have a million jobs on the go, our feedback is necessary to help both industry and government support us in whatever way that we need to ensure a strong season ahead.
As you may have already heard through previous correspondence, NOTO successfully lobbied on behalf of bear outfitters. Minister Yakabuski has agreed with our proposal on the reduction of the 200m bear baiting restriction and officially posted the reduction to 30m on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO).  NOTO had been lobbying for this reduction since 2016. We applaud Minister Yakabuski on his efforts to modify this regulation to reduce the barriers to bear outfitting businesses and to provide better safety for hunters.
This proposal has been posted on the Environmental Registry (019-0022 at until June 17, 2019.
We strongly encourage our members to voice support for this proposal and to show how this change will positively affect your business. By focusing on the positive and showing our appreciation for their efforts we hope to encourage further dialogue between the MNRF & NOTO on how we can work with the Minister on further initiatives.
This change came about through not only the continued dialogue and efforts of our wonderful Executive Director Laurie Marcil, and dedicated Directors but also through the work of an in-house Lobbyist. The fees of a lobbyist are substantial and we would like to offer our sincere appreciation to the two generous NOTO members who have covered the fees for the lobbyist to date.
If any member wishes to add their support to the NOTO Lobby Fund this would be greatly appreciated, as it clearly helps to make a difference in our efforts to work on behalf of our membership strengthening this industry.
I would like to applaud Kate Racicot our Research and Stakeholder Relations Intern on her efforts with social media and the website! NOTO now has an engaging Facebook page and group as well as an Instagram account.  This account will be used to showcase our member and focus on issues relating to our industry.  If you have an Instagram account be sure to follow @noto_1929
Check out updates to the NOTO website which include a new page outlining the Forest Management Plan process. This will help breakdown and explain the various steps in the process and how to get involved. As we work towards the key areas in the strategic plan, NOTO will become both more effective at what we do and a stronger voice for Tourism Operators in Northern Ontario!
It is very exciting to see NOTO modernize, engage and communicate with members and non-members about the benefits to our organization and this industry as a whole.
Once again, I encourage everyone to pay their membership fees asap and spread the message throughout the industry what a strong asset NOTO is and encourage non-members to join.  If you have any questions about membership, please do not hesitate to contact the office or any of our Board of Directors.  We are strongest together and I look forward to a busy and productive season for everyone.
Please contact the NOTO office to discuss potential contributions to the Lobby Fund. Working collectively we can make a difference for tourism in Northern Ontario.
Hilary Chambers

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