Harper Talks Hunting, Angling at Town Hall

by James Smedley | October 17, 2014

Primer Minister Stephen Harper and OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo
More than 100 attended as Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down with Angelo Lombardo, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFA H), for a moderated question and answer session today in Sault Ste. Marie.

The conversation focused on rural Canadians and the hunting and angling community.

Lombardo opened the session by stating that anglers, hunters, and trappers are passionate conservationists. “These are folks that roll up their sleeves and dig in and do what’s necessary,” he said before asking how the Canadian government is working with the OFAH and other organizations to carry out habitat projects and restoration initiatives that help to ensure healthy fish and wildlife populations.

“Our approach has been to involve the Canadians who care most about the resource,” said Harper, adding that under the Conservative’s National Conservation Plan the government will invest more than $250 million over 5 years to support voluntary conservation projects, partnering with organizations like the OFAH, Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

The Prime Minister went on to announce that the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program is now accepting its fourth round of applications for the funding of fisheries related projects and a that parallel program of Environment Canada is accepting applications for projects to restore and preserve wetlands under the second round of the National Wetland Conservation Fund.

Lombardo also asked about the 2012 formation of the Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel and the Prime Minister’s vision for this group moving forward.

“It’s important that the stakeholders are part of the process,” said Harper, adding that experts and ordinary Canadians on the panel will continue to provide valuable advice to the government on issues related to conservation, hunting, trapping and angling.

Harper also assured the audience, which was gathered at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn and Suites, that recent changes to the National Fisheries Act were initiated to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and that the protection of fisheries remains a high priority.

“We are trying to streamline our administrative process and at the same time protect fisheries,” he said.

Following the event Lombardo said he was impressed with Harper’s commitment to the outdoors community. “With all that is going on in the world, for the Prime Minister to take the time to speak about outdoor heritage activities like fishing, hunting, and trapping speaks volumes.”


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  1. stephen caldwell wrote: Where is the outrage over unprotected waterways?