Decision makes no sense

Dear sir:
Wake up all sportsmen, our hunting and fishing heritage is not alive and well! With the recent announcement on the cancellation of the spring bear hunt, I was compelled to write this letter.
Our local sportsmen’s club remains committed to work closely with local MNR staff and biologists on such projects as walleye telemetry, spawning beds, deer feeding, moose surveys, tree planting, youth education, and boat launch improvements, to name a few, despite the minister’s attempt to drive a wedge between the MNR and the sportsmen of Ontario.
These men and women do wonderful work. I am proud to be associated with an organization that is more concerned about the work it performs than the credit is obtains from those deeds.
How dare the minister slap the dedicated sportsmen of this province in the face by arbitrarily cancelling the spring bear hunt without giving due consideration to how many lives and livelihoods which will be affected.
It is my opinion, as well as a lot of other sportsmen I know, that the decision to cancel the spring hunt is purely political, factually flawed, and not based on any reliable scientific evidence.
The minister’s own biologists are telling him that the bear population in Ontario is healthy and growing, and that the data the “anti’s” are using has been manipulated. The spring bear hunt injects millions of dollars into the local and provincial economy, and now the minister wants to use taxpayers’ money to compensate people affected by the cancellation.
I have, in the past, supported some of the government’s decisions even if they negatively affected me or my business in the short-term because at the end of the day I could see some social or economic benefit. The decision to end the spring hunt, however, makes no sense.
Ontario has a renewable, healthy resource generating millions of dollars and it is stopped short. And now the government wants to spend millions to compensate it.
We are blessed with the remaining opportunities for hunting and fishing in this province. However, I cannot help but feel that such opportunities are disappearing and becoming extinct because of a few with fat wallets and uncanny way of manipulating politicians and a misinformed public.
For those of you who feel the spring hunt has no bearing, wake up! All of your hunting and fishing, that’s right fishing, rights are on the chopping block by the “anti’s.” Please write your minister and fax him before Feb. 20th and quote EBR reg.#RB9E6001 before this becomes regulation: The Hon. John Snobelen, Minister of Natural Resources, 6th Floor, Whitney, Block, 99 Wellesley St. W., Toronto, Ont., M7A 1W3 (phone 705-755-1902 or fax 705-755-2117).
Signed,
Ben Wiersema,
A concerned businessman,
citizen and sportsman


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