QUEEN’S PARK – The promised rollout of Ontario’s spring bear hunt was botched by the provincial government, according to Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Todd Smith. It was revealed last month that many outfitters in Northern Ontario had their allotment of Form 33s for hunters visiting from abroad, reduced or restricted.


“Northern Ontario was celebrating the return of the spring bear hunt that was scheduled to start on May 1—that is, until the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry dropped the ball and botched the hunt. On the eve of the hunt, they restricted the number of form 33s that went to outfitters,”  Smith stated in Question Period. “Some outfitters actually had their numbers cut in half, Mr. Speaker. That’s costing them tens of thousands of dollars.”

By cutting the number of forms that outfitters have for recreational tourists from outside Ontario, the government is limiting the economic benefits that the return of the hunt can bring to tourism in Northern Ontario.

“Now, I know when these tourists come they spend tens of thousands of dollars in northern Ontario. This was a big economic development and was celebrated in northern Ontario,” Smith continued. “What kind of promises will the minister make to those outfitters in northern Ontario who are expecting some action from his government on this issue?”

In his response, Minister Mauro promised that outfitters who were negatively impacted by this year’s rollout of the spring bear hunt would be “made whole” in time for the fall hunt – a promise Smith intends to hold him to.

“The rollout of the spring hunt’s return has been a disaster for parts of Northern Ontario,” Smith concluded. “The Minister made a promise today that it wouldn’t affect the fall hunt or future spring hunts and we’re going to make sure that he keeps his word.”

For Video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovvSunvb7BE&feature=youtu.be