Temagami Stewardship Council
To preserve, protect, restore and improve, the natural resources and environment of Lake Temagami & Cross Lake !
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MNR Enforcement Inadequate

MNR Enforcement a Joke
I mentioned in my previous letter that I believe that protecting our natural resources should be a
desired goal for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Former Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield made a big thing in August of 2008 when she announced the appointment of 5 new Conservation officers for the province of Ontario. I can remember when we had 8 COs covering the Grey Bruce area. Appointing 5 new officers would still leave the total below historic levels. The number of COs and the commitment to protecting our natural resources have been drastically reduced in all of Ontario.

Protecting the natural resources of Ontario used to be part of what the MNR was about. To
accomplish that you need adequate numbers of COs out in the field. Remember it was under this present Liberal government that we had COs told to stay at their desks and wait for Tips reporting natural resources abuses before they could investigate. That is like asking the OPP to park their cars and wait at their desks until someone reports a speeder before responding.

The 2 moose in the accompanying picture were shot illegally north of North Bay during the moose
season when the COs were at their desks. Had there been COs in the field doing their usual job they would have had some idea as to hunters who had been in that area and might have provided some information. How do you investigate and ask hunters for help if you have no idea who was there?
The letter posted in the North Bay Nugget, UR on June 1, 2010 bemoaning the fact that anglers
were taking slot sized fish along with several times their limit. The author noted there were no
Conservation Officers in sight to act as a deterrent. Old timers on Nipissing remember a time when you never went on the lake without being checked by a CO and when COs spent the night at Wassi Falls guarding the spawning walleye. Legislation, no matter how scientifically correct has to be backed up with enforcement. The temptation to take a slot sized fish is just too much for some if there is no concern about being caught.

I have known a lot of conservation officers and it has always been my experience that they were in
that job because they wanted to do their best to protect our natural resources. Reduced manpower, no gas for their trucks, being told to stay at their desks and respond only to Tips, and not being allowed to stop traffic to check for law breakers have all put our fishing and hunting resources in jeopardy.

Gaye Smith
Former Chairman Temagami Stewardship Council
519-353-7275


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