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Seniors may have to start paying hunting, angling licence fees

The Ministry of Natural Resources is rethinking the breaks it gives to seniors when it comes to paying for angling and hunting licence fees to maintain a fund for fish and wildlife management.
The Ontario government's Ministry of Natural Resources is rethinking the reality it doesn't charge seniors for fish and game licences and permits.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is rethinking the breaks it gives to seniors when it comes to paying for angling and hunting licence fees to maintain a fund for fish and wildlife management.

Historically, two-thirds of the money in the fund has come from licence revenues and fees, with the rest from general revenue. The fund currently contains about $100 million.

Natural resources minister Bill Mauro said changes being proposed, including charging seniors to fish, are necessary. 

 “We are having an aging population and seniors currently don't pay … so there is some concern in that regard. And then, just in general, the numbers are dropping,” he said.

John Kaplanis, the head of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen's Alliance, said he supports some of the MNR proposals, but worries about how the money is spent. (Supplied)

The head of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen's Alliance said he supports some of the MNR proposals, but worries about how the money is spent.

“They need to find ways to cut cost for programs that we think currently are costing too much money and not delivering enough towards the resource,” John Kaplanis said.

Mauro said long-term planning is needed to keep Ontario's fish and game programs in place.

The proposed changes, including charging seniors to fish, have not yet been approved.

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