Concerned about the future of Ontario's natural resources? You should be



    Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine conducts exclusive interviews with the
    leaders of the provincial parties and reveals their strategies for
    protecting our most precious assets

    TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ - With just over a month remaining until the
Ontario provincial election, Ontario OUT OF DOORS Editor-in-Chief Matt
Nicholls recently spent some time exclusively with the three candidates vying
for the Premier's Office to discuss what is currently being described as a
crisis in the province's Ministry of Natural Resources. The magazine reveals
the leaders' strategies for protecting our most precious assets in a 2007
election special issue of Ontario OUT OF DOORS arriving on newsstands across
the province starting this week.
    Ontario OUT OF DOORS has been covering the budget crunch at MNR as it
relates to Ontario's enthusiast anglers and hunters, but the issue is one that
should concern all Ontario residents.

    Millions of Ontario residents enjoy and depend on our natural resources

    According to this government's own stats, more than 6.7 million of the
province's 12.3 million residents and more than 500,000 visitors to the
province participate in an outdoors-related activity annually.
    Outdoors-related activities support more than 77,800 jobs and provide
significant revenue for all three levels of government.

    And if that isn't reason enough...

    "Ontario's natural resources are an economic engine for the province"
says Nicholls. "And the MNR is responsible for managing those resources. While
people in the larger urban centres may not realize how this affects them, it
does."

    
    Consider the following:
    -   Imagine how much your cottage would be worth if your lake was full of
        dead carp as is happening now in some of the Kawartha Lakes.
    -   Or if the provincial park where you like to take the kids hiking and
        camping is overrun with nuisance bears.
    

    All of these are issues that are happening now and are the responsibility
of the MNR. "But some say the conservation officers and biologists at the
ministry don't even have enough money to put gas in their trucks. Even if you
aren't a cottage owner or outdoor enthusiast, imagine the economic impact on
the province of losing 77,000+ jobs and $6.2 billion in revenue. How much
would that cost taxpayers?"

    A severe budget crunch?

    To support the $6.2 billion in revenue the province earns from outdoor
related activities, critics argue a sound wildlife management program requires
$120 million in funding annually. This is a very modest estimate. In 2005/06,
however, the base fish and wildlife budget was $74.3 million (plus $4 million
capital). In 2006/07, the base fish and wildlife budget decreased to
$70.57 million lower than it was in 2002/2003 ($71.3 million).

    An issue to consider before heading to the polls in October

    "We recognize that issues surrounding parks, provincial land use,
wildlife and fisheries management may not seem critical in the overall
election debate over healthcare and education," says Nicholls. "But how well
the government is running or plans to run our natural resources should be
added to the list of considerations when people go to the polls in October.
For many residents of the province, their livelihood depends on it."

    About Ontario OUT OF DOORS

    Ontario OUT OF DOORS Magazine is Ontario's largest and best-read outdoor
sportsmen's magazine. Part of the Rogers Publishing group, Ontario OUT OF
DOORS will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2008. With a circulation of
more than 92,000 and a readership of more than 640,000, our mission is to
inspire, enable and inform Ontario's anglers and hunters by providing the best
how-to, where-to, and with-what information available to fuel our readers'
passion for the outdoors. For more information visit ontariooutofdoors.com.





For further information:

For further information: or an interview: Jacqueline Segal,
Jacqueline.segal@rci.rogers.com, (416) 764-4125

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ONTARIO OUT OF DOORS MAGAZINE

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