Statement - Ministers Shea and Aglukkaq mark fourth meeting with members of Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel

OTTAWA, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, and the Honourable Gail Shea, Canada's Fisheries and Oceans Minister, issued the following statement marking the fourth meeting with members of the Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel on June 2-3, 2014.

"During our fourth meeting, the Panel had constructive discussions related to a number of items such as the recently announced National Conservation Plan, the extension and improvement to the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, the Pacific Recreational Fishing Licensing System, the proposed Aquatic Invasive Species regulations, service delivery improvements for Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permits, and an initial dialogue on proposals for communication and education on hunting, angling and related conservation issues.

"We also addressed the challenges still facing the sealing industry after the recent ruling of the World Trade Organization on the European Union ban on seals, vowing to continue to advocate for the further opening of markets in support of Canada's sustainable and humane seal hunt.

"Our Government recognizes that hunting, angling and trapping are central to the livelihood, recreation and tradition of many Canadians as well as to their local and regional tourism industries. As such we seek the Panel's advice on a range of federal policies, programs and activities to ensure government decisions are based on inclusive, broad based advice, that will promote and encourage effective stewardship of Canada's fish and wildlife.

"On May 15th, Prime Minister Harper announced the National Conservation Plan, which will include significant additional investments over five years to secure ecologically sensitive lands, support voluntary conservation and restoration actions, and strengthen marine and coastal conservation. In addition, the Plan includes new initiatives designed to restore wetlands and to encourage Canadians to connect with nature close to home through protected areas and green spaces located in or near urban areas. The hunting and angling community has been an important contributor in developing this plan and, going forward, will be a key player in its implementation.

"Our Government has long-opposed the wasteful and ineffective long-gun registry that needlessly and unfairly targeted law-abiding Canadians, like hunters and anglers, while doing nothing to reduce crime or strengthen our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. That's why we introduced and passed the Ending the Long-Gun Registry Act, to scrap it once and for all.

"Today, a great wealth of knowledge and expertise on conservation issues was shared around the table. We recognize the importance of an active and engaged hunting and angling community, and welcome their input to ensure decisions on issues such as endangered species, wetland protection and nature conservation benefit from a balanced perspective."

Find out more about what Environment Canada and its partners are doing to conserve Canada's biodiversity.

Canadians can also learn more about the National Conservation Plan


SOURCE: Environment Canada

For further information: Amanda Gordon, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of the Environment, 819-997-1441; Media Relations, Environment Canada, 819-934-8008



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