Home FAQ Search Memberlist User Groups Register Login   

BloggingTories.ca Forum IndexBloggingTories.ca Forum Index
    Index     FAQ     Search     Register     Login         JOIN THE DISCUSSION - CLICK HERE      

*NEW* Login or register using your Facebook account.

Not a member? Join the fastest growing conservative community!
Membership is free and takes 15 seconds


CLICK HERE or use Facebook to login or register ----> Connect



  

Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6292
Reputation: 229.4
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:38 am    Post subject: What happened to Ontario's angling and hunting fees ? Reply with quote

( another scandal is brewing at queen's park , this time its a fund designed to help angling and hunting groups projects , they keep applying for money from the fund and are always told there is no money yet the fund gets money everytime someone buys or renews an angling or hunting license in Ontario , after 4 years of access to information requests they found out where some of the money went and it wasn't for outdoors related projects )



MPP hunts how $70M in anglers’ fees vanish




By Dan Brown, The London Free Press

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 9:14:39 EDT PM

MPP Jeff Yurek

MPP Jeff Yurek



A provincial fund of $70 million in public money doesn’t just disappear.

One way to find out for sure would be to call in Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk, which is just what a London-area MPP wants to do.

Progressive Conservative Jeff Yurek, who represents Elgin-Middlesex-London, has requested help from Lysyk — the independent watchdog who monitors how taxpayer money is spent, or misspent — to determine where the cash from Ontario hunters and anglers’ licensing fees has gone.

“I’m hoping the auditor general gets back to us in a week or so,” Yurek said Wednesday.

The money was earmarked for use by Ministry of Natural Resources for hunting and angling.

Instead, a local citizens’ group, the Aylmer District Stakeholder Committee, discovered through freedom-of-information requests it had been spent on things such as purchase and sale of a house ($65,000) and psychologists ($12,251).

Yurkek said he “honestly can’t picture” any circumstances where those expenses, paid out of a so-called special purpose account, would qualify as legitimate expenditures.

Yurek also said an FOI request on the subject of local expenditures came back with a response of “no records exist,” which would be a breach of the rules that govern such funds. Receipts must be kept for every withdrawal, Yurek said.

“Basically, I’ve been trying to find how the money in the special purpose account was spent,” he said. The process has taken years.

Yurek expects she will get back to him fairly quickly.

“Just like the Alymer District Stakeholders, we’ve been at this for five years,” Yurek said of the work his staff has done on the file.

“At this point, for us, it’s left in the hands of the proper channels,” said Ken Currah, a spokesperson for the stakeholder committee. Because Currah’s group was only able to get FOI responses for one year, he believes there could potentially be larger sums of moneyinvolved in any final audit.

A spokesperson for the ministry could not be reached Wednesday.

http://www.lfpress.com/2016/10.....ees-vanish
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6292
Reputation: 229.4
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southwestern Ontario group questions spending by Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry




By John Miner, The London Free Press

Sunday, October 2, 2016 6:23:39 EDT PM



All they wanted was $10,000 for a wildlife project in the London area.

But when they asked the government for the money from an Ontario fund specifically designated for angling and hunting, they were told the cupboard was bare.

That got them asking how the fund — worth more than $70 million a year, and into which all the hunting and fishing licence revenue in Ontario goes — is being spent.

It took them four years to find out, but the group representing 1,400 Southwestern Ontario landowners, hunters and farmers, say they’re stunned by the answers they got from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

— The spending included $65,000 to buy and sell a house.

— Also included were $4,000 for rental accommodations and $12,251 for psychologists.

— Then, there was money for dentists and doctors.

What the Aylmer Stakeholders Committee, which draws members from Middlesex, Elgin and Oxford counties, says it failed to find on the list was money for hunting and angling projects.

It’s unclear if the disclosures the group says it obtained cover only partial or complete expenses from the fund for the year involved.

“We didn’t see anything too constructive that directly benefited angling and hunting,” said Ken Currah of London, a volunteer director with the group.

The ministry says the expenditures from the special account are justified.


Ken Currah, director of the Aylmer Stakeholders Committee, is calling for greater transparency from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources about how the revenue from licence fees is spent. (MORRIS LAMONT, The London Free Press)

The group, and a London-area opposition MPP, say the disclosures — after prolonged stonewalling trying to get the information — only leave them with more questions about the spending and government transparency.

The so-called special purpose account (SPA) was originally set up in 2005, with the money to be spent on programs to improve hunting and angling in the province.

A statement released by the stakeholders committee said it had been pursuing the ministry for years to get answers about how the special fund was being spent.

It took until August before it received the list of expenditures for 2011-2012, after the group filed a freedom-of-information request to get the details.

“Not surprisingly, the lack of transparency and accountability regarding the use of SPA revenue is creating an air of suspicion. Fees are increasing, generating even more revenue, yet services are declining and there seems to be no moves to enhance our angling and hunting in Ontario,” the committee said in its statement.

Currah said the landowners and farmers started asking questions about the fund after proposing a $10,000 project to evaluate deer numbers in the Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford wildlife zone.

Turned down, they were told there wasn’t any money for the project, despite the government collecting more than $920,000 in hunting and angling fees in the three Southwestern Ontario counties.

The group started by asking the ministry’s district office for a list of the expenditures from the special purpose account and worked their way up through the ministry. At every point, they were stonewalled, finally resorting to using Ontario’s freedom-of-information law, Currah said.

The list that was released, showing thousands of dollars going for medical and housing expenses, did nothing to alleviate the group’s concern over how the fund is being handled.

“We don’t agree with those expenditures coming out of that account. That is not within the spirit of why the account was set up.

“How do expenditures such as those benefit angling and hunting in Ontario?” Currah asked.

Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek, who represents Elgin-Middlesex-London, said he’s been working with the committee to get answers since he was elected in 2011.

“We’ve been stonewalled for years,” said Yurek, who said he’s raised concerns directly with Liberal government ministers and in the legislature.

The document that was released raises questions whether any of the expenditures fall under the mandate of the special purposes account to maintain healthy hunting and angling in the province, Yurek said.

“You ask any hunter and angler, and the services to them have decreased and fees have gone up.”

If the government wants to change the fund’s original purpose, to support hunting and angling, it should bring in legislation to do it, Yurek said.

The Free Press contacted Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Kathryn McGarry’s office for comment, but received no reply.

The ministry defended the spending from the special account in a statement to the newspaper, saying staff salaries and benefits for staff performing fish and wildlife management activities are paid from the account.

“There are directives and guidelines in place that govern benefits and staff relocation entitlements when required.

“MNRF staff play a key role in delivering the fish and wildlife management program. Staff funded from the FW SPA (Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Account) include, but are not limited to biologists, scientists, conservation officers, fish culture staff, field staff and administration staff.”


http://www.norwichgazette.com/.....d-forestry
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6292
Reputation: 229.4
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

London MPP wants to know how Ontario Liberals made $70M collected from hunters and anglers disappear


Dan Brown, Postmedia News | October 13, 2016 3:25 PM ET
More from Postmedia News
.
Jeff Yurek, newly-elected Conservative MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London, gets down to work at his desk in his constituency office Monday October 24, 2011.

ROBERT CHAULK / QMI AgencyJeff Yurek, newly-elected Conservative MPP Elgin-Middlesex-London, gets down to work at his desk in his constituency office Monday October 24, 2011..


A provincial fund of $70 million in public money doesn’t just disappear.

One way to find out for sure would be to call in Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk, which is just what a London-area MPP wants to do.

Progressive Conservative Jeff Yurek, who represents Elgin-Middlesex-London, has requested help from Lysyk — the independent watchdog who monitors how taxpayer money is spent, or misspent — to determine where the cash collected from Ontario hunters and anglers through licensing fees has gone.

“I’m hoping the auditor general gets back to us in a week or so,” Yurek told The Free Press Wednesday. “Really, I have no understanding of where the money is going.”


Dave Thomas/Postmedia Network

Dave Thomas/Postmedia NetworkOntario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk.
.
The money was earmarked for use by the Ministry of Natural Resources for hunting and angling.


Instead, a local citizens’ group, the Aylmer District Stakeholder Committee, discovered through freedom-of-information requests that it had been spent on things such as the purchase and sale of a house ($65,000) and psychologists ($12,251).

Yurkek said he “honestly can’t picture” any circumstances where those expenses, paid out of a so-called special purpose account, would qualify as legitimate expenditures.

Yurek also said Wednesday that an FOI request on the subject of local expenditures came back with a response of “No records exist,” which would be a breach of the rules that govern such funds. Receipts must be kept for every withdrawal, Yurek said.


Basically I’ve been trying to find how the money in the special purpose account was spent
.
“Basically I’ve been trying to find how the money in the special purpose account was spent,” he said. The process has taken years.

Based on his experience with Lysyk, Yurek expects she will get back to him fairly quickly.

The easiest way for her to investigate the fate of the cash would be to cover it in her annual report, a yearly media event that frequently generates numerous headlines.

Otherwise, she would need approval at the committee level or from the legislature as a whole, which doesn’t seem likely given the Liberal majority and the stonewalling so far.


.
“Just like the Alymer District Stakeholders, we’ve been at this for five years,” Yurek said of the work his staff has done on the file.

“At this point, for us, it’s left in the hands of the proper channels,” said Ken Currah, a spokesperson for the stakeholder committee. Because Currah’s group was only able to get FOI responses for one year, he believes there could potentially be larger sums of money involved in any final audit that takes the additional four fiscal years since the special purpose account was established into consideration.

“So I would hope that she would pursue it,” Currah said of Lysyk.

Ultimately, Yurek wants the Wynne Liberals to either explain how the special-purpose fund was managed, or change the legislation to allow the money to be spent on general MNR expenses so, at the very least, the ministry would be conforming with the fund’s guidelines.

A spokesperson for the ministry could not be reached Wednesday evening.

http://news.nationalpost.com/n.....-disappear
Bugs





Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 4156
Reputation: 239
votes: 8

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This just stinks -- and yet, it is so typical. They create a special tax to work for the benefit of all, but particularly those who pay the special tx -- in his case hunters and anglers -- and then use the fund for patronage purposes.

The scary thing is this is typical of McGuinty's Ontario ... the team that set up these cute little deals was led by none of other than the former head of the World Wildlife Fund Canada himself, Gerald Butts. That's a guy who knows how to use the urgency of global warming to squeeze unaccountable money out of folks, and use it to party.

But now these folks have the keys to the national treasury! In another nine years, the federal government will likely be riddled with these funny games.
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
Posts: 6292
Reputation: 229.4
votes: 3
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the most upsetting thing about this story is that legitimate hunting and angling clubs appears to have been consistently denied funding from a fund that was suppose to help them and instead MNR employees have used the fund to pay for staff expenses possibly linked to MNR projects related to anglings/outdoors but not actual projects that helped fish and wildlife in Ontario .

I hope the opposition and auditor general dig deeper into this story and figure out what really happened to all this money , its a lot when you think how many outdoors cards and licenses are sold in Ontario plus fines for illegal activities also went into it , its a lot of money to lose track of . even if someone isn't interested in the outdoors they should be concerned about the way the MNR decived people in the way this fund was set up and used , something here seems bad
Post new topic   Reply to topic Page 1 of 1

  


 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum


What happened to Ontario's angling and hunting fees ?

phpBBCopyright 2001, 2005 phpBB