Ontario’s new Natural Resource Minister has high praise for volunteer clubs that stock fish. And Jeff Yurek promises to “transform” his ministry so it will be more responsive and engaged with the outdoors community.
Yurek has only been Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry for a few weeks. The MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London previously served as the Conservative Party critic of the Natural Resources Ministry. Now as Minister he was on the job in Grey-Bruce Friday being shown around by MPP Bill Walker. The two visited fish hatcheries, met with conservation groups and the Minister officially opened the 31stannual Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular fishing derby which runs until September 1st.
At the Wiarton based Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association (BPSA) hatchery, Yurek congratulated
the club for its 40-years of fish stocking and stream rehabilitation projects. As the Minister wrapped up his two hour visit he said emphatically “keep up the good work. You folks are doing great things.” Yurek also promised “to make our ministry easier to deal with, more responsive to your needs. We will be better at consulting with your volunteer clubs. We hope to offer better customer service including streamlining the way we deal with conservation and sporting groups such as BPSA, the Lake Huron Fishing Club and the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association” which have a long history of stocking to support our recreational fishery.
The Minister spent more than an hour meeting with BPSA fish committee members discussing ways to cut red tape for community hatchery operators, improving the survival rate of stocked fish and other issues. He said “we fully support what you have been doing and hope we can help you do an even better job.”
At the BPSA clubhouse (L-R) MNRF Minister Jeff Yurek, Jerry Beaver BPSA director, MPP BILL Walker discuss ways of improving the survival rate of fish stocked by the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association
BPSA President Jim Martell thanked the Minister for paying attention to his club calling the Minister’s approach “refreshing and encouraging for our club, which looks forward to an era of co-operation and ‘positivity’ as we continue to work on our conservation projects.”