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Anglers and Hunters question licensing changes

Area anglers and hunters have been tracking down MP Todd Smith to express concerns about changes to the licensing system. With deer and moose tags arriving in the mail, people are asking why their licences and cards are coming from the United States.

The Prince Edward Hastings MP says the Ministry of Natural Resources failed to properly notify hunters about a change in the licensing system that sees the personal information of Ontario hunters and anglers managed by the Tennessee firm Active Outdoors.

The company was awarded a major government contract to manage hunting and fishing licensing data of about 750,000 Ontarians when the province moved to its electronic system in January.

Last week at the Hastings County Plowing Match, Smith said the issue he spent the most time talking about with constituents was the concern expressed over the safety of their personal information being processed outside of Ontario.

“It was, without question the issue that I heard most last week at the Plowing Match,” Smith said. “Local fishermen and hunters wanted to know how the government could undertake such a drastic change without informing them in advance.”

Concerns were raised last spring in the legislature when Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP and PC Natural Resources Critic, Laurie Scott, raised these issues with the Minister of Natural Resources. Scott’s concern at the time would be that information privacy provisions in the US Patriot Act would allow US Government officials to access the information of Ontario hunters and fishermen.

“I think that that our anglers and hunters deserve peace of mind.” Smith added. “With those provisions of the Patriot Act hanging out there, they have questions that they deserve answers to. If the government had been proactive on this file, they could have had these answers last spring. But this government chose to hope that hunters simply wouldn’t notice their information was being shipped to the States.”

The province’s new licensing system also allows anglers and hunters to purchase licences and related products at ServiceOntario outlets, over the phone and on the internet.

Filed Under: Local NewsSports & Recreation

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  1. evil says:

    good god can’t we keep anything in this country to help with unemployment

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