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Hunting, Fishing, Trapping and Shooting
Unites Politicians

Back in 2006, former Conservative MP Inky Mark first introduced to the House of Commons, Private Member’s Bill C-222, an Act to recognize and protect Canada’s hunting, trapping and fishing heritage.

“We understand how important it has been in the past, why we need to continue exercising these heritage activities in the future, and how it affects our economy. It is worth at least $10 billion a year,” he said at the time. “I do not know of anyone in this House who does not know people who take part in hunting, fishing or trapping. Most of us do it on a personal level, as do our families and friends.”

Canadian politicians have put aside their differences to protect Canada’s outdoor pursuits.

Well known in the outdoors community for his role in fighting the despised federal gun registry, Conservative and Saskatchewan MP Garry Breitkreuz, an angler, hunter and outdoorsman himself, was the first MP to second the Bill. He is also the founder of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus that includes Members of Parliament and Senators from all political parties.

Imagine that... instead of pointing fingers, shouting back and forth and conspiring against each other, this non-partisan group has put aside their political agendas and differences for a common goal: “ preserve and promote these pursuits (hunting, fishing, trapping and the shooting sports), protect them in law, and encourage the public to accept them as traditional outdoor heritage activities.”

When you have a love for hunting, fishing, shooting or trapping, it is much easier to set aside your political differences and get along for a while.

Conservative MP Robert Sopuck.
In 2012, Robert Sopuck played a large role in founding the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus, which has more than 30 Conservative Members of Parliament and “serves as a venue for Members of Parliament to discuss the common concerns of their constituents and move forward with solutions from the government that respect hunters and anglers.

“It also serves in an outreach role to meet with hunters, anglers, and trappers across the country to ensure their wealth of knowledge on environmental conservation is heard by our government.”

Robert Sopuck is the chair of this caucus and has become known as the “right-wing environmentalist”. He’s also been a farmer, ran an outfitting business, and is very vocal in addressing the concerns of Canada’s hunters, anglers and trappers, often on twitter.

While the antis are trying to put an end to our outdoor pursuits, many politicians across the country are looking out for our interests. These politicians have been responsible for creating laws that favour outdoorsmen and women, including the National Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day, stopping RCMP bureaucrats from phasing out their use of muskrat fur hats, and relaxing firearms laws, among others. Much of this to the chagrin of the antis who have been carping to politicians for years against hunters, anglers, trappers, sport shooters and farmers.

Gary Breitkreuz
And now, Gary Breitkreuz has introduced another Private Members Bill, C-655, to amend the Criminal Code to “make it an offence to intentionally interfere with anyone lawfully hunting, fishing, sport shooting or trapping.”

In a March 3 press release, Breitkreuz said, “As Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, I recognize the need to protect those Canadians who lawfully hunt, fish, trap or shoot from those who would harass or interfere with these traditional heritage activities. I’ve seen too many bills introduced in Parliament over the years that would threaten traditional animal use—some that would go so far as to make it a federal criminal offence to shoot a deer or a duck, put a worm on a hook, or kill any animal even if the animal died immediately—the accepted standard for legal killing.”

While there is already anti-harassment legislation in place at the provincial and territorial levels, Bill C-655 would “harmonize and clarify across Canada the protection of persons pursuing all of these outdoor heritage activities by placing these offences within the Criminal Code of Canada.” Offenders could face an indictable offence with fines up to $25,000 and a prison term of up to one year.

These politicians are in your court, make a phone call or send an email to your federal Member of Parliament and ask them to support the passage of Bill C-655.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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