Hunters and fishers in Quebec were not spared during the presentation of the Liberal’s 2015 budget on March 26; while cuts to the health care, education and social services sectors were witnessed, the prices for certain hunting and fishing permits will increase by between 20%-40%; the initiative is expected to generate about $5 million in additional revenue which will be used to hire new environment protection officers.
“It is important to note that this is only the second increase in 18 years. Comparing ourselves with neighbouring provinces, such as Ontario, our prices remain well below most Canadian jurisdictions,” said Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin.
Sixteen agents who lost their jobs last year have been re-hired and 24 new agents will be hired this fall. The number of environment protection officers in Quebec has steadily decreased from 610 back in 1991 to 350 today.
“These agents are in place to protect our wildlife, which is essential to the long-term success of the industry,” said Fortin.
Small game hunting licenses will increase by 24% from last year to $24 and fishing licenses will increase by 42% to nearly $30. The prices for non-resident licenses have also skyrocketed alongside the price of Zec passes.
Many fear the price hikes will discourage Quebec’s hunters and fishers from engaging in the activities as well as those from across the
border who contribute to Quebec’s economy when they visit to hunt or fish.