The Honourable Hunter Tootoo
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
December 4, 2015
Dear Minister Tootoo:
On behalf of the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, we congratulate you on your appointment to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) is the not-for-profit national organization representing manufacturers, retailers, agents and media of the Canadian recreational fishing industry. Over 9 million Canadians enjoy recreational fishing and support an industry that generates over 9 billion dollars annually to the nation’s economy and together with hunting, employs 100,000 Canadians in every region of the country. More Canadians fish than play golf and hockey – combined.
The health of this economy relies on public access to land and water, science based professional resource management, conservation of the fishery and sound government policy and legislation. The longstanding practice of our organization has been to engage with all levels of government, regardless of political affiliation, in an open and fair discussion for the continued sustainable use of our abundant fish and wildlife. To that end we hold a seat on the federal Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel (HAAP) and we have been an active supporter of the non-partisan Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada (OCAC) which acts as a liaison between the outdoor industry and the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus.
We are pleased to note in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to you that there is a willingness to consult with stakeholders, including business, on matters of importance to Canada’s fisheries and oceans. As you are well aware, heritage activities such as hunting, fishing, trapping and recreational shooting are increasingly under threat from other agendas.
Over the past decade, the historic positive relationship between CSIA and DFO has disappeared. Our outreach efforts to restore this have been met with polite avoidance and various promises and commitments by the Minister and DFO senior staff to consult on issues of critical importance were not kept. What was once an ongoing interaction and collaboration between our industry and DFO simply vanished, along with the former position of DFO Chief of Recreational Fisheries. We would very much appreciate the opportunity to schedule a meeting with you as soon as possible to discuss these and other issues of importance to fish and wildlife and the Canadian recreational fishing industry.
President, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association
Chair, Government Affairs Committee
Managing Director, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association