The Ontario government says it is cancelling a scheduled hunting licence fee increase that was scheduled for 2019.
At a press conference at the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in Peterborough on Thursday morning, John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced the province is freezing hunting licence fees and also removing a $2 service fee. He was joined by Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith for the announcement.
The $2 service fee was first introduced in December 2014 by the former Liberal government.
“We’re making it easier for Ontarians to enjoy the great outdoors by keeping hunting licences affordable,” said Yakabuksi.
“This year, there will be no price hike and no service fee. This will put approximately $1.6 million back into the pockets of the hard-working people of Ontario.”
The minister also stated the government has updated hunting regulations, including a new licence summary that can be stored on a mobile device or printed at home. There are also paper tags that will replace game seals and improved options for hunter reporting. Many of the new services and new products can be found online.
“The hunting industry contributes nearly half a billion dollars to the Ontario economy,” Yakabuski said. “Our hunters are some of the best stewards of our lands and waters and we want to make it easier for them to enjoy our world class natural resources.”
Thursday’s announcement follows a recent freeze on fishing licence fees and the addition of two new licence-free fishing events this year on the weekends of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
The province says the freezes will save anglers and hunters approximately $4.3 million. The hunting industry is worth $431 million annually, Yakabuski said.
“We are continuing to reduce barriers and make it less expensive for people to get outdoors and hunt,” Yakabuski said.
According to the Ministry, 2019 fees for the following include:
- Buy or renew an Outdoors Card (valid for 3 calendar years): $9.68
- 1-year small game licence: $25.72
- 3-year small game licence: $77.16
- Moose licence and tag: $56.83
- Elk draw application: $16.95
- Elk licence and tag: $54.52
- Deer licence and tag: $49.56
- Farmer’s deer licence and tag: $28.41
- Moose or deer draw applications: No fee
- Additional tag for deer (only for select Wildlife Management Units): $49.56
- Black bear licence and tag: $49.56
- Second tag for black bear (only for select Wildlife Management Units): $49.56
- Wolves/Coyotes tag (only for select Wildlife Management Units): $11.36
- Wild turkey tag – Spring: $29.75
- Wild turkey tag – Fall: $29.75
- Dog licence: $13.80