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Petition calling for N.B. to stop expansion of Sunday hunting

N.B. residents launch petition to scrap plans to expand hunting on Sundays
WATCH: A Fredericton woman says the plans to expand Sunday hunting in the province severely limit people’s ability to enjoy other outdoor activities. As Silas Brown reports, opponents have started a petition to scrap the plans.

A petition is calling for New Brunswick to back off on a proposed expansion of Sunday hunting in the province.

“Orange doesn’t stop a bullet, you know. If there’s some kind of a miss-fire, some kind of accident, orange doesn’t stop a bullet,” said petition creator Joanne MacBride.

MacBride and her horse Mystral are known to roam trails across the Fredericton region, but changes to New Brunswick’s Fish and Wildlife Act that would extend Sunday hunting in the fall have her worried that she may have to steer clear of the woods for the entirety of hunting season.

READ MORE: New Brunswick turns to bow hunt to control deer in populated areas

In response, MacBride has started a petition calling on the government to abandon its plans to extend hunting from the three Sundays during deer season currently permitted to cover all Sundays between Thanksgiving and December 31.

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MacBride says many avoid the outdoors during hunting season, and hunting free Sundays have allowed people the chance to get outside worry free in the fall.

“Trail riding, mountain biking, hiking, families out. It increases the chance of being hurt and it’s about the apprehension one would feel about even thinking of going in,” she said.

Minister of Energy and Natural Resource Development Mike Holland says he stands by the changes.

“I feel very confident that the feedback we’ve gotten warrants us progressing and moving forward,” he said.

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The amendments passed second reading during the fall sitting of the legislature. McBride wants them to be halted there to allow for additional consultation. But Holland feels there’s been enough.

Holland says hunting accidents in the province are extremely rare and notes that those still wanting to stay away during open season still have the forest to themselves for most of the year.

“It’s only adding a few more Sundays,” he said.

“41 of the 52 Sundays on the calendar year, will still be exempt from hunting. I feel quite confident that I’ve done the due diligence.”

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MacBride’s petition currently sits at about 2,200 signatures and she will be organizing a rally outside the legislature on Thursday.