‘Red tape’ removed for hunters and anglers

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Some government-issued licences have become easier to access for Ontario residents.

Changes to the Fish and Wildlife Licensing Service have come into effect and there are expected to be more changes in the new year. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government recently unveiled the new service, which came into effect November 26. Fishing and small game licences, as well as outdoors cards, can now be purchased online.

“We’ve improved our service so you can get out on the lake or into the woods in less time by purchasing licences from the comfort of home,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in a statement. “Interacting with your government should be seamless, and we’ve replaced the old service with one that serves everyone in the province.”

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure, said the user-friendly tool comes at a time when residents want to access government services in a more convenient way.

“We’re in 2018 and the government needs to become more efficient, we need to reduce red tape for people in Ontario and make government services more convenient,” said McNaughton.

From now until December 31, licences that require a game seal will not be available to buy, but all fishing and hunting licences that don’t require a game seal will be available. Come January 1, 2019, all hunting and fishing licences will be available during their regular timeframes.

“We are going across government [services] and really working hard to reduce red tape, whether that’s for businesses or consumers,” said McNaughton. “This is just one example of how the government for the people is removing barriers, so everyone can easily take advantage of Ontario’s great outdoors.”

Some of the other changes with Ontario’s hunting licences involve a change in some regulations. As of January 1, 2019, tags — which can be printed at a Service Ontario location — will replace game seals, hunters will have to follow a consistent reporting process, and those between 12 and 14 years old will be required to buy outdoors cards and carry proper documentation.

The new licensing service can be accessed at huntandfishontario.com.