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Recreational Fishing Now Free for Canadian Service Members

News Release

Recreational Fishing Now Free for Canadian Service Members

Ontario’s Government for the People is Giving Back to our Heroes

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

TORONTO — Ontario's Government for the People has delivered on its promise and is giving back to those men and women who have sacrificed so much. As of January 1, 2019, all veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members residing in Ontario can enjoy recreational fishing across the province without having to purchase a fishing licence.

"Our government is working to show appreciation for veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members, helping make it easier and more affordable to enjoy recreational fishing," said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Recreational fishing is a $2.2 billion industry in Ontario and an important tradition in the lives of many. With this regulatory change, all Canadian Armed Forces members­ - retired or still serving - can maximize their time on the water, and ice, by fishing all year round at no cost.

"Today, and everyday, we should salute the sacrifice and bravery of our service members who have defended and continue to defend the rights and freedoms we enjoy," said Minister Yakabuski. "By allowing veterans and active Canadian Armed Forces members to fish for free in Ontario's beautiful waters and encourage more time outdoors, we are offering a token of recognition to these heroes who deserve our respect and gratitude. Thank you for your service."

Ontario's Government for the People continues to take steps to show Ontario's appreciation for veterans, Canadian Armed Forces and their families.

For more information, call the Natural Resources Information and Support Centre at 1-800-667-1940 .

Quick Facts 

Ontario is supporting veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. We are: 

  • Consulting on a new hotline for military families moving to the province 
  • Ensuring Legion halls occupied by Ontario branches of the Royal Canadian Legion are exempt from paying property tax 
  • Planning to build a memorial that honours heroes of the war in Afghanistan on the grounds of the Ontario Legislature 

Quotes

“Fishing continues to be a popular activity for many Canadian Armed Forces members and their families. By allowing all active members and Veterans residing in the province of Ontario to fish for free, the provincial government is further demonstrating its commitment to supporting the military community. This initiative serves as one tangible measure that will further solidify the government’s commitment to enriching life for the close to 45,000 Regular and Reserve Force serving members living in Ontario.”

Sean N. Cantelon

CEO, Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services

“It is my great pleasure to see the initiative done by this government in order to say thank you to our serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving in Ontario and their veterans. Our training and educational activities are designed to ignite or rekindle both past and present Canadian Forces members’ appreciation and enthusiasm for a wide variety of fly-fishing experiences, and to provide a healthy, safe opportunity to return to nature to help alleviate stress from physical or psychological injury. To succeed in our endeavours, we require this kind of ongoing support and energy.”

Gervais Jeffrey

National Director, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Canada

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