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BC Wildlife Federation requests spending investigation

The British Columbia Wildlife Federation is asking the province's auditor general to examine what it suspects is the mis-spending of the money the government raises from fishing and hunting licenses.

“We request an immediate investigation that will address a number of concerns regarding ministry practices which appear to be paradoxical to its own established policies,” said the letter to Auditor General John Doyle signed by BCWF president Mel Arnold and executive director Patti MacAhonic.

The BCWF has “strong concerns” the environment ministry may be using fees from hunting and fishing licenses, tags, stamps and permits to fund general environmental management, the Sept. 3 letter said. “Government has previously stated that all fees and license revenue collected from hunting and fishing would be dedicated to the delivery of those services.”

The fees should be going to support “research-based” management of fish and wildlife “for consumptive use,” it said, not to funding the ministry's other activities.

The BCWF has asked the ministry for details of how it spends money from fishing and hunting licenses, it said, but “the figures that were provided are generalized and do not have a breakdown of any significance for us to be able to conduct any meaningful analysis.”

MacAhonic and Arnold asked Doyle to seek a full accounting.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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