The Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) is creating a Northern Working Group to focus on the issue of catch and release justice and will be bringing its concerns about the negative impact of the practice to the province during the upcoming Association of Municipalities of Ontario Annual General Meeting and Conference in August.
The measures come after the FONOM Board met last week in Elk Lake for the first time since its Annual Conference, Northern Leaders Debate, and the Provincial Election to discuss outcomes and its approach for next month’s multi-minister delegation during the AMO conference.
The meeting included a presentation from Sault Ste. Marie’s Police Chief Hugh Stevenson on the current catch-and-release procedures.
“Several member municipalities have sent Resolutions to FONOM on the issue of catch and release,” said FONOM President Danny Whalen. “Chief Stevenson shared with the Board the background information and several troubling examples of the practice.”
Following the presentation, members shared what they had observed in their respective districts and communities and agreed to create a Northern Working Group to focus on the issue. The Working Group will consist of three FONOM board members, two city police chiefs, an OPP service board member and possibly a former Crown Attorney. The FONOM Board also will use its multi-minister delegation at the AMO conference in August to start working with the province to address the negative impact of catch and release.
Additionally, the Board received an Oxford County speed management presentation highlighting examples of products available to municipalities, as many of FONOM’s members share an increasing concern about traffic issues in their communities. Speeding and enforcement is becoming a problem in many neighborhoods and town entrances. FONOM will be monitoring the issue to see how it can support its members moving forward.
Lastly, the Board reviewed and discussed its partnership with the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and the Northern Ontario Services Delivery Association (NOSDA). Board members were pleased that the three organizations are working together and look forward to their joint presentation on the issue of homelessness, mental health, and addiction during the AMO conference.
FONOM is an association of some 110 districts/municipalities/cities/towns in Northeastern Ontario mandated to work for the betterment of municipal government in Northern Ontario and strive for improved legislation respecting local government in the North. It is a membership-based association that draws its members from Northeastern Ontario and is governed by an 11- member board.
President Danny Whalen