The Inland Fish Enforcement Program of the Department of Justice is being expanded to include the protection and enforcement of wildlife.
“Transferring the wildlife enforcement function of the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Justice is a natural step as the province continues to increase enforcement of our wildlife regulations,” said the Honourable Felix Collins, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. “The connection with the Department of Justice is a natural one. Modern day wildlife enforcement is a law enforcement function, thus making the new Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division a fit with other uniformed services located in the department.”
Budget 2011 provides $2.1 million for the establishment of the new Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division. Funding will go towards a new headquarters to be located in Corner Brook, along with three regional offices, and detachments and satellite offices located throughout the province. This additional investment will also be used for one-time costs for new equipment associated with the transfer, ongoing operational expenses and for the continuation of last fall’s expansion of Inland Fish Enforcement in Labrador. Approximately 37 positions will be transferred to the Department of Justice. The new Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Division will comprise approximately 88 positions.
“This is a positive move that will ensure government has one cohesive division responsible for fish and wildlife enforcement,” said the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Natural Resources. “This transfer will allow the Forestry Services Division of Natural Resources to refocus and dedicate its expertise to forestry management and sustainability.”
“We value the dedication and hard work of all our officers and this expanded mandate will give them a chance to do what they do best, protect our fish and wildlife resources year-round,” said Minister Collins. “We are committed to ensuring these most valuable resources are enjoyed by the many thousands of hunters and anglers in our province, and sustained for future generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
The transfer is effective immediately.