Mirroring SCI’s Lobby Day in Washington DC, SCI Canada held its first Lobby Day in Ottawa on June 8th as part of its annual Canada Conference. SCI chapters and members from across Canada met with Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill to discuss the issues affecting hunting, fishing and shooting sports enthusiasts throughout the country. Canada Committee Chair and International Director at Large, Eric Moland lead the group with the support of SCI President John McLaurin, SCI Secretary Mike Crawford, SCI Membership and Chapter Services Director Jason St. Michael, and SCI Guide and Outfitters Liaison Scott Talbott.
“This event has elevated SCI’s profile at the political level in Canada,” says SCI President John McLaurin. “Not only was SCI recognized by members of parliament on Parliament Hill, but they acknowledged the concerns of SCI and our many partners in the outdoor industry there. Congratulations to SCI Canada and Committee Chair Eric Moland for leading this seminal event.”
The Annual SCI Canada Conference is attended by SCI Canada chapters and members as well as numerous outfitter associations and industry partners. In addition to participating in Lobby Day, those attending the multi-day event were invited to the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus Symposium hosted by MP Blaine Calkins, a champion of sportsmen’s issues. Find a video of SCI Leadership and Blaine Calkins here. SCI Canada sponsored the symposium breakfast and was the largest of the NGO’s present. The symposium included discussions about access issues created by the government mandate to conserve 30% of land and water by 2030 and 50% by 2050. Other issues included firearm restrictions such as the current handgun freeze and outright bans affecting all firearm owners.
The conference also included a reception in the trophy room of a local member’s home; an invitation to the House of Commons to witness the discussions between the political parties; a wild game garden party, serving locally harvested wild game meat and fish; and the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus MP and staff shoot at the Stittsville Ranges. Thanks to caucus co-chair Bob Zimmer, SCI and its industry partners had opportunity to educate political leaders and staffers on firearm safety and the shooting sports during the shoot. And the SCI Canada Foundation helped provide conservation education with their sensory safari trailer. Another big highlight was when members were able to meet Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and presumably the next Prime Minister.