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Government agrees to exempt pre-booked 2013 trips from PST increase
The provincial government has listened to the MLOA's concerns about how the new 8% PST rate will be applied to this year's guests. When the government revealed its 2013-14 budget in April, it announced that PST would be going from 7% to 8% as of July 1, 2013. The original plan as outlined by the finance department was to have all service providers in the province (including lodges and outfitters) charge 8% PST on any service that occurred after July 1, regardless of when the service was booked. This meant trips that your guests had pre-booked and already paid deposits on prior to this budget announcement would have to be charged 8% if the trips occurred after July 1.
The MLOA felt this was unfair to your guests and wrote to the finance minister to request that any trips that had been booked with a deposit prior to the rate increase announcement on budget day should only be charged 7% PST, regardless of when the trip would occur. To their credit, the ministry listened and has informed the MLOA that all trips occurring prior to Nov. 30, 2013, will only be charged 7% PST if they were booked with a deposit prior to budget day. Although the MLOA, like most of the business community, would prefer to see no PST increase at all, we would like to thank the government for seeing reason in our argument and agreeing to exempt this year's pre-booked guests from the increase, as this allows our members to save time and save face in not having to go back to their guests to ask for the additional 1 percentage point. For more information on how to implement the PST increase, please contact the MLOA office.
Manitoba anglers will soon be able to show their support for fisheries conservation by buying special Fish Futures license plates for their trailers. The provincial government announced on May 2 -- the date of Fish Futures's 25th anniversary banquet -- that the specialty plates will soon be made available to the public. Much like the popular Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg Blue Bombers license plates, a portion of the sales of these plates will go to charity: in this case, to Fish Futures for use in fisheries conservation projects, youth angling initiatives and other charitable work related to Manitoba's recreational fishing community.
Fish Futures license plates available May 9
The plates, available only for trailers (anglers do use boats so it's a natural fit) will cost $70, with $30 going to Fish Futures. The plates are available through your insurance broker beginning May 9.
New fishing license rates
The cost of each Manitoba fishing license has increased by $5 plus GST (so $5.25 total) effective for the new 2013 licenses. All of the revenue generated by this increased amount will be directed into the Fisheries Enhancement Fund, where it is being used to support upgrades at the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery. If you would like more information about this, please contact the MLOA office. Below are the new rates, effective for the new 2013 licenses:
Manitoba resident - $25.08 (including GST)
Manitoba resident conservation - $19.19 (incl. GST)
Canadian resident - $47.65 (incl. GST)
Canadian resident conservation - $28.02 (incl. GST)
Foreign resident - $62.37 (incl. GST)
Foreign resident conservation - $37.84 (incl. GST)
Short-term relief for Lynn Lake airport
The airport in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, will remain open at least for the next several months, as town officials, the province, and airport users attempt to resolve long-term funding issues for the air hub. The town had voted a few weeks ago to close the airport as of May 6, but the provincial government has agreed to provide some short-term funding to ensure the airport remains open at least 2 to 3 months beyond that (so well into the summer) as officials work out a long-term sustainable funding model. We would like to thank the province for taking that step and recognizing the airport's value, and in particular would like to thank MLA Clarence Pettersen for his work on this issue. There is still a mountain to climb in terms of the airport's long-term viability, however. Provincial officials are reviewing a consultant's report on potential solutions, which was released earlier this year. Anyone who would like a copy of this report is welcome to contact the MLOA office. Negotiations will soon begin between town officials, the province, and other stakeholders, and we will keep members posted on the progress.
Since our Hunter and Angler Preservation Fund began in 2011, thanks to member participation, the MLOA has allocated more than $10,000 to the fund which is now being used to help fund four projects, promoting sustainable hunting and fishing in our province.
HAPF winning projects announced
The MLOA board recently awarded funding, based on applications that were submitted over the winter, to four projects. We are proud to announce that the winning projects are:
Restoration of the spring bear hunt ageing and reproduction study;
We are thrilled to be able to support these projects and will continue to do so with your help.
Assistance with Duck Mountain logging road closures to protect moose populations;
A partnership to promote the Turn in Poachers hotline; and
A donation to the youth angling charity Generation Next Angler.
This season, the MLOA will once again be administering HAPF, a voluntary program used to help fund the association’s operations as well as support causes that promote and preserve opportunities to hunt and fish in Manitoba.
Although participation is voluntary, we encourage all members to become involved in this very important program. MLOA members who participate in the HAPF program are eligible for special incentives, as a token of our appreciation for your support.
Guests are also encouraged to participate in the program. Those who donate are entered into a draw to win a hunting or fishing trip. The next draw will take place in December 2014.
MLOA fighting for fair treatment of outfitters affected by BiPole III line
Read the Winnipeg Free Press story from March 2 related to this issue. We will be presenting to the Clean Environment Commission on this on March 11:
Check back often for more news and events from around the province!