Ontario; Dept; Of Fisheries Annual Report of the Department of Fisheries of the Province of Ontario, 1899-1906 (Classic Reprint)

Annual Report of the Department of Fisheries of the Province of Ontario, 1899-1906 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Annual Report of the Department of Fisheries of the Province of Ontario, 1899-1906

In 1897 the Legislature of the Province passed an Act respecting Fisheries, to be brought into force on such day as the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council by a proclamation might appoint. The Act had, however, been framed in accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court, and before the appeal to the Privy Council had been disposed of, and it was therefore deemed necessary that some amendments should be made before the Act could be put into operation. An early session was convened for the purpose, among others of passing the needed legislation to bring the Act into operation, to provide for the establishment of a Fisheries Branch, the taking over of Dominion records and documents, the granting of leases, licenses, etc., etc., as first steps towards developing this recently recovered valuable property, and exercising a wise and vigilant oversight over the same for its perpetual preservation, by the establishment of such a policy as would commend itself to the fishermen whose livelihood depends upon its preservation, and the community at large, and by requiring a strict observance of the laws and regulations enacted for that purpose.

Establishment of a Branch.

The undersigned was charged with the organization of the Branch, and was despatched to Ottawa to take over the necessary documents, records, etc., and to obtain an insight into the working of the Department there. The Branch was organized (at first attached to the Department of the Attorney-General under the commissionership of the Honourable Mr. Hardy), and it consists of a Deputy Commissioner and five assistants. The chief clerk (Mr. Webster) having been for a number of years employed in the Fisheries Department at Ottawa, his experience was of much value during the process of organization.

Protection Service.

Ninety-four overseers have been appointed at salaries ranging from $25 to $300. With perhaps a few exceptions, the overseers have been exceedingly vigilant and faithful, taking into consideration the very small allowance which a majority of them receive and the large area of territory which each has to supervise. They were selected expressly to discharge the duties pertaining to their office, and they have been distinctly informed that their retention in office shall be determined by the faithfulness manifested in the proper exercise of those duties. In addition to the salary provided by the Order-in-Council, such travelling expenses as may be considered reasonable and proper are allowed, vouchers being required for all expenditures of $1 and upwards, and an affidavit that the statement of the duties performed, the distances travelled and the amounts charged is correct. The overseer is required to report on the first of each month the nature of the duties performed during the previous month. A bond that he will faithfully fulfil, perform and discharge all the duties of his office and account for all moneys received, is required of him. Haven taken the oath prescribed in the statute, he is clothed with the powers of a Justice of the Peace for all the purposes of the Fisheries Act, thus enabling justice to be speedily and more economically administered, and a miscarriage thereof frequently prevented. The salaries in the main are of necessity small, but it has been found that where a salary is paid, there is much greater incentive to apprehend violators and to lay an information, than where a moiety of the fine is the only inducement; it removes the stigma of being an informer.

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