Art Dunn wants to see youth get off their computers and their video games. Instead of cellphones in their hands, he’d rather they had a fishing rod.
Art Dunn has always enjoyed getting out to fish. He believes the province should do something to get rid of the licence fee for students in Nova Scotia. SUBMITTED
Today is the opening day for fishing season. For anyone under 16, there is no cost, but for those older buying a licence will mean coughing up $26.73.
Dunn believes that cost could be preventing young people from getting a taste of nature and keeping them from experiencing the sport he’s had the pleasure of taking part in much of his life.
His own children have long grown up and his great grandchildren live in other parts of the country, but he’s concerned for those teens in the area.
“I have talked to some politicians, emailed NDP and Conservative members about this but to no avail,” he said. “I would like to see our students have a free fishing licence with a student card. As long as they are going to school, university or college, their student card should be all they need to go fishing.”
He said it makes economic sense for the province as well.
“Without our young people going fishing there will be no one to buy boats, motors, rods, 4-wheelers, etc.”
He knows he could buy fish cheaper in the store than what he spends on gas alone to go fishing, but wouldn’t trade being outdoors for anything.
Tim Houston, MLA for Pictou East, is taking up the cause and Dunn is happy to have his support.
"I like the idea,” Houston said. “We should be doing everything we can to make sure that your young people are getting outside, enjoying the natural beauty of the province and forming strong ties to their communities. If cost is standing in the way, let's try to clear that hurdle."
He wants young people to have reasons to stay and reasons to return to this area.
"If reducing or removing the fee for students encourages more young people to get outside, find that special fishing hole that they want to return to year after year, then we should do it. We want our young people to have reasons to stay and reasons to return."
He said he’s always looking for ways he can make the lives of Nova Scotians better and believes this might be one of those opportunities.
“This is certainly something that I will be working with my caucus on and I would love to bring some positive change to the Legislature."