Category Archives: Media Releases

Mark Lamont – 2016 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year

Posted on August 15, 2016.

2016 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year – Mark Lamont

Pembroke – The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Mark Lamont has been selected as the 2016 Conservation Officer of the Year. Mark currently works for the Pembroke Enforcement Unit.

Mark was presented with the award at the OCOA annual general meeting on Saturday August 13th.  “Mark has been a Conservation Officer for 16 years and has had many great accomplishments during his career so far. Mark is one of those small town Conservation Officers who is excellent at balancing the community interest while enforcing the law. He is also a leader in mentoring new Conservation Officers as well as working with youth on many outreach programs.” said OCOA President Tim Rochette.

Mark has worked around the Province and some of his career highlights include:

  • Recipient of the OCOA and North American Wildlife Enforcement Officers Association (NAWEOA) Certificate of Valor
  • Lead officer in complex investigations including careless hunting investigations and a large commercial timber investigation
  • Mentor for aspiring officers as well as current Conservation Officers
  • Volunteer on committees with Ducks Unlimited and the Pembroke Outdoor Sportsmen Club
  • Created the Pembroke Kid’s Fishing event and Youth Mentor Hunting program in Pembroke

While accepting the award Mark humbly stated “this is not my award, this is a team award. I have worked with a lot of phenomenal officers and have gained a little bit of knowledge from every one of those officers. There are many more officers out there more deserving of this than me.”

Mark was also presented with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Officer of the Year award as well as the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award by Matt Orok, Provincial Enforcement Operations Manager of the MNRF Enforcement Branch.

For complete details visit: http://ocoa.ca/tributes/other-awards/mnr-officer-of-the-year/mark-lamont/

For more information contact:
Tim Rochette, President
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(705) 752-3518
trochette@ocoa.ca

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Peter Gilboe – 2015 Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year

Posted on August 31, 2015.

Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year 2015 – Peter Gilboe

North Bay – The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Peter Gilboe has been selected as the 2015 Conservation Officer of the Year. Peter currently works for the North Bay Enforcement Unit and is based out of New Liskeard, Ontario.

Peter was presented with the award at the OCOA annual general meeting on Saturday August 15th.  “Peter has been a Conservation Officer for 29 years and has had many great accomplishments during his career.  Peter is one of those small town Conservation Officers who thinks he is just doing his job. However, he has done so much more than that to receive this prestigious award.” said OCOA President Tim Rochette.

Peter has worked around the Province and some of his career highlights include:

  • Recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
  • Recipient of the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal.
  • Recipient of the OCOA Award of Valor and two Lifesaving Awards.
  • 2015 Ducks Unlimited Ontario Volunteer of the Year.
  • One of our Provincial leaders in the Confidential Informant program.
  • Consistently the driving force behind many large natural resource investigations, including information collection, planning, surveillance, search warrants, operations and court procedures.
  • Mentor for aspiring officers as well as current C.O.’s, Police Officers and Park Wardens.
  • Chair of the “Kids and Wardens Fishing Adventure” for the last 6 years.
  • MNRF Representative on Northern College Policing Program Committee and local Crime Stoppers board.
  • Volunteer in numerous community based events.

While accepting the award Peter indicated “when I look at the previous recipients of this award I say to myself, I don’t belong on here. However I think it is starting to sink in.”

Peter was also presented with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Officer of the Year award by John Clements, Director MNRF Enforcement Branch.  John Clements said, “Peter is a great all around officer, huge supporter of the community and a solid family man”.

In addition, Peter also received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award.

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For more information contact:

Tim Rochette, President
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(705) 752-3518
trochette@ocoa.ca

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Keep Ontario Anglers Safe on the Water

Posted on July 2, 2015.

CSBC & OCOA Team Up To Keep Ontario Anglers Safe on the Water

July 2, 2015 — Toronto, ON, — July 4th – 12th marks National Fishing Week in Canada. The Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) and the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) want to remind anglers that wearing your lifejacket is even more important than wearing your ‘lucky fishing hat’.  But they do share one trait.  They both have to be worn to be effective!

According to the Canadian Safe Boating Council and the Lifesaving Society, 80 percent of recreational boaters who drown each and every year in Canada were not wearing a lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Most of these drownings occur in small, open power boats, accounting for 60 percent of these preventable deaths. A majority of these victims were males between the ages of 19 and 35, out for a day of fishing.

Many of those who don’t wear their lifejackets or PFDs believe that, since they are good swimmers, having them onboard and within easy reach is good enough. But a lifejacket stored under a seat or up in the bow will be of no help when the unexpected happens, like falling overboard while trying to net the catch.

“National surveys clearly show that more than half the recreational boats sold in Canada are used for fishing on a regular basis,” says John Gullick, Chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council. “During National Fishing Week, the Canadian Safe Boating Council would like to remind all anglers not only to have their lifejacket onboard their boat, but to wear it as if their life depended on it – because it just might!”

Many of today’s anglers are delighted with the models that are designed especially to suit their needs.  They’re rugged, allow for full freedom of movement to cast and are constructed with lots of pockets for gear.  Some even come equipped with an attachment from which to hang a landing net.  When choosing their lifejacket, anglers should also check the label to make sure it is Transport Canada approved, is the correct size and fits snugly.

“The Ontario Conservation Officers Association is excited about partnering with the CSBC to promote the Hooked on Lifejackets program,” said Tim Rochette, President of the OCOA. bando maps “Our organization is dedicated to the sustainable use of all of our beautiful natural resources in Ontario, which includes ensuring that all boaters stay safe and wear a lifejacket while enjoying our waterways.”

Fishing is a part of our Canadian fabric and an activity that’s easy to get hooked on. At this important time of year, the CSBC and OCOA are asking those who fish to ‘Get Hooked on Lifejackets’ too.

This initiative is made possible through support of Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.

For a 30-second radio PSA and additional information on boating safety please visit www.csbc.ca.

For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca, or contact your local Conservation Officer.

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For further information contact:

Susanne Simic                                 Tim Rochette
Simic Public Relations for the          President
Canadian Safe Boating Council       Ontario Conservation Officers Association
Tel: (416) 622-3358                          Tel: (705) 752-3518
Susanne.simic@sympatico.ca         Trochette@ocoa.ca

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Conservation Officers Encourage Safe Boating

Posted on May 10, 2015.

After one of the longest, coldest winters on record, the ice has melted and tens of thousands of Ontario boaters and anglers are looking forward to spending time on the water enjoying their favourite pastimes. Spring is the perfect time to give some serious thought to making sure this summer is a safe one on the water. With this goal in mind, the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) proudly joins the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to promote the annual North American Safe Boating Awareness Week – May 16th – 22nd, 2015.

“Our members actively enforce the laws regarding safe boating”, says OCOA President Tim Rochette, an Ontario Conservation Officer based in North Bay, and an active angler and boater himself. “It is the responsibility of every boater to ensure that they enjoy the outdoors safely.”

At the core of the 2015 campaign are the 5 key messages that we have been consistently delivering to the boating community.

  • Wear a PFD or Lifejacket
  • Don’t Drink & Boat
  • Take a Boating Course
  • Be Prepared, Both You and Your Vessel
  • Be Wary of the Dangers of Cold Water Immersion

“Our members will be on the water during Safe Boating Awareness Week, whether working or enjoying some recreational time with our families”, adds Rochette.  “I encourage all anglers and boaters to start now to help us make this an accident free season.”

Anyone looking for more information about boating safety is encouraged to visit the Canadian Safe Boating Council website at www.csbc.ca . For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca, or contact your local Conservation Officer.

Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

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For more information contact:

Tim Rochette
President, Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(705) 752-3518
trochette@ocoa.ca

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Steve Emms – Conservation Officer of the Year 2014

Posted on August 30, 2014.

OCOA & MNR Conservation Officer of the Year, 2014

Ontario Conservation Officer Steve Emms 

Medal 2009

London – The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is pleased to announce that Steve Emms has been selected as the 2014 Conservation Officer of the Year. Steve currently works as a Provincial Training Specialist out of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Steve was presented with the award at the OCOA annual general meeting on Friday August 8th. “Steve has been a Conservation Officer for 29 years and has had many great accomplishments. Steve is the first Provincial Training Specialist to receive this prestigious award.” said OCOA President Joe McCambridge.

Steve Emms has worked around the Province and some of his career highlights include:

  • Founding member of the Ministry of Natural Resources Provincial Training Unit in 1997.

  • Helped bring innovative new training techniques and tools to the field that has improved training.

  • Active within the Ontario Conservation Officer Association and is currently the Northwest Regional Representative.

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While accepting the award Steve indicated “he never really considered being a Conservation Officer a career, it is more a lifestyle and stressed that without the support of his family throughout his career, it would not have been possible.”

Steve was also presented with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Officer of the Year award by Lois Deacon, Director MNRF Enforcement Branch and Assistant Deputy Minister, Provincial Services Division Al Tithecott. Lois Deacon said, “Steve has a great ability to relate to officers and they in turn relate to him”.

In addition, Steve also received the Shikar-Safari Club International Wildlife Officer of the Year Award and the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (part of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies) Officer of the Year Award.

Lois Deacon, Director, Enforcement Branch
John Clements, Manger Enforcement Operations
705-755-3249
www.ontario.ca/conservationofficer

Joe McCambridge,
President Ontario Conservation Officers Association
613-732-2242
www.ocoa.ca

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Operation DryWater

Posted on July 31, 2014.

 

July 31, 2014

MAKE THIS LONG WEEKEND A SAFE ONE, DON’T DRINK AND BOAT!

 

The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) is joining with the Canadian Safe Boating Council (CSBC) to raise awareness and reduce alcohol related deaths on the waterways. Alcohol is a factor in approximately 40% of boating-related fatalities on Canadian waterways. This August long weekend marks the start of year 2 of “Operation Dry Water”, an initiative to discourage the dangerous practice of drinking and boating.

 

What many boaters may not understand is that many factors such as sun, wind, and the rocking motion of the boat can greatly increase the effects of alcohol while on the water.

 

“Our members, working as Ontario Conservation Officers, will be out on the waterways this long weekend enforcing fishing regulations, while also ensuring the safety of both recreational anglers and boaters in the Province of Ontario”, says OCOA President Joe McCambridge. “We encourage everyone to please leave the alcohol on shore when you head out in your boat for a day of fishing and wait until you get home safely before enjoying an alcoholic beverage.”

 

Boaters are reminded to continue to follow safe and legal boating practices and ensure they have an appropriate sized and approved life jacket or PFD for everyone on board. While it is a good practice for everyone to wear their PFD or life jacket while on the water, boaters are reminded that if any of the required PFD’s are the inflatable type, they must be worn in order to qualify as a legally approved PFD.

 

Ontario is fortunate to have unlimited boating opportunities – Operation Dry Water hopes to raise public awareness and increase public safety by reducing drinking and boating. Please enjoy your summer on the water responsibly.

 

For more information regarding boating safety visit the CSBC website at www.csbc.ca, the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca, or contact your local Conservation Officer.

 

For more information contact:

Joe McCambridge

Ontario Conservation Officers Association 

(613) 732-2242

jmccambridge@ocoa.ca

 

 

 

Susanne Simic

President Simic Public Relations for the Canadian Safe Boating Council

(416) 622-3358

Susanne.simic@sympatico.ca

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2014 Kids and Wardens Fishing Adventure

Posted on July 6, 2014.

 

July 6, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OCOA PROVIDES TORONTO KIDS WITH TRIP OF A LIFETIME

On the morning of July 9, twenty youth from the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club (http://believeinkids.ca) will be climbing onto a Greyhound bus for 4 days of fishing, canoeing, campfires, and more – and it’s all being provided to them free of charge!

For the 8th consecutive year, the OCOA – with the support of numerous partners – is organizing the Kids and Wardens Fishing Adventure, which this year sees the kids being hosted by our members at Waterfalls Lodge near Spanish, ON (www.waterfallslodge.com).

“This event is often the highlight of the summer for these kids”, say OCOA President Joe McCambridge. “It’s also a lot of fun for our members, who are thrilled to be able to introduce kids from an urban environment to the wonders of the great outdoors.”

While at the camp, the children will be guided by OCOA members as they fish for walleye, pike, and panfish. In between fishing trips, they will experience demonstrations by a Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) forest fire fighting crew (guaranteed to result in an epic water fight!), the MNR canine unit, instruction in canoeing by certified instructors, and much more.

Thanks to the amazing support of our sponsors, each child will receive all the equipment needed to fully enjoy the trip: rain suit, fishing rod and reel, a fully stocked tackle box – all of which goes home with them at the end of the trip! We can’t thank our supporters enough, without their generous support this event would not be possible.

The OCOA is a non-profit Association of active and retired Ontario Conservation Officers and other natural resources law enforcement officers who are dedicated tosupporting and promoting children’s education with regard to Ontario’s natural resources.

For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca, or contact your local Conservation Officer.

Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube

 

Joe McCambridge

President

Ontario Conservation Officers Association

27 Walters Rd

Pembroke, Ontario

K8A 6W5

(613) 732-2242

jmccambridge@ocoa.ca

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Conservation Officers Encourage Safe Wild Turkey Hunting

Posted on April 23, 2014.

The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) wants to wish all of Ontario’s wild turkey hunters a safe, enjoyable, and successful hunt. The 2014 spring wild turkey season in most of Ontario opens on April 25th and is a result of the reintroduction of wild turkeys to Ontario in the late 1980’s. The subsequent growth of turkey populations allowed for a limited hunt that has expanded over the years as the number of birds continues to grow.

The spring wild turkey hunt has become very popular over the years, so does the potential for abuse of both the resource and the private land upon which most hunting takes place. Fortunately, a combination of mandatory turkey hunter education program, responsible hunters, and active enforcement efforts by Conservation Officers (CO’s) has resulted in many seasons of safe hunts.

“Even though the vast majority of hunters obey the law, CO’s continue to find a small percentage of individuals who disregard the regulations while turkey hunting”, says OCOA President Joe McCambridge, himself a field CO in Pembroke and active turkey hunter. “We will continue to actively enforce the law and ensure that the sport of turkey hunting continues to be a safe sport”, adds McCambridge.

Hunters are reminded that permission is required to hunt on private land, where most turkey hunting occurs.  It is illegal in most of southern Ontario to hunt on or from public road right of ways between tracts of private land. In addition, it is illegal to hunt turkeys within 400 metres of where bait has been deposited.

“Conservation Officers will always investigate reports of trespassing and road hunting, and we encourage responsible hunters to report illegal hunting immediately. This will help keep both hunters and members of the public safe during the hunt”, said McCambridge.

Anyone with information about a natural resources or public safety related violation is encouraged to call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources violation reporting line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667), contact their local CO directly, or call Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477).

For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca, or contact your local Conservation Officer.

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Joe McCambridge, President
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
(613) 732-2242
jmccambridge@ocoa.ca

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OCOA Promotes Safe Hunting Practices

Posted on December 1, 2013.

Monday December 2nd will be opening day for some controlled deer hunts and muzzleloader deer seasons across much of Southern and Central Ontario. The Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) wants to take this opportunity to remind hunters to always practice safe and responsible hunting. 

All hunters are responsible to ensure they are always handling firearms in a safe manner at all times. “Safe use of firearms can’t be stressed enough” says OCOA President Joe McCambridge. “All hunters heading out need to remember to practice safe firearm handling at all times”. 

The OCOA would like remind all hunters to remember ACTS and PROVE: 

  • Assume every firearm is loaded

  • Control the muzzle direction at all times

  • Trigger finger must be kept off the trigger and out of the trigger guard

  • See that the firearm is unloaded – PROVE it safe

  • Point the firearm in the safest available direction

  • Remove all ammunition

  • Observe the chamber

  • Verify the feeding path

  • Examine the bore 

“We want everyone to have an enjoyable hunt and by remembering these safety rules we can ensure that the sport of hunting will continue to be enjoyed by all outdoors people in Ontario” concludes McCambridge. 

Anyone with information about a natural resources or public safety related offence is encouraged to call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources violation reporting line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667), contact their local CO directly, or call Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477).

For more information contact:

Joe McCambridge

President

Ontario Conservation Officers Association

(613) 732-2242

jmccambridge@ocoa.ca

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OFAH and OCOA encourage a safe and responsible hunting season

Posted on September 23, 2013.

It’s an exciting time of year for big game hunters and waterfowlers alike. Tens of thousands of hunters will be hitting the bush, field or water this fall to take advantage of the many great wild game and migratory bird opportunities in the province, and to enjoy their hunting heritage. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and the Ontario Conservation Officers Association (OCOA) would like to wish all outdoor enthusiasts a great season and remind them to ensure they have the latest information on regulations in their wildlife management unit, to obtain and carry all necessary permits and licenses, to obey the law, but most of all remember safety first.

“Hunting in Ontario offers many rewards, including healthy recreation in the outdoors and a lifelong connection with wildlife,” said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. “It’s also an opportunity to spend time with family and friends and take part in a true Canadian tradition. However, responsible hunters know that a license to hunt is not a license to trespass. The vast majority of hunters in Ontario ask permission to hunt on privately-owned land, build good relationships with landowners, and show their respect and appreciation for having the privilege to hunt on private property.”

“As a hunter myself, I understand the need to show the utmost respect to both landowners and other hunters,” said OCOA President Joe McCambridge. “I encourage all hunters to put consideration for others before the need to bag a trophy deer or get a limit of geese – this will ensure a safe and enjoyable hunt for all.”

Anyone who observes illegal or unsafe hunting activity is asked to help Conservation Officers protect our natural resources and ensure public safety by calling the MNR’s violation reporting line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7677), or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). For more information about natural resources regulations and enforcement, please visit the OCOA website at www.ocoa.ca or contact your local Conservation Officer.

With over 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers, and 710 member clubs, the OFAH is the largest non-profit conservation-based organization in Ontario. For more information, visit www.ofah.org and stay connected with Facebook and Twitter.

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Contacts:

Shannon Gutoskie
OFAH Manager of Communications
705-748-6324 ext 270
Joe McCambridge
President
Ontario Conservation Officers Association
613-732-2242

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