Anglers will soon head out on the province’s rivers and lakes as sportfishing season opens in most areas of Nova Scotia on April 1. “Sportfishing is a popular recreational activity that plays an important role in Nova Scotia’s economy. We are fortunate to live in a province with an abundance of angling opportunities,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau. “This season we have provided even more fishing opportunities and we ask anglers to familiarize themselves with the new regulations for the 2010 season.” More than 100,000 anglers enjoy fishing throughout the year, participating in free fishing weekends and other activities such as fishing derbies, Learn to Fish programs, Families United With Nature and Becoming An Outdoors Woman. “This year we will continue to focus on promoting and encouraging youth angling through our Learn to Fish Program,” said Mr. Belliveau. “Youth who participate can look forward to a fun-filled interactive program to get them interested in angling as a lifelong outdoor pursuit.” Young artists from Grade 1 to Grade 12 will have a chance to participate in the Nova Scotia Kids Fish Art Contest. The winners will receive fishing gear, including a rod, tackle and trophy. One lucky winner will have their artwork featured in the 2011 regulations booklet. Licence fees, taxes included, are $25.85 for the season for residents of Nova Scotia and $59.57 for non-residents. Non-residents also have the option to purchase a seven-day licence for $32.58. Seniors’ fishing licences are available for $6.33. One-day licences are available to resident and non-resident anglers for $13.07. All anglers age 16 or older must purchase a general fishing licence. Licences are valid until March 31, 2011. Anglers who plan to fish during the winter season should keep their licence. It is mandatory to return the stub at the end of the season. New regulations, and changes to regulations, are included in the 2010 Angler’s Handbook and Summary of Regulations, which accompanies each fishing licence. More information on angling and a list of special regulations by recreational fishing area can be found on the Fisheries and Aquaculture website at www.gov.ns.ca/fish/sportfishing .
TORONTO — A new stress test for all uninsured mortgages is unnecessary and could increase costs for homebuyers, a report by the Fraser Institute said Wednesday.Study author Neil Mohindra wrote the proposed stress test “will do more harm than good” by limiting access to mortgages for some homebuyers.“The mandatory standard for stress testing could result in a less competitive and more concentrated mortgage market,” he wrote in the report.The study comes as the federal Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions finalizes new lending guidelines.Among the changes being contemplated is a requirement that homebuyers who have a down payment of 20 per cent or more and do not require mortgage insurance still have to show they can make their payments if interest rates rise.The head of OSFI has said that Canada’s banking regulator wants to reduce the risk of mortgage defaults because of high levels of household debt.“We are not waiting to see those risks crystallize in rising arrears and defaults before we act,” OSFI head Jeremy Rudin said last week.Canadian household debt compared with disposable income hit a record high in the second quarter. Statistics Canada reported last month that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 167.8 per cent, up from 166.6 per cent in the first quarter.However, Mohindra said that instead of a prescriptive test, OSFI could use its existing powers to fix what it believes are deficiencies in policies and procedures.The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target by a quarter of a percentage point twice this year.The increases have pushed up the big bank prime lending rates which are used to determine rates for variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit.The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan organization that tends to prefer free-market policies over government regulation.