Families in the Cornwallis, Annapolis Co. area will have access to a safe, modern recreation facility when the wellness centre in Cornwallis Park becomes the Fundy YMCA. All levels of government and community organizations committed a total of $650,000 toward the project today, Dec. 18, including $150,000 from the province. “Helping to reopen this facility is the right decision for the people of this region, providing opportunities for residents to lead active, healthy lives,” said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Ramona Jennex, on behalf of Health Promotion and Protection Minister Maureen MacDonald. “Investing in recreation facilities is part of our commitment to make life better for families in Nova Scotia.” Project funding also includes $300,000 from the federal government and $100,000 each from the Municipality of the District of Digby and the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre. The Municipality of the County of Annapolis will continue to own the facility, making mortgage and debt payments. A community fundraising campaign is also underway and kicked off with an $80,000 donation from the Annapolis West Health Foundation. “Government’s investment in these essential improvements to the centre will help ensure that the people of Cornwallis and surrounding communities continue to have access to a valuable community recreational resource,” said MP Greg Kerr, on behalf of ACOA Minister Keith Ashfield. “The YMCA’s role in the management of the upgraded facility will add to the quality of the services offered through the centre and to the attractiveness of Cornwallis as a place in which to live, work and invest.” “Strong partnership is the key to any success and this is a good example of the outcome,” said Reg Ritchie, warden of the Municipality of the County of Annapolis. “The financial support of these organizations shows a combined effort in reaching a common goal of ensuring a sustainable wellness facility for the people in our region wanting to pursue and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. This financial support and the YMCA’s dedication have given us confidence that this project will come to fruition.” The investments will assist the Municipality of the County of Annapolis in upgrading the wellness centre and its exercise equipment to meet YMCA standards. Planned upgrades include an expansion of the cardio fitness area, reconfiguring office space, safety improvements and a state-of-the-art air conditioning system. Once upgrades are complete, the facility will be managed by the YMCA and will serve area residents and clientele of the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre and the Pearson Peackeeping Centre.
The evidence paper will contain no “slam dunk arguments,” according to Martin Salter, head of campaigns at the Angling Trust, who sat on the review panel.But he said it will provide a thorough examination of all sides of the argument for the first time, including evidence from countries such as Ireland which does not have a closed season, to little detrimental effect.“The review concludes that there is a case for a risk-based decision on changing the close season,” he said.“It does not draw any conclusions for any one way forward but it will lead to a wider consultation with anglers and provide a body of evidence that draws upon the experience of fishery managers across Europe to help inform views.”A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We have been working with the Angling Trust and the Institute of Fisheries Management on a review of the available evidence around the close season.”We are considering possible options for future close season arrangements in more detail and will be gauging which of these would be supported by anglers and fishery managers.”The closed season for anglers is thought to be one of the longest running laws in British history. It is possible the idea was inspired by the Game Act 1831, which imposed similar restrictions on various breeds of bird. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A 140-year-old law that prevents river fishing for three months a year could be scrapped following a Government review.The Environment Agency is due to publish an evidence paper this month following a two-year consultation with fishery scientists and members of the angling community.The law was introduced under the Freshwater Fisheries Act 1878 so fish could complete the “procreation of their species in peace and quiet” from March 15 until June 15.But the ban has been the subject of heavy criticism for decades from anglers who say it is outdated and unnecessary.Many argue that most of the target species – roach, bream, perch, chub and barbel – do not spawn until the end of April or early May and that regardless, fish very rarely eat during spawning season.The close season on still waters and canals have both been lifted in the last 25 years, with no demonstrable impact on fish stocks.In an online poll of 7,000 anglers by the Angling Times, 71 per cent said they were in favour of scrapping the closed season altogether, while others called for it to be shortened.