Hook, Line and Sinking

by Mark Steyn

My weekend column is about our descent into hyper-regulatory tyranny. Speaking of which, from north of the border:

Martin Reid says he’s been forced to buy a fishing licence to remove carp that are swimming in a metre of water on his flooded-out fields.

He says he bought the permit to avoid the problems he faced the last time he was forced to remove fish from his flooded farmland. In 1993, Reid was fined $1,000 for illegal fishing.

“My father and I … were charged by Fisheries and Oceans Canada,” Reid recalled. “We were jointly responsible for having caused the death of fish for reasons other than sport fishing.”

Reid says the fine will jump to $100,000 if he’s cited a second time.

He’s under strict orders to safeguard the lives of the carp once he begins to expel them.

So, if his home had been flooded, he would need a fishing license to remove the carp from his deep-shag broadloom? Hey, relax, say the commissars:

A spokesman for the provincial natural resources department defended Ottawa’s decision.

“The idea is to help farmers,” said Jean-Philippe Detolle. “The licence was issued to reassure them they won’t be fined.”

Where’s that line from? The Bureau of Blackmail and Protection Racket Compliance?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed the regulatory bureaucracy for a lifetime.

The Corner

The one and only.