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Gudie Hutchings, the Liberal Commons member for Long Range Mountains, speaks at a press conference in Corner Brook Thursday.
Gudie Hutchings, the Liberal Commons member for Long Range Mountains, speaks at a press conference in Corner Brook Thursday. - Gary Kean

Gudie Hutchings says she is more than willing to meet with the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance.

At a public meeting held in Deer Lake earlier this week, members of the alliance said they planned to host their next meeting at the Corner Brook office of the Liberal Commons member for Long Range Mountains because she has not taken up any of the group’s invitations to attend their meetings.

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The alliance has been critical of the management of salmon angling by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, including the restriction of fishing to hook-and-release angling for the rest of this season.

The MP was in Corner Brook for a tourism funding press conference Thursday and was asked about not meeting with the alliance. She said she already had a conflicting prior commitment when she was asked to attend the meeting in Deer Lake this past week and has other previously scheduled events that conflict with when the group wants to meet next week.

Hutchings said she is responsible for a large geographic riding and the logistics often require her meeting schedule to be booked well in advance.

Still, she committed to having a meeting with the Citizens Outdoor Rights Alliance sometime soon.

“We will have a meeting before I go back to Ottawa,” she said. “I look forward to sitting down and having some discussions.”

Hutchings said she will try to provide the answers the group wants from DFO and will pass on the alliance’s concerns to the federal agency.

“It’s a delicate matter and passionate for a lot of people,” she said. “At the end of the day, we have to think about the salmon too.”

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