Conservation officers

In 2015, Ontario’s conservation officers:

  • made over 220,000 enforcement contacts
  • issued close to 7,000 warnings
  • laid nearly 3,000 natural resource charges

They also spent more than 8,900 hours educating the public on conservation and safety, providing information on:

  • the regulations that protect species at risk
  • how to recognize and help prevent the spread of invasive species
  • prevention of forest fires
  • boating safety and how to prepare fish for transport
  • changes to fishing and hunting regulations
  • how to report known or suspected resource abuse to the ministry TIPS violation reporting line at 1-877-847-7667

Powers and authorities

Conservation officers enforce Ontario’s natural resources laws. They investigate and prosecute offenders under many federal and provincial statutes, relating to:

  • fire
  • fish and wildlife
  • species at risk
  • parks and conservation reserves
  • forestry
  • aggregates (sand and gravel)
  • public lands
  • public safety (e.g. recreational vehicle use, forest fire prevention)

Law enforcement

Conservation officers are empowered to:

  • stop and/or inspect a vehicle, boat or aircraft
  • inspect firearms, ammunition, fish or game
  • inspect buildings or other places
  • search with a warrant, and in circumstances requiring immediate action, without one
  • seize items related to an offence
  • ask questions relevant to the inspection
  • arrest anyone who has committed, is committing or is about to commit an offence under many of the acts they are authorized to enforce