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Thursday, June 16, 2011 11:17 am

FISHING UNDER FIRE

Two different groups are calling Illinois’ urban fishing program a bad idea. One says it’s fiscally irresponsible, and the other says it’s just plain cruel.

Both the Illinois Policy Institute, a group that pushes free-market principals, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a group that pushes for animal rights, say Gov. Pat Quinn should reject the portion of the recently passed budget that provides $365,000 for the Urban Fishing program.

“While the program may have good intentions, teaching fishing skills is not a core government service,” writes the Illinois Policy Institute, suggesting that programs like welfare-to-work are more deserving of the cash-strapped state’s funds. The group says individuals and nonprofits can and would support the program in lieu of the government.

While PETA echoes the Illinois Policy Institute’s financial argument against the urban fishing program, it’s not so keen on anybody continuing the program. “The only lesson fishing teaches children is that violence is acceptable when it is directed toward those who look different or are smaller or weaker than us,” wrote PETA president Ingrid Newkirk in a letter to Quinn.
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