MP Sopuck Honoured by Safari Club
MP Sopuck Honoured by Safari Club
MP Sopuck Honoured by Safari Club International as International Legislator of the Year
On February 3rd, Robert Sopuck, Member of Parliament for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa, was named the International Legislator of the Year by Safari Club International (SCI), at their Annual Hunters Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. SCI is an international organization composed of hunters dedicated to protecting the freedom to hunt and promoting wildlife conservation worldwide.
MP Sopuck is a lifelong hunter and angler, and an avid outdoorsman. Sopuck received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba in 1973 and Master of Science from Cornell University (1975) in Ithaca, New York. As a legislator, Sopuck has shown an unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of law abiding firearms owners, and defending the rural way of life, particularly Canadian hunters, anglers and sport shooters.
“I am incredibly humbled and honoured to have been presented with this award,” said Sopuck.
“To be recognized for my efforts on something that is so dear to me is overwhelming and extremely uplifting.”
In 2012, Sopuck was instrumental in founding the Conservative Hunting and Angling Caucus. The caucus, which grew to over 30 Conservative Members of Parliament at its peak in 2014-2015, serves as a vessel for Members of Parliament to address the common concerns of their constituents and move forward with legislative solutions that respect hunters and anglers. The Hunting and Angling Caucus also serves an outreach role; to meet with hunters, anglers, and trappers across the country to ensure their wealth of knowledge on environmental conservation is heard by the federal government.
In 2016, Sopuck led the charge against Bill C-246. Legislation that, under the guise of animal welfare, sought to fundamentally alter our relationship with animals, endanger traditional animal use such as hunting, angling, trapping, livestock raising and medical research among other things. Thanks to the work of Sopuck and other likeminded Members of Parliament, who recognize the economic and cultural values of hunting, angling, and traditional animal use, the legislation was defeated.
“The fact is that there are a lot of people across North America that do not understand what hunting is all about.
It is about respecting the traditions of our ancestors, and passing down that enjoyment to the next generations. It is about bonding with friends or family in the woods, and it can be about learning more about our place in the tranquility of nature,” explained Sopuck. “Hunting is more than just the hunt itself. It is a way of life that needs to be experienced to be understood.
This lifestyle needs to be defended every step of the way, and I am proud to be one of those defenders,” said Sopuck.
Sopuck has been recognized for his steadfast support for the hunting community in the past.
In 2008, the Manitoba Wildlife Federation presented him with their Outdoor Heritage Award, “for protecting and enhancing our hunting heritage and passing on those traditions in good health to future generations”. In June 2014, Sopuck also received the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Past Presidents’ Award, which honours elected legislators for their contributions to the conservation of wildlife in Canada.
In addition to his work as a politician, Sopuck authored the book, “A Life Outdoors”, which is a collection of essays on Hunting, Gathering and Country Living in the 21st Century. The book is able to show readers that there is a way of life “out there” that is authentic, joyous, and profound, and must always be fought for.
“My beautiful wife, Caroline, and I live on 480 acres of beautiful wild land in Manitoba south of Riding Mountain National Park, and happily live off the land by hunting and harvesting our own meat. Hunting is a major aspect of our way of life, and I am proud to support it every step of the way,” Sopuck explained.
“Being presented this award in front of so many people from across North America, who are avid hunters as well, has only emboldened my belief that we must continue to fight for this way of life,” he concluded.
“I will continue to do so in my role as a legislator, and for the rest of my life.”