AR-News: FW: Liberals and spring bear hunt
Barry Kent MacKay
mimus at sympatico.ca
Thu Oct 23 15:33:18 EDT 2003
[Note: The Liberal Party was recently elected to form a majority government
in Ontario. They were sworn in today (Oct. 23). Prior to the election IFAW
extracted from the leader of the party a commitment to NOT re-start the
spring bear hunt. However, politicians don't always keep campaign promises
and we are trying to pressure the new premier to keep his word. -- BKM]
Elliot Lake Standard
Northern Ontario's bear problem needs to be dealt with by spring
By KEVIN McSHEFFREY
Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 17:00
Viewpoint - The new Liberal government will have its commitment to Northern
In the recent provincial election, the Liberals were swept into power by
voters from across the province, including the North.
During the campaign, the Liberals didn't consider the bear issue to be a big
enough problem to warrant taking a stance on it.
The Liberals might not have caused the problem, but they inherited it. And
it just got dumped into their lap.
Within the last month, two women have been attacked by bears in Northern
Ontario, one on Manitoulin Island in her own garage and the second in
Spanish walking along the street.
While it might be too late to do anything this fall, they must come up with
a plan to tackle the issue by spring.
Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Brown, who was re-elected on Oct. 2, said he
supports the return of the spring bear hunt and would encourage the Liberals
to bring it back.
We will keep him to his word.
Brown said they were waiting for the results of a provincial committee's
findings - the Poulin Report which is overdue.
The province must move on the problem by spring.
With two attacks it is obvious the bruins are becoming more brazen.
Sightings in the city are more common that last year. By the end of
September the city had more than 500 call about nuisance bears.
Without action it is only a matter of time before some one gets killed. If
that happens, without any movement by the province, it might be viewed by
Northerners as contributing to the person's death. Then the lawsuits will
Not taking action on the bear issue is like telling Northerners that our
votes are irrelevant.
The situation is moving from serious to critical. If no action is taken,
Northerners will undoubtedly believe the Liberals are no different from the
Progressive Conservatives, who forgot about the North until election time.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the root of the problem is the
population is increasing.
If the loss of more than $40 million to the depressed Northern Ontario
economy is not enough to bring back the hunt, the public's safety should be.
If bringing back the spring bear hunt doesn't fit in the Liberals plans,
they will have to find another way to decrease the bear population.
Barry Kent MacKay
Animal Protection Institute
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