AR-News: (CA) This could be bad news for Spring Bear Hunt
Barry Kent MacKay
mimus at sympatico.ca
Thu Oct 23 15:40:57 EDT 2003
[Note...I caught on the radio, yesterday, that David Ramsay has just been
named the new Minister of Natural Resources by the newly elected government
of Ontario. I have not yet got confirmation in print, but if true, it is
very serious as he committed, in 1999, to re-instatement of the spring bear
hunt. See the news release below, and the letter he sent to the former
Minister of Natural Resources. -- BKM]
Monday February 15, 1999 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RESCIND BEAR HUNT DECISION PENDING PUBLIC REVIEW - RAMSAY
David Ramsay, MPP for Timiskaming is calling on the Harris government to
stay the decision to cancel the spring bear hunt, pending an environmental
assessment and public review.
"As late as last December the hunt was encouraged by the government, letting
our outfitters take deposits they knew would have to be returned." Said Mr.
As proof, Mr. Ramsay supplied a copy of a letter sent to the Town of Cobalt
from John Snobelen, Minister of Natural Resources stating that " the spring
is, in many ways, the best time to hunt bears because it tends to target the
males." He goes on to say "there is less chance of encountering a female
with cubs in the spring because they are the last to leave the den".
Ramsay says "The government was taken prisoner by a very narrow special
interest group at the expense of wildlife management, hunters and the
"Now hunters---and even anglers-of all species know arbitrary wildlife
decisions can be made without any regard for scientific and biological
fact." Said Mr. Ramsay.
As well as the severe economic impact, Ramsay said he was especially
concerned with public safety.
With the responsibility for bear control now downloaded onto municipalities,
along with everything else and the Ministry of Natural Resources budget and
staff cut to the bare bones, Ramsay expects to hear more bear horror stories
Ramsay said: There must be a public review of the biological information and
a decision made based on sound wildlife management issues, not on the whims
of the current government.
"The hunt was working well", said Ramsay. "We had a healthier bear
David Ramsay, MPP
January 19, 1999
Honourable John Snobelen
Minister of Natural Resources
Room 6301, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON M7A 1W3
I am writing to you today requesting compensation for the tourist operators
who derive their living from the spring bear hunt.
Many operators have already accepted deposits from U.S. and European hunting
parties for this spring. This money will have to be returned and some has
already been spent, by the operators, in preparation for the upcoming
These operators will require immediate cash compensation as a consequence of
the short notice of your decision.
Secondly, they will require assistance in order to convert their spring hunt
into other activities such as photography eco-tourism. Because of the
increased liability of guiding unarmed clients near bears, assistance will
be required to build bear proof platforms and cages. Assistance will also be
required for marketing to promote this new activity.
These operators are also having their moose tag allocations reduced and this
needs to be reconsidered in order to keep these outfitters in business.
This situation is urgent for many operators in Northeastern Ontario. I ask
that you respond to this request immediately.
David Ramsay, M.P.P
Barry Kent MacKay
Animal Protection Institute
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