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Home News Letter to the Editor

Letter: There IS a Bear Problem

Tim Hay for local2 sault ste. marie
June 21st, 2012 at 11:13am

This article is a column or editorial.
The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of LOCAL2.

letter to the editor headlineDear Mayor, Council, and Economic Development Corporation,

I am writing to you today to encourage you to take action in light of our provincial government and local MPP's refusal to listen to the people of the North in regards to the growing problem of nuisance black bears. The provincial government has once again turned their backs on the North. Other northern communities are speaking up, and so should we.

The spring bear hunt was originally cancelled in a purely political move with no science or facts behind the decision. The government, then realizing the huge problem they had created, implemented a bear relocation program in an attempt to save face.

This spontaneous move robbed the North of valuable tourism and licensing dollars and replaced it with the economically wasteful practice of relocating these bears, costing the taxpayers millions of dollars per year.

Now that the government has realized that this practice is not sustainable and not effective, it has decided to download the responsibility, and therefore the costs, to the municipalities. This is a dirty trick to play on the North, as we have no control over hunting seasons, and therefore key wildlife management tools, in our own regions.

This move will undoubtedly result in a strain on our emergency services who are called to deal with situations they are not trained in and should not have to deal with. The cost of this will now rest on residents of the North through our municipal taxes, alleviating Southern Ontario from the consequences of their irrational decision. In a time of rough economical waters, the taxpayers cannot afford to carry this burden and the city of Sault Ste. Marie would benefit from the additional tourism that a return of the spring hunt would provide.

Hunting is a part of life for many Northerners. It is a source of organic food for many residents of the North. Hunting is also considered to be the most effective and responsible method of wildlife population control with numerous economic benefits.

For anyone that argues it is not ethical, please do some research on the conditions of todayís factory farms and the living conditions of the animals that end up in our supermarkets and on our restaurant plates and then decide which is most ethical. As for the cover story the government used to cancel the hunt in the first place? Hunters in general take pride in the ethics of responsible hunting. Orphaning of cubs was not an issue, but a way for the government to play to big city anti-hunters whose only contact with a bear has been through the television screen on Saturday morning cartoons.

I have written a letter to Mr. Orazietti asking him to take action on bringing back the spring bear hunt. His response was simply that other MPPís were not interested in bringing back this hunt. This is further proof that the interests of the North are being sold out to the votes of the South.

I urge city councilors to join in the effort to pressure the Ontario government to listen to the people of the North and re-instate the spring bear hunt. The city of Timmins has already passed a resolution to this effect. Please, letís act quickly on this matter and do the same.


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