This week MPP Bill Walker called on the minister of natural resources to protect local residents from nuisance bears by bringing back the Trap and Relocation program. Walker’s statement arrives after incidents involving black bears in the riding.
During his speech at Queen’s Park, Walker also advised Minister David Orazietti that the province’s bear-siting hotline is of no use to residents when they’re confronted with a black bear.
“This hotline is merely an answering machine, and gives little consolation to residents in Grey and Bruce. After all, we’re not talking about nuisance wildlife like raccoons, skunks, wild turkeys, foxes, and coyotes. We’re talking about black bears. We’re talking about a potentially predatory animal. Animals that have actually attempted to enter homes in my riding,” said Walker.
He then urged the minister to reinstate the relocation program, which the province suspended last year, deferring all wildlife management to the Ontario Provincial Police and local police.
“The province has a duty to get back to monitoring and managing these predatory animals. The current practice virtually encourages residents and visitors to fend for themselves and then makes them out to be criminals for unlawful hunting should they discharge a firearm to protect their loved ones,” Walker said.
“So while my residents are doing their part and removing any potential food sources such as bird feeders and garbage, the Minister of Natural Resources should be doing his part and reinstating the Trap and Relocation Bear Program instead of downloading it to police who are not trained in wildlife management.”