The time has come for municipalities to talk about bears, according to at least one local government.
For several property owners in Archipelago Township, there's been a growing problem with nuisance bears. A few have been causing so many problems that it's left the municipality searching for a solution.
Stephen Kaegi, CAO for Archipelago Township, said, at the September 14 council meeting, staff was directed to work on a solution to the bear problem.
"Council has asked staff to prepare a bylaw that will look at implementing a bounty for going after the nuisance bears since the (Ministry of Natural Resources) isn't doing anything about the issue," Kaegi said.
Earlier this year, the MNR reduced by more than half the quantity of bear technicians it employed. This came as a result of the new provincial budget, which directed the ministry to cut $50 million from its budget over the next three years.
Councillor of Archipelago Township, Rick Zanussi, said they need to look into new ways to deal with nuisance bears.
"There's a group of islands in the archipelago that have experienced significant nuisance bear problems," Zanussi said. "Over the last two years, due to significant provincial funding cuts, the MNR is having difficulties dealing with the problem."
The MNR also made the decision this year that it would no longer be trapping and relocating bears. They argued that it was an ineffective tool for dealing with the problem as most bears just return to the area after being moved.
Making use of "snares" to deal with the nuisance bears was also mentioned as a potential solution for the problem.
"Snares is another name for trap and that's one of the ideas that we need look at," said Zanussi.