I am writing this as a plea for help from Andrea Horvath and Thomas Mulcair from cottagers and lake associations and environmentalists specifically in Ontario and locally in Muskoka/Parry Sound.
Harper’s Conservatives in Ottawa are gutting the Fisheries Act in reference to shoreline fish habitat, something that cottager associations have worked so hard at protecting for so many years.
This, of course, is aimed at the total obsession with oil pipelines and short circuiting the so called subversives that have legitimate concerns about their environmental safety. McGuinty and the Liberals in Ontario are continuing what started with the last Conservative government in gutting the Ministry of Natural Resources in every area that used to be considered a safety net for Northern Ontario.
The MNR as a cost-cutting method is cutting the number of bear technicians in its Bear Wise program by more than half across the province. This, of course, is on top of the cuts already in the past years that have left the ministry with conservation officers tied to desks and the chance of seeing one in the field being less likely than finding an endangered species.
Bear technicians will no longer be trapping or tranquilizing nuisance animals, instead they’ll be focusing on educating the public on how to reduce encounters. According to a local newspaper article, last year was an “average” year and the ministry staff trapped 623 bears to relocate them and immobilized another 107 to do the same.
It must seem easy for those legislators in the “Big Smoke” to make decisions like this because they don’t have to wake up in the night to a bear on their deck or front porch or find one sniffing around the tent in the backyard with their grandchildren inside. If this is another “average” year, 730 bears have just been given free reign in Ontario.
How long is it going to take before someone is hurt or killed because no one is educating the bears, let alone the number of bears that will be killed rather than relocated? It will come down to the OPP being in charge of shooting some of these bears and I’m not so sure how good those officers are going to feel about that.
Perhaps it is time for voters to join the “Orange Wave” and get the established parties out while we still have a safe environment to live in. So much of Ontario’s industry has been driven out or let go that our beautiful environment and the industry that is connected to it is all we have left.
The NDP have a chance to make a statement and fill a vacuum that a large part of our population, that feels the same as me, will support. As the official Opposition in Ottawa and obviously a serious force with the minority government in Ontario, they can make that statement and take a stand. Then it will be up to us as voters to remember how the other parties have treated us when they ask for our votes.