This Campaign is now closed.
Thank you to all of you who supported this campaign. It was very important to let the mayor and councillors in the City of Ottawa know that people want to see progressive and humane approaches to wildlife concerns.
While the campaign is now over, we will continue to carefully watch how the city implements the Wildlife Strategy. It is disappointing that the Strategy was approved without the recommendations we made, however, the campaign was successful in getting a clear message across.
Councillors Marianne Wilkinson (Kanata North) and David Chernushenko (Capital) have been strong proponents for an effective strategy. They spoke at the City Council meeting on July 17th, urging the appointment of a wildlife resource officer, greater engagement of the public in the implementation of the strategy while eliciting a commitment from staff that the focus will be on prevention and public education on city-wide wildlife issues.
(Watch the Wildlife Strategy discussion which starts at
31:00 and ends around 43:00)
Your help in ensuring that wildlife will continue to have a voice in this region is very much appreciated.
Ontario Wildlife Coalition
This was the letter sent to the Ottawa mayor and city councillors in
Dear Mayor Watson and City Councillors
We are strongly opposed to the direction you are taking with
respect to the City of Ottawa's Wildlife Strategy.
Mayor, you have ignored the Council motion, approved in February
2010, that called for the Wildlife Strategy to go to a joint meeting
of the Planning and Environment and Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Committees for discussion.
Instead, you have handed it over
to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) whose chair,
Councillor Doug Thompson's negative view of wildlife is well known.
When Councillor Thompson wanted to get rid of coyotes in Osgoode he
hired a trapper out of his office budget to kill them. He was quoted
on CBC as supporting a coyote cull.
Mayor Watson, in a
letter to community groups in February 2012, you indicated that the
Wildlife Strategy will "reflect an approach to human-wildlife
conflict that essentially promotes co-existence". The process that
you have chosen shows that you have clearly broken this promise.
We are deeply disturbed that you are ignoring the views of 90%
of Ottawa residents who, like our family, live in urban and suburban
communities and want to see humane, non-lethal solutions to
The Strategy that is going forward
does not reflect this in that the majority of beavers are still
going to be killed in Ottawa, all the while the City continues to
encroach on important wetlands, transforming them into municipal
'infrastructure'; a new recommendation opens the door for coyotes
to be 'removed'; and many of the other recommendations are simply
window dressing that will have little positive impact on the
community's interface with wildlife.
We are particularly
concerned about the process you have chosen and what lies behind it.
Why was the Wildlife Strategy Working Group abandoned in December
2011, without any further meetings held since then, although you had
promised less than a month before to accelerate the Wildlife
Strategy? It appears an 'alternative' Wildlife Strategy submitted
by the Eastern Ontario Deer Advisory Committee, an advocacy group
for hunting interests, received through the Rural Affairs Office, is
behind your decision to discard the community stakeholders that had
been appointed. We urge you to make public this 'alternative'
Wildlife Strategy, one that is reported to categorize all urban
wildlife as 'nuisances' and fair game for lethal removal, so we
can understand what is behind your decision and what lies ahead in
your plans to hand over what are primarily urban wildlife concerns
to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.
We are very
concerned about the major bias shown in this flawed reporting line
and are opposed to the creation of a Wildlife Biologist position
that would report to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee at
a cost of $100,000 a year. It will do nothing to solve urban
wildlife issues and is an unacceptable waste of our tax dollars that
will continue to generate wide public criticism.
We urge you
to get back to working with community stakeholders in implementing
an accountable, transparent and progressive Wildlife Strategy that
reflects the views of the majority of Ottawa residents and is
befitting a metropolitan city and the nation's capital. Wildlife is
the rightful concern of all members of the community as well as the
councillors that represent us. As the 2014 election draws near, we
will be watching closely to see where you, as Mayor, and our City
Councillor stand on this matter.
Video: City Council Meeting, July 17, 2013
Wildlife Strategy discussion
starts at 31:00 and ends around 43:00.
City of Ottawa's war on wildlife continues.
(Do not be fooled by positive-sounding platitudes in this report. It is simply cheap window dressing while the reporting lines and unspoken actions will just mean more death for wildlife in Ottawa.)
The Ontario Wildlife Coalition is made up of organizations and individuals drawn from wildlife rehabilitation,
animal welfare and environmental interests from across Ontario. Members represent a cross-section of people,
including journalists, veterinarians, educators, lawyers, scientists and administrators.
The Coalition was formed to urge the return of a progressive wildlife rehabilitation service in Ontario,
to advocate on behalf of wildlife and to seek long-term, humane solutions for human/wildlife conflicts through
remedial action, public education and habitat protection