Stop Ontario's Spring Bear Hunt - More background Info


We need your assistance in fighting the return of the Spring bear hunt in Ontario

Ontario Conservatives end the spring bear hunt in 1999:

Fifteen years ago, we had great reason to celebrate because the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Mike Harris cancelled one of that province's cruelest sport hunts: the Spring Bear Hunt. One of the reasons he gave for ending the hunt in 1999 was the orphaning of cubs. Mother bears with dependent young were being killed, leaving their babies to suffer and die a prolonged death through starvation and dehydration.

Ontario Liberals re-introduce the spring bear hunt in 2014:

Now, 15 years later, Premier Kathleen Wynne and David Orazietti, Minister of Natural Resources, will again allow bears to be killed in the spring and although it is still illegal, mother black bears with tiny cubs will be killed and the cubs will suffer and die just as they did in the years prior to 1999. We know that hunting does not reduce human/bear conflicts even though that is the reason the Liberals give for re-introducing the hunt. Their own bear biologist, Dr. Martyn Obbard, has done research showing that the spring bear hunt will not reduce human/bear conflicts.

So why would Premier Wynne and Minister Orazietti ignore such definitive findings by their own biologist? Votes! They think sport killing of bears will help them hang on to their seats in Northern Ontario in the next provincial election!

They cancelled the bear conflict prevention program, Bear Wise to save money and then said they had no choice but to reintroduce the hunt:

Ontario’s Bear Wise was established by the Liberals in 2003 to help communities resolve human/bear conflicts through non-lethal, humane, and responsible conflict resolution methods.

In 2009, six years after the program started, then Minister of Natural Resources, Donna Cansfield ordered an evaluation of the Bear Wise Program. Northern municipalities, organizations and citizens were invited to participate. The results of the evaluation found that "There is over whelming support for the program in general, particularly in the areas of response and community funding."

Despite the support, Premier Wynne's Liberals simply gutted the Bear Wise Program in 2012, eliminating virtually all the active staff and leaving it as a shell. Premier Wynne and Minister Orazietti ignored studies that show that programs like Bear Wise reduce human/bear conflicts. For example, in 2003, the year before the City of Elliot Lake, Ontario became Bear Wise, there were 500 calls to report nuisance bears and three bears were killed. In 2004, just one year after implementing Bear Wise, there were 87 reports and no killing. Yet Premier Wynne ignored all previous successes of Bear Wise, allowed for its cancellation and then claimed that Bear Wise did not work. They used that fabrication as the excuse to resort to hunting.

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