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!  Take action to reinstate a progressive wildlife rehabilitation service in Ontario.

In 2002, the MNR imposed a 1 km release restriction for all wildlife in Ontario and disallowed rehabilitation of rabies vector species (raccoons, skunks, foxes) in a large part of Eastern Ontario, including Ottawa. These restrictions have eliminated any kind of progressive or humane wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario and have outraged the compassionate public.  Background Information View letters from outraged public.

Note: The MNR imposed these regulations ostensibly to deal with presence of raccoon rabies in Ontario. The so-called rabies "high risk" zone was expanded to include Ottawa.  The MNR's rabies 'depopulation' program has resulted in the killing of over 9,700 raccoons, skunks and foxes 99.8% of which turned out to be healthy.
More on the raccoon rabies issue.


1)  Ontario's restrictive wildlife rehabilitation regulations need to be changed

Please take a moment of your time to write a letter.  View recent letters.

Many of us believe that the only way to change this situation is to send a clear message to politicians who are responsible for regulations that have outlawed humane help for wildlife in Ontario.

If you share this view, you can forward the following letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty or you can write your own letter. It is important to send a copy to your local MPP and City of Ottawa Councillor – or copy all of them for that matter. 

Click here for letter in Word format

June, 2004

Dear Premier McGuinty

I am very distressed that help for orphaned and injured wild animals has been disallowed by the government of Ontario.

As a recent letter in the Ottawa Citizen states, “there is something seriously wrong with a government policy that requires humane societies, veterinarians and the public to kill baby animals”.

The irresponsible and inhumane regulations imposed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has meant that we have lost the services of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre as well as the help of the remaining small number of other wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario.

We relied on the Centre, and the veterinarians in the community who generously donated professional support to it, to obtain effective advice in dealing with wildlife problems and in assisting us when we had rescued an orphaned or injured wild animal in distress, something that is increasingly occurring because of extensive development and the serious impact it is having on our wildlife.

I urge the Liberal government to fulfill its election promise in reinstating a humane and progressive response for wildlife concerns in Ontario. We supported your Party’s commitment to “change” and believed that it would mean a kinder and more thoughtful approach to environmental issues. This certainly does not include allowing thousands of orphaned wild animals being left to suffer and die, while rescuers like my children and myself are left to flounder in despair without any help. This is certainly not the kind of Ottawa or Ontario I wish to live in.

Sincerely

If you write your own letter, it should include one or more of the following points:

  1. Ottawa has gone from having one of the most progressive wildlife responses in North America to now being the only large city on the continent without any help at all for wild mammals
     
  2. The Ministry's bias against wildlife rehabilitation has created a situation that is unprecedented in Canada and/or the U.S.
     
  3. Ottawa is the nation's capital - is this the kind of city or province you wish to live in?
     
  4. This is the second year when thousands of baby animals have been needlessly left to suffer and die because of the regressive regulations imposed by the MNR.
     
  5. Provincial Liberals promised to change this totally unacceptable situation - they now need to be held accountable for doing so.

Please address your letters and emails to:

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Government of Ontario
Rm 281, Main Legislative Bldg.
Toronto, Ontario  M7A 1A4
Tel: (416) 325-1941
Fax: (416) 325-7578
e-mail: dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St W,
6th Flr, Whitney Block
Toronto ON M7A 1W3
Tel: (416) 314-2301
Fax: (416) 314-2216
email: dramsay.mpp@liberal.ola.org

Jim Watson, MPP – Ottawa West Nepean
201-2249 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 7E9
Tel: (613) 721-8075
Fax: (613) 721-5756
e-mail: jwatson.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Richard Patten, MPP – Ottawa Centre
1292 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1Y 3A9
Tel: (613) 722-6414
Fax: (613) 722-6703
e-mail: rpatten.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Phil McNeely, MPP – Ottawa-Orleans
110 Bearbrook Road, Unit 6
Gloucester, Ontario K1B 5R2
Tel: (613) 834-8679
Fax: (613) 834-7647   
e-mail: pmcneely.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

Madeleine Meilleur, MPP – Ottawa Vanier
237 Montreal Road
Vanier, Ontario K1L 6C7
Tel: (613) 744-4484
Fax: (613) 744-0889
e-mail: mmeilleur.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org

John Baird, MPP – Nepean-Carleton
119-301 Moodie Drive
Nepean, Ontario  K2H 9C4
Tel: (613) 828-2020
Fax: (613) 828-6962
e-mail: mailbox@johnbaird.com

Norm Sterling, MPP – Lanark-Carleton
130 Lansdowne Ave., Unit 5
Carleton Place, Ont.  K7C 2T7
Tel: (613) 253-1171
Fax: (613) 253-1175
e-mail: norm_sterling@ontla.ola.org

Click for addresses of all Ontario MPP's (on Legislative Assembly of Ontario website)

City Councillors

Let your City Councillor know that you'd like this issue put on the council agenda - particularly in terms of reinstating a helpful response for people looking for assistance on behalf of a wildlife issue

Find your Ottawa city councillor contact information (on City website).

Or copy the full list:

Herb.Kreling@ottawa.ca; Rainer.Bloess@ottawa.ca; Jan.Harder@ottawa.ca; Peggy.Feltmate@ottawa.ca; Eli.El-Chantiry@ottawa.ca; Janet.Stavinga@ottawa.ca; Alex.Cullen@ottawa.ca; Rick.Chiarelli@ottawa.ca; Gord.Hunter@ottawa.ca; Diane.Deans@ottawa.ca; Michel.Bellemare@ottawa.ca; Georges.Bedard@ottawa.ca; Jacques.Legendre@ottawa.ca; Diane.Holmes@ottawa.ca; Shawn.Little@ottawa.ca; Maria.Mcrae@ottawa.ca; Clive.Doucet@ottawa.ca; Peter.Hume@ottawa.ca; Rob.Jellett@ottawa.ca; Doug.Thompson@ottawa.ca; Glenn.Brooks@ottawa.ca

Newspapers
To submit a letter, include name, address and daytime phone number.
Ottawa Citizen letters@thecitizen.canwest.com
Ottawa Sun oped@ott.sunpub.com
Globe and Mail letters@globeandmail.ca
Toronto Star lettertoed@thestar.ca
.... click for more media addresses


2)  Reinstate Ottawa's hotline and wildlife rehabilitation service.

Let your Ottawa Councillor know you want the city to provide a cost-effective Hotline Service to help residents with wildlife problems caused by development as well as their support to reinstate a progressive wildlife rehabilitation service in the nation’s capital.  There is currently no help for residents seeking help for wildlife mammals at all.  If this is to change, the City of Ottawa must be expected to do its part.

Click for reasons why city must provide Hotline service (see letter below).

Telephone or e-mail your city councillor:

Find your Ottawa city councillor contact information (on City website).

Or copy the full list:

Herb.Kreling@ottawa.ca; Rainer.Bloess@ottawa.ca; Jan.Harder@ottawa.ca; Peggy.Feltmate@ottawa.ca; Eli.El-Chantiry@ottawa.ca; Janet.Stavinga@ottawa.ca; Alex.Cullen@ottawa.ca; Rick.Chiarelli@ottawa.ca; Gord.Hunter@ottawa.ca; Diane.Deans@ottawa.ca; Michel.Bellemare@ottawa.ca; Georges.Bedard@ottawa.ca; Jacques.Legendre@ottawa.ca; Diane.Holmes@ottawa.ca; Shawn.Little@ottawa.ca; Maria.Mcrae@ottawa.ca; Clive.Doucet@ottawa.ca; Peter.Hume@ottawa.ca; Rob.Jellett@ottawa.ca; Doug.Thompson@ottawa.ca; Glenn.Brooks@ottawa.ca

Read letters on why we need the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre


October 21, 2003

Dear Friends

The commitment of the new Provincial Liberal Government to review the unjustified actions and policies of the Ministry of Natural Resources that eliminated the valued wildlife rehabilitation program in eastern Ontario was due to the voices of so many of you.

Now, we must turn our attention to the Municipal Election. If we are to again have a progressive wildlife response in this region, the City of Ottawa has to also do its part.  The City must provide a Hotline to assist its residents with wildlife problems. There is a very strong rationale for the City to provide this service:

  • It is the extensive development in this region which is displacing wildlife and causing human/wildlife conflict, so it must be looked upon as one of the costs of development
     
  • Prevention is much less costly and more effective than the reactive response the City is now trying to field through its Call Centre. After all, the City funded the Wildlife Centre to provide the service for many years, proving it fully understood the value of prevention
     
  • The Wildlife Centre has developed a web site to assist the City but it has always been recognized that it was only a partial solution and that the City would need to provide a proper Hotline. The Motion (see below), approved by Ottawa City Council on April 9, 2003, acknowledges the need for a City-run Hotline service
     
  • Other cities like Mississauga and Brampton provide a Hotline/Education service, recognizing that it is the only cost-effective approach given increasing urban development
     
  • The City of Ottawa’s recently-released Environmental Strategy talks about the need to protect greenspace and the need to live in harmony with nature.  It places emphasis on public education and providing the tools for residents to co-exist with wildlife. If these recommendations are to be more than empty words, one of the most basic tools is for the City of Ottawa to provide a Hotline

With your help, we are making progress on the long climb back to having a progressive wildlife response. However, even if wildlife rehabilitation services are re-established by volunteers, it will still require the City to directly help its residents through a City-run Hotline to deal with human/wildlife conflicts. With the serious constraints on the City’s Budget and our tax dollars, it is all the more reason for it to offer a cost-effective response based on prevention.

You can help by letting candidates for City Council in your Ward know of your support for a progressive wildlife response. Telephone or e-mail them, asking them where they stand on this issue. If we don’t raise the issue, it simply won’t be addressed. Sadly, we have gone from having one of the most progressive wildlife services in North America to now being one of the few major cities on the continent where there is no help for residents seeking help for wildlife mammals at all.  If this is to change, the City of Ottawa must be expected to do its part.

Friends and volunteers of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre

For more information contact: ocwc@ncf.ca or OCWC, P.O. Box 3525, Station C, Ottawa, K1Y 4G1 or visit http://www.wildlifeontario.ca/.


Motion Approved by City of Ottawa Council on April 9, 2003

Moved by:      Councillor Wendy Stewart
Seconded by:  Councillor Alex Munter

Whereas the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre has ceased to operate both its Hotline and Rehabilitation Services; and

Whereas, although the mandate for wildlife services may not be clearly identified in the Municipal Act, virtually all cities in Ontario have had to assume responsibility for urban wildlife concerns based on public demand; and

Whereas the spring birthing season has commenced, which will lead to conflict situations between residents and wildlife in our City; and

Whereas reliance on pest control companies to deal with nuisance wildlife has been shown to result in an increase in orphaned wildlife and potential public health issues as well as higher costs to municipalities; and

Whereas the City has not yet set up an alternative progressive, humane and cost-effective Hotline Service;

Be It Therefore Resolved that the Call Centre be directed to refer callers who are experiencing problems with wildlife to a website which has been developed for that purpose at http://www.wildlifeproblems.ncf.ca and refer to these “Best Practices” when addressing problems of this sort; and

Further that the City immediately place notices in City Information columns and community newspapers that inform residents about wildlife problems and refer them to the information provided on the website.

 

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