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!  Ottawa needs city-run hotline service to assist residents with human/wildlife conflicts

Oct 23/03  With your help, we are making progress on the long climb back to having a progressive wildlife response in Eastern Ontario. 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.
Click for reasons why city must provide Hotline service (see letter below).


What can I do?

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. 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. 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 here to find your Ottawa City Councillor email address (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


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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