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Ottawa City Council approved the 4 recommendations on June 23, 2004.
Thank you to everyone who phoned or emailed city council and for your continued loyalty and support on this issue!

!  E-mails and phone calls needed to Ottawa City Council

June 17, 2004 -  The City of Ottawa Health, Recreation and Social Services committee supported the following 4 recommendations. It is now crucial that City Council approves these recommendations at their meeting on Wednesday, June 23, 2004.

  1. Urge the Ministry to bring Ontario in line with the majority of jurisdictions in North America that consider wildlife rehabilitators as a vital part of their rabies control programme and license wildlife rehabilitators to handle rabies vector species while using universally-accepted standards for the care and release of all wildlife;
  2. Indicate to the Ministry the urgent need to adopt a cooperative approach with municipalities, community organizations and wildlife rehabilitators in providing effective wildlife response based on realistic and progressive public education, not alarmist fear-mongering and the denial of help for people seeking to assist wildlife in distress.
  3. Request that the Ministry of Natural Resources discontinue the practice of “depopulation” or the non-selective killing of wildlife, a practice that would be strongly opposed in urban areas, particularly as it has  seen over 9,700 wild animals killed since 1999, with almost all (99.8%) turning out to be healthy;
  4. Ask the Ministry to adopt a “best practices” raccoon rabies programme that provides an effective, cost-efficient and humane strategy such as the Ohio model, now being used as a nationally coordinated method in the United States;

!  Please phone or email city councillors before Wednesday, June 23, 2004

We need as many friends, family, neighbours and others to phone or e-mail their City councillor between now and Tuesday, June 22 to ask that they provide the leadership necessary in urging the Province to restore progressive wildlife services in Ottawa and to unanimously approve the four recommendations at their council meeting on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 .

Many of you have recently sent letters but please send another brief e-mail or make a phone call or do both as it will be the impact of a concentrated number of calls or e-mails that will show councillors that this issue still matters to the community and that their position on it is being observed.

City Councillor contact information

Click here to find your Ottawa city councillor contact information
or call 580-2493 to find out

Or copy the full list:

Bob.Chiarelli@ottawa.ca; 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

E-mail writing tips and points to consider

  • Keep the message simple.  A brief email or phone call will do.
  • Ask City councillors to provide the leadership necessary in urging the Province to restore progressive wildlife services in Ottawa
  • You have heard about the issue in the media
  • You have been unable to obtain any humane response for a wildlife concern
  • That Ottawa no longer seems like such an environmentally progressive place.
  • If you wish, pick out some points from the letter sent to councillors by Donna Dubreuil (see below)

June 16, 2004

Dear Councillor

Re: City Recommendations to Ministry of Natural Resources Re Wildlife

I am writing to request your support at City Council next Wednesday, June 23, 2004 on behalf of the recommendations that the Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee unanimously approved on June 3, 2004 with respect to the above issue.

The recommendations to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources are key to reinstating a progressive wildlife response in Ottawa. As you may know, the expansion of the raccoon rabies high-risk area to include Ottawa in July 2002 was based on false information and without justification. As we have learned through a Freedom of Information document, the announcement of the expansion into Ottawa was intentionally withheld “to prevent any pre-emption in the media on the part of affected stakeholders”. City of Ottawa Councillors, as an example, only received notification, as did the Wildlife Centre, on the day of the expansion, leaving no time to question its justification or its impact.

The unprecedented regulations that accompanied the expansion have had a serious impact on the region, eliminating help for residents with wildlife concerns and downloading problems to the City, the Ottawa Humane Society and veterinarians, forcing them to respond in a purely reactive way and creating a great deal of frustration and anger on the part of the community. A copy of a press release issued by veterinarians at Alta Vista Animal Hospital demonstrates the very negative impact the Ministry’s regulations is having on its business and the distress it is causing its professional staff. Click to read press release.

We need the City to continue its leadership on this issue. While strong Motions from the City, requesting the province to resolve the issue were forwarded in September 2002 and in February 2003, there is promise as the new Ontario government has made a commitment to “reviewing the matter and to developing a new and improved working relationship between government and community volunteers in this regard”.

A meeting, attended by Ottawa Centre MPP, Richard Patten, with David Ramsay, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Ontario Wildlife Coalition last week was the first step in honouring this commitment. What is now needed is for the City to send a renewed message to the Minister and the Province that residents of Ottawa want to have restored progressive wildlife services in this community.  Please do call me if you have any questions.  Thank you.


Donna DuBreuil
Ontario Wildlife Coalition


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