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Posted: October 23, 2004

! ACT NOW to solve wildlife rehabilitation crisis in Ontario

Click here to send letter  (see instructions below)

Your help is urgently needed!  We must speak with one voice if we are to make a difference and we must ACT NOW. Please forward your letters as soon as possible. Use regular mail not e-mail.

Wildlife rehabilitators and the communities they serve have been very negatively affected by the crisis created by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry’s regressive regulations and hostility towards rehabilitators has seriously reduced the help available for orphaned and injured wildlife and, unless changed, will eliminate the little assistance left.

The McGuinty Liberals, while in Opposition, were strongly critical of the Ministry’s actions and policies and made a written commitment, if elected, to work with rehabilitators and community stakeholders in reinstating a progressive and humane response on behalf of wildlife in Ontario. The Liberals, after a year in office, have yet to fulfill this promise.

We are calling on supporters across the province to urge the Premier and MPP’s to honour their commitment. Please take a minute to help wildlife. It might be our last opportunity to do so. Here’s how:

Click here to send letter

  1. Make copies of the enclosed letter and get as many supporters as possible to forward their copy to Premier McGuinty with a copy to David Ramsay as Minister of Natural Resources and a copy to your MPP. Remember to print your name and full address under your signature on the letter. Use regular mail not e-mail.
     
  2. The most important step of all is to copy your MPP. You should type in his/her name under David Ramsay’s so that it appears on their copies as well. You should add a note to your MPP’s copy along the lines of “I’ll be calling your office in a few days to see how you intend to take this issue forward as it is not only an important one to this community but there needs to be assurance that the government we elect has the integrity to honour its commitments”. A quick phone call to the MPP’s constituency assistant a few days later will ensure that they understand that you want to know where they stand on this issue.  It does not matter if your MPP is a Liberal or not, it will still receive political attention.

Contacts

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Government of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Bldg.
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A4

Hon. David Ramsay
Minister of Natural Resources
6630-99 Wellesley St. W., 6th Floor
Whitney Block
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1W3

Find your MPP

If you are unsure of your provincial riding or the name of your MPP click here to find your full MPP name and address or call 1-800-268-8758 to inquire.


October 20, 2004
 

Dear Premier McGuinty

I am writing to urge that you fulfill a commitment you made over a year ago to review the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) with respect to its actions and regulations affecting wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario. As someone who relies on wildlife rehabilitators in my community to provide a humane response with respect to orphaned and injured wildlife, I am deeply disappointed that you have not yet acted upon your commitment. I understand that OMNR is in the process of preparing new regulations to be effective January 2005 and the evidence rehabilitators have been able to gather suggests these new regulations may actually make things worse. Regardless, they are inopportune prior to conducting the promised review.

Extensive development and human encroachment in natural areas and greater environmental awareness on the part of the public has increased the need for wildlife assistance. However, the regressive regulations of OMNR make it difficult for rehabilitators to assist wildlife and the public with a humane response. It is shameful that Canada’s most populous province has become the only jurisdiction in North America without any progressive help for wildlife.

Wildlife rehabilitation services cannot survive within this Ministry and OMNR regulations and practices create a health risk for Ontario’s citizens. At the same time, broad public support shown for wildlife rehabilitators and the important community service they perform confirms the Ministry is out of step with community values.

Please recall that it was Liberal members, while in Opposition, who presented demands for change to the Ontario Legislature through 9,000 petitions gathered from residents in 260 communities across the province. It was Liberal members who were strongly critical of the Conservative government for allowing the bureaucrats in OMNR to have created this crisis.

Premier, we urge you to act immediately on your written commitment to “support a full and complete review of MNR regulations in relation to wildlife rehabilitation and to work closely with stakeholders as you review these regulations”. Stakeholders must reflect the majority of wildlife rehabilitators in Ontario through organizations like the Ontario Wildlife Coalition and Volunteer Wildlife Custodians who they have selected to represent them.

Sincerely

 

 

c.c. David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources

 

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