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Take Action: Future of Coyote Killing Contests - Unanswered by Dalton McGuinty

April 17, 2011. A recent letter from the Premier (see letter in Background Information below) ignores the public's concern about the future of coyotes in Ontario. It is time for Dalton McGuinty to express his own views not those of the Ministry of Natural Resources staff. That way, people can decide if he reflects the morality and leadership they are willing to accept in a Premier of this province.

Please send an email to Dalton McGuinty

Please take a few minutes to reply to:

Dalton McGuinty, dmcguinty.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org
cc: Andrea Horwath, ahorwath-qp@ndp.on.ca
cc: your MPP

and blind copy us for our confidential records bcc: webmaster@wildlifeontario.ca

Tips for letter writing

You can draw on some of the points below but it is important to put the points in your own words or, at least, reorder them so it doesn't appear to be a 'form' list. And, please do not forward this page as it will NOT count as 'personal' opinion and could hurt the campaign's efforts.

  • Dalton McGuinty avoids answering the question about the illegal coyote killing contests. In his letter, he talks about legal hunting and protection of property rights. No one challenges these things. It is well recognized that hunting is a legal activity under the Act, as is the protection of property.
  • What we are talking about is the holding and promoting of 'contests' where significant prizes are awarded for killing wildlife. This is clearly illegal according to Section 11(1)(e) of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act:

11 (1) Except with the authorization of the Minister, a person shall not

(a) hunt for hire, gain or the expectation of gain;
(b) hire, employ or induce another person to hunt for gain;
(c) trap for hire, gain or the expectation of gain;
(d) hire, employ or induce another person to trap for gain

  • The Minister has stated in writing that she "has not authorized any coyote contests". The Minister therefore needs to enforce the law. It is not good enough to hide behind MNR enforcement officers, leaving it up to them, as McGuinty states in his letter "to use their discretion"- particularly when over 76% of these officers' salaries come from the very people they are supposed to be policing.
  • His letter makes no reference to the proposed Agriculture-Wildlife Conflict Strategy. We need assurance from him that this Strategy will be centered on coexistence and protection of biodiversity, not the mindless vilification and persecution of wildlife, for producers to try to justify increased compensation, that we have seen these past few years in Ontario. All businesses need to take responsibility for protecting their assets.
  • Dalton McGuinty says there are no sustainability issues with respect to coyotes. But how can we trust the MNR's decisions about sustainability when it is reliant on annual licence revenue from hunting? As an example, the MNR over-estimated the deer population and over-sold deer tags in eastern Ontario these last number of years, leading to a drastic reduction (up to 70% by MNR's own estimate) of deer numbers in this region and likely in other areas as well.
  • His letter doesn't address the morality of killing coyotes in tortuous traps, chased to exhaustion by snowmobiles or ripped apart by hunting dogs while leaving their pups, newborn in March, to starve to death.
  • Dalton McGuinty's letter doesn't mention the damage to Ontario's reputation. The majority of the public view these contests as a throw-back to a primitive era when the indiscriminate slaughter of wildlife was promoted for 'fun' and 'bragging rights'. The mindless attacks on coyotes have left people embarrassed and ashamed to be residents of Ontario.
  • His letter doesn't address the fear that many people in rural areas have expressed about trespassing, intimidation, and the risk posed to their pets and family by reckless hunting.
  • Why does Dalton McGuinty not acknowledge the progressive 'Living with Coyotes' programs that have been available to residents in Vancouver and Calgary for many years? Surely, Ontario, as Canada's most populous province can do, a decade later, at least as well? Surely, in the 21st century, Ontario needs to be solving problems with education not guns.

Background Information

Letter from Premier Dalton McGuinty

Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011
Subject: An e-mail from the Premier of Ontario

Thank you very much for your online message regarding coyote hunting. Your concerns are important to me, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

My colleagues and I recognize that coyotes are an important part of Ontario's ecosystem. We also understand that, like other wild animals, coyotes sometimes come into conflict with humans.

Coyote populations are driven primarily by the availability of food and habitat - often found in developed suburban areas. It is therefore not unusual for these animals to take up residence in suburban, in addition to rural, areas - which may be distressing for Ontarians concerned about their own safety, the safety of their family and that of their pets.

Since there are no sustainability issues, it is legal for licensed hunters to hunt coyotes year-round in most parts of Ontario. That includes farmers, who are permitted to protect their livestock against coyote attacks. Similarly, landowners also have the right to protect their property.

I want to assure you that our government is not considering a cull, bounty or provincewide coyote hunting initiative. Ministry of Natural Resources enforcement officers will continue to carefully monitor coyote hunting in the province to ensure that hunters are following the law. My colleague the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, and I are confident that these officers will use their discretion and take appropriate action to ensure compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

I am grateful to you for bringing your concerns about this issue to my attention. Thank you again for sharing your views, which I value.

Dalton McGuinty
Premier of Ontario

c: The Honourable Linda Jeffrey


Contact Premier Dalton McGuinty

Contact Information

Queen's Park
Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Tel 416-325-1941
Fax 416-325-3745

1795 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6N1
Tel 613-736-9573
Fax 613-736-7374

Andrea Horwath, Leader, NDP

Room 114, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5.

Ontario MPP's 

As listed on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario website.

Please bcc: us

Please blind copy us for our records bcc: webmaster@wildlifeontario.ca

Coyote in long grass
Photos: Adele Brand
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