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
cc: Andrea Horwath,
and blind copy us for our confidential records
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
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.
Letter from Premier Dalton
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
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
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
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.
Premier of Ontario
c: The Honourable Linda Jeffrey
Contact Premier Dalton McGuinty
Room 281, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
1795 Kilborn Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6N1
Andrea Horwath, Leader, NDP
Room 114, Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park,
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A5.
As listed on the
Legislative Assembly of Ontario website.
Please bcc: us
Please blind copy us for our records bcc:
Photos: Adele Brand