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News Archive 2002, 2003, 2004


The Ontario Wildlife Coalition calls upon the McGuinty Government to make several New Year's resolutions.

Toronto, December 29, 2004:  The Ontario Wildlife Coalition challenges the Minister of Finance, Greg Sorbara, Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay and the McGuinty government to make the following New Year’s resolutions: Press release (Ontario Wildlife Coalition)

A  Happy  "Mike Harris" New Year

From Natural Resources Minister, David Ramsay
To Ontario Wildlife Rehabilitators

Toronto, December 27, 2004:  On December 15, 2004, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources posted “Enhanced Wildlife Rehabilitation Program”, EBR Registry Number PB04E6022.  In true “Mike Harris” style, the Minister, David Ramsay tabled the changes 10 days before Christmas, thereby reducing the real comment period to about three weeks. He then titled regressive changes with positive sounding language and circulated a “good news” media release.  In fact, the changes, which make it impossible to humanely care for all wildlife, were met with a great deal of anger by wildlife rehabilitators. Press release (Ontario Wildlife Coalition)

Christmas - Ministry of Natural Resources style!

December 22, 2004: Ministry staff are aggressively and negatively targeting wildlife rehabilitators - the people who help injured, sick or orphaned wild animals and who volunteer their time and offer a free and valuable service to communities all over Ontario. Press release (Ontario Wildlife Coalition)

Scrooged! No Christmas for orphaned wildlife this year!

Wildlife rehabilitators unfairly and negatively targeted by the Minister

Toronto, December 20, 2004: Actions by the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay reached a new low when his staff posted changes to regulations governing wildlife rehabilitators just a few days before Christmas. Press release (Ontario Wildlife Coalition)

New wolf protection proposal overlooks species at risk, group says

November 25, 2004 TORONTO -- The wolf conservation proposal announced today by Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay must overcome some key challenges before it can be considered effective, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) said at Queen's Park today. Full story.

Earthroots says Minister Ramsay is leading the pack in the right direction

November 25, 2004 (Toronto) Earthroots congratulates Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, who today announced a plan to improve the conservation of wolves across the province. The Minister is proposing to regulate the recreational hunting of wolves by restricting the seasons and limits on the number of wolves that can be hunted annually. Full story

Ontario proposes province-wide protection for wolves

Invites Public Input On Proposed Strategy

November 25, 2004 TORONTO -- The McGuinty government is proposing to enhance the conservation of Ontario wolves through the first province-wide wolf strategy and through regulations to limit wolf hunting, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. MNR Press release.

The ministry is posting the strategy and the proposed regulation changes to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry for 40 days in two postings. Click here to view proposals and enter Registry Number PB04E6020.  Written submissions may be made between November 25, 2004 and January 04, 2005.

OMNR strong-arm tactics and regressive regulations leaves wildlife rehabilitation and orphaned wildlife in the cold!

Anonymous attack on the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary mirrors the Ministry’s hostility to wildlife rehabilitation.

Friday October 15, 2004:  The Ontario Wildlife Coalition vigorously opposes the recent scurrilous attack on the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is accused of putting wildlife in peril, people at risk and blatantly breaking Ministry of Natural Resources regulations. The attack has taken place as the Ministry continues with its unprecedented attack on wildlife rehabilitators. Press release

Province expands Fall bear hunt in Northern Ontario

Sept. 24, 2004 TORONTO - Following a 30-day posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry, the government has decided to extend the fall bear hunt by a little over two weeks from October 15 to October 31 in the areas of Northern Ontario where the hunt previously ended on October 15.
MNR press release.

Province launches Moose Watch 2004; annual campaign against moose poaching

Sept. 14, 2004 TORONTO - Moose Watch Ontario's enforcement campaign to prevent moose poaching and protect moose populations, is underway for the 2004 season, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. MNR press release

Province proposes to eliminate hunting of wildlife held in captivity, seeks public comment

August 16, 2004 TORONTO - The province is proposing to eliminate the hunting of wildlife in captivity, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. "Many Ontarians have expressed strong views against hunting in captivity and feel it's inconsistent with Ontario's hunting heritage," said Ramsay.
MNR press release Click to view proposal - comments needed by September 15, 2004.

Gassing groundhogs in Ottawa Parks is cruel, unnecessary:  Ottawa Citizen, 3 stories, letter

August 11, 2004 - The Ottawa Citizen:  Gassing groundhogs in Ottawa parks where city staff regard them as pests is cruel and unnecessary because the rodents don't bite and are no health threat, the executive director of the Ottawa Humane Society says. Full story

Deer Hunt Expanded; New Proposals for Bear and Wild Turkey

August 10, 2004 - TORONTO — The Ontario government is increasing hunting opportunities across the province as part of a sustainable wildlife management program, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. MNR press release

The proposed changes to the fall bear hunt and the wild turkey hunt is available on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry for 30 days for public comment. Click for black bear proposal wild turkey proposal.  Comments needed by September 8, 2004.

City of Ottawa admits it killed groundhogs in park

August 10, 2004 - The Ottawa Citizen:  A rash of groundhog poisonings in Andrew Haydon Park is not the work of malicious vandals -- it's city-mandated policy, says Alex Cullen, councillor for Bay Ward. Full story.

Review of MNR long overdue

July 14, 2004 - The Independent, East Northumberland News:
The provincial Liberal government says it will conduct a full and complete review of the Ministry of Natural Resources. As well it should. Full story.

Ottawa City council seeks return to progressive wildlife service

Ottawa, June 23, 2004 – The City of Ottawa will ask the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) to restore wildlife rehabilitation services, while ending a controversial rabies program that has resulted in the killing of more than 9,700 animals across Eastern Ontario over the past four years. Brain tissue tests later revealed that 99.8% of these animals were healthy. Press release.

Cormorant slaughter at Presqu’ile complete; Liberals move onto Kingston Islands

Toronto, June 17, 2004: Ontario Parks surpassed their quota of 6000 dead Double-crested Cormorants last week at Presqu’ile Provincial Park near Trenton, Ontario. The final tally of dead birds is 6030. But even before the birds could be laid to rest, the Liberal government hosted a meeting last Friday, June 11 with the New York State Fish and Wildlife Service to explore the possibility of killing cormorants on islands near Kingston, Ontario.  Full story.

Reality check on rabies

June 15, 2004 Ottawa Citizen - To describe Ontario's raccoon rabies program as a "phenomenal success" is to overlook the facts ("Province renews raccoon rabies control program," June 6). Just three days earlier, this same program came under attack from Ottawa's health, recreation and social services committee.  Full story.

Ontario government calls for scientific review of rabies-raccoon program

June 11, 2004 Kanata Kourier-Standard - The Ontario government should scrap its “depopulation” raccoon-rabies program and license wildlife centres to treat animals possibly infected with the disease, recommends a city committee report. The health, recreation and social services committee recommended last week (June 3) that city council pressure the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to stop trapping and killing all foxes, skunks and raccoons within a five-kilometre radius of an animal found infected with rabies. Full story.

Veterinarians do not want to euthanize healthy wildlife

OTTAWA, June 10, 2004 – Staff at the Alta Vista Animal Hospital (AVAH) want to make it clear to the public that they do not want to euthanize healthy wildlife. Under current wildlife regulations, members of the public who find orphaned wildlife have two equally unfortunate legal options.  They can leave the animal to die or they can take it to an animal shelter or veterinarian for euthanasia.  When faced with these choices, many compassionate people are choosing to attempt to raise the wild animal themselves. Press release

Coalition formed to level wildlife playing field in Ontario

Toronto, June 7, 2004:  Frustrated by the Ontario government’s inability to modernize the Ministry of Natural Resources, more than 75 wildlife rehabilitation groups and, environmental and animal welfare organizations have joined forces as the Ontario Wildlife Coalition to ensure a more representative voice on wildlife issues at Queen’s Park. Press release

Ontario Parks proudly announces 1393 dead cormorants in one day all time record high

Toronto June 2, 2004: On Monday May 31, Ontario Parks shot and killed 1393 nesting double-crested cormorants at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, near Trenton Ontario. On Tuesday May 25, they shot and killed 1098, and on Wednesday May 26, 439 were killed - for a grand total of 4592 in just eleven days of shooting. It is fully anticipated Ontario Parks will reach they goal of 6000 dead birds this week. Press release

Ontario government protects Algonquin wolves

May 31, 2004, TORONTO — The Ontario government is protecting the Eastern Wolf by permanently banning the hunting, trapping and chasing of wolves and coyotes in and around Algonquin Provincial Park, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. MNR press release.

Rabies and the OMNR:  Time to tame spending on fighting rabies in wild animals

May 28, 2004, The Globe and Mail: While hospitals and governments struggle to provide front-line medical care and combat serious health threats such as SARS and West Nile, one Ontario government department is spending millions of dollars to battle a disease that ranks near the bottom of human health risks: rabies. Full story.

Biggest one day slaughter in Ontario's history - Final tally 1083

May 26, 2004, Brighton: The first day after the Victoria Day weekend government hired gunmen shot and killed more than 1,000 nesting double crested cormorants. "It is the height of nesting season and being dedicated to their nests makes them helpless sitting targets," says Anna Maria Valastro of the Peaceful Parks Coalition. Press release.

More protesters arrested at Presqu'ile Provincial Park

May 25, 2004, Brighton: More protesters were arrested at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Trenton, Ontario yesterday for protesting the mass slaughter of 6000 double-crested cormorants. The protesters were simply handing out flyers outside the park boundary, when park warden Rob Raposo called the Ontario Provincial Police. Press release.

They're cute, but they'll die if you try to help save them

Ottawa Humane Society must kill sick, orphaned wild animals brought in

May 23, 2004 Ottawa Citizen - Animal lovers eager to protect wildlife are unwittingly dooming the animals to a death sentence by bringing them to the Ottawa Humane Society, says the shelter's executive director. Bruce Roney says people don't understand that provincial law forces the society to euthanize sick, injured and orphaned wild animals. Full story.

Thank You For Visiting Presqu'ile, But Please, Don't Come Back!

May 22, 2004, Toronto: This long weekend, The Peaceful Parks Coalition will be encouraging visitors not to return to Presqu'ile Provincial Park until the Liberal government recognizes the park as an ecological jewel and manages it accordingly. Press release.
Photos! Cormorant cull photo diary (ProNature Network)

Great Blue Herons abandon nests at Presqu'ile Provincial Park

May 21, 2004, Toronto: Soon after the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources began shooting double-crested cormorants at High Bluff Island in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, great blue herons abandoned their nests. The Peaceful Parks observed empty nests on two separate visits, and the Ministry finally confirmed their observations this week. Press release (Peaceful Parks)

Earthroots activists arrested for viewing cormorants during cull in Presqu’ile Provincial Park

May 20, 2004, Toronto:  Earthroots activists canoed to High Bluff Island in Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Monday, May 17th to document and bear witness to a massive cull of nearly 6,000 cormorants in the protected bird sanctuary. The Ministry of Natural Resources is charging the group of 5 with trespassing, which amounts to a fine of $350. Earthroots has retained criminal lawyer Clayton Ruby to represent them in court to contest the charge. Press release (Earthroots)

Cormorants get their say in by-election - Liberals "culled" from Hamilton East

May 14, 2004, Toronto:  The coalition of organizations opposed to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources cormorant slaughter on High Bluff Island in Presqu’ile Provincial Park celebrates the defeat of the Liberal candidate, Ralph Agostino in the Hamilton East by-election. Press release

Lead shot  more polluting than bird shit - cormorant cull update

May 11/04 Belleville - The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has taken a short reprieve from shooting double-crested cormorants at High Bluff Island in Presqu'ile Provincial Park because the birds are getting skittish. The Ministry shot and killed 320 birds on the first day -- Thursday May 6, 150 birds on the second day -- Friday May 7, and 50 birds on Saturday May 8. Press release.

Ontarians support ban on sport hunting wolves - poll

May 10/04 TORONTO - Earthroots is calling on the Ontario government to implement a comprehensive protection plan for wolves. Today, the environmental group released a province-wide poll that surveyed Ontarians’ attitudes about wolves and the government’s management of the species.  Press release.

Coalition works with top lawyer to explore all options to end cormorant slaughter

Toronto, May 7, 2004: Animal Alliance of Canada, the Animal Protection Institute, Canadians for Snow Geese, Environment Voters and peaceful Parks Coalition has retained Clayton Ruby well-known Canadian criminal lawyer to end the slaughter of 6,000 cormorants on High Bluff Island, a nesting bird sanctuary in Presqu'ile Provincial Park or to prevent it from happening again. Press release.

Cormorant cull approved, shooting begins today

May 6/04 The Ontario government has decided to proceed with a cull of up to 6,000 cormorants at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, even though it has not conducted a promised environmental assessment, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said yesterday. Full story EBR Posting.

For those individuals interested in witnessing this atrocity, please contact the Peaceful Parks Coalition at 416.537.3212 or email ppc@peacefulparks.org.

Cormorant cull on hold while province evaluates assessment request

Apr. 27/04 TORONTO (CP) -- The cull of up to 6,000 cormorants in Presqu'ile Provincial Park is on hold and may be put off until next year while Ontario's environment minister evaluates a request for an environmental assessment of the plan. Full story

Ontario government signs protocol with police about bears

Apr. 26/04  The Ontario government is making communities in bear country safer and stronger through a new protocol with the Ontario Provincial Police about responding to bear problems, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.  MNR press release.

Ontario Wildlife Coalition responds to cormorant cull proposal

Apr. 15/04 - The Ontario Wildlife Coalition has responded to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources proposal to kill up to 6000 Double-crested Cormorants beginning this month.  View the coalition's detailed EBR submission and briefing notes.

MNR proposes two new gun seasons for deer in Eastern Ontario

Apr. 8/04 - The Ministry of Natural resources is proposing two new gun seasons for eastern Ontario.  Those proposals include a new 6-day muzzleloader season for deer starting the first Monday in December.  The proposal is posted for public written comment until Aprill 22 at http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/022668er.htm

McGuinty government launches bear wise program

Mar. 30/04  - The McGuinty government has established a toll-free hotline as part of a new Bear Wise strategy to help manage nuisance black bears and make communities safer, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today, delivering on a promise he made in December.

"People can call toll free 1-866-514-BEAR (2327) 24 hours a day, seven days a week to report nuisance bear problems," said Ramsay. " MNR press release

Shooting cormorants over dead trees raises suspicions about Liberal motives

Mar. 23/04 Toronto Star - Last fall, the provincial Conservatives mockingly labelled Dalton McGuinty an "evil, reptilian kitten-eater from another planet." They should have called him a double-crested cormorant killer from Presqu'ile Provincial Park. As things turned out, that might have been more apt. Full story.

Animal Cruelty Bill brought back before parliament

Mar. 18/04 On Monday, March 8, the House of Commons voted to bring back before Parliament the amendments to the animal cruelty provisions of the Criminal Code.  The Bill, formerly known as C-10B, will now be referred to as Bill C-22.  Full story.

Alert!  Help support campaign to stop aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska

Mar. 16/04 Defenders Of Wildlife - At least 100 wolves have been killed under Alaska's deadly aerial gunning program. Trophy hunters can gun down wolves from airplanes and helicopters or run the helpless wolves to exhaustion, then land and shoot them. And now the Alaska Board of Game has expanded the program -- meaning even more wolves will be slaughtered.  Full story and what you can do to help.

Massive slaughter of Double-crested Cormorants planned for Presqu'ile Provincial Park

Mar. 05/04 The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is planning to shoot up to 6000 adult cormorants beginning next month (April 2004) at Presqu'ile. Full story.

It will be posted for public comment for 46 days at:

McGuinty government protects Algonquin wolves

Mar. 03/04 The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources today announced its intention to make the ban on hunting, trapping or snaring wolves and coyotes in 39 townships around Algonquin Park permanent. MNR press release.

It will be posted for public comment for 30 days at:

Save Alonquin Wolves

Feb. 29/04 Editorial, Toronto Star - The 2 1/2 year ban on hunting or trapping wolves in the 39 townships around Algonquin park expires on June 30. Before it does, Premier Dalton McGuinty's government should act decisively and make the ban permanent. Full story

Bear experts urge BC to protect 68-84% of occupied grizzly habitat to avoid grizzly extinction

Feb. 12/04 Raincoast Conservation Society - Victoria, BC
A report by five independent bear biologists released today concludes that most of British Columbia’s occupied grizzly bear habitat must be protected to avoid a long term slide into extinction.  Full story

500 calls needed for 500 grizzly bears left in Alberta

Feb 10/04 Wildcanada.net - Please phone the Premier of Alberta by dialing 310-0000 in Alberta, or (780) 427-2251 outside of the province, and ask that he cancel the hunt immediately, and list the grizzly bear as threatened under the Wildlife Act. We need 500 phone calls placed – one for every grizzly bear left in Alberta.  Full story.

Alberta grizzly hunt approved, conservationists appalled as 73 licences OK'd

Feb. 03/04 Calgary Herald - Alberta's spring grizzly bear hunt will continue this year despite pleas from environmentalists who say allowing the bears to be hunted is needlessly putting the province's grizzly population at risk.  Full story.

First wolves die in Alaska aerial gunning program

Jan. 31/04 Anchorage, Alaska - Defenders of Wildlife today expressed outrage over the confirmed killing of 14 wolves so far in Alaska's Nelchina Basin by airborne private hunters. These are the first wolves killed under Alaska's controversial new aerial gunning program, and the first since the state legislature overturned 1996 and 2000 statewide referendums that outlawed the practice. Full story.

Algonquin wolves in danger

Jan 28/04 The wolves of Algonquin do not enjoy true protection in the absence of a permanent and effective moratorium on killing outside the park boundaries, and without a province-wide wolf conservation policy.  Details.

McGuinty government will not reinstate Spring bear hunt

Dec. 17/03  Government Moves to Solve Long-standing Issue of Nuisance Bears  The McGuinty government will move to manage nuisance bears and protect Ontario communities and the natural environment, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today.  MNR press release.

Coalition challenges reintroduction of Spring bear hunt, report

Dec. 5/03 Nuisance Bear Committee's recommendations to reintroduce the spring bear hunt has been strongly challenged by a report to David Ramsay, Minister of Natural Resources from the Coalition. Read Report or click for Word document.

Coalition of animal protection and environmental groups slam pro spring bear hunt bias of Tory Committee

Nov. 12/03 A coalition of animal protection and environmental groups condemns the recommendation by the Tory appointed "Nuisance Bear Review Committee" to re-introduce the spring bear hunt.  The Committee's Report and Recommendations, released by Natural Resource Minister David Ramsay on November 10th , confirms the Committee's bias and its disregard for its mandate.  Read press release.

MNR minister Ramsay releases nuisance bear review report

Nov. 10/03 Committee finds no evidence of a scientific link between nuisance bear activity and the Tories’ cancellation of the spring bear hunt but recommends reinstating the Spring bear hunt for socio-economic reasons.  Read press release View report.

Liberal senators vote to kill animal cruelty bill

Nov. 8/03  Urgent alert!  We are calling upon all the 23 Liberal Senators to reverse their position and vote for the passage of
Bill C-10(b).  Read press release Click here for more details on what you can do!

Press Release:  Ontario Liberal party calls for an inquiry into government's closure of Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

Ottawa, September 17, 2003 – Liberal candidates from across Ottawa and Eastern Ontario are unanimously calling for a review into the Ontario government’s mismanagement of wildlife rehabilitation in the province, including last year’s highly criticized closure of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. Read full press release Candidate's Survey results.

Wildlife Centre calls for Inquiry

Aug. 8, 2003 / Peace and Environmental News - The seizure, then release, of healthy young wild animals by the Ontario government from an Ottawa wildlife rehabilitation centre has caused demands for an inquiry into the whole affair. Full story.

Fawn hit by car renews calls for Wildlife Centre

July 18, 2003 / Nepean This Week - A fawn spotted darting back and forth through traffic was finally hit by a car travelling eastbound on Hunt Club, near Merivale. Full story.

Province killed 8,000 animals in two years

July 18, 2003 / Nepean This Week -  Ontario must stop its "unnecessary slaughter" of raccoons to control rabies, a coalition of animal-welfare groups has said.  Of the thousands of animals slain under the program, 99.8 per cent did not even have rabies. Read full story.

Background Info: Click here to download report Click here for photos.

Barrhaven Wildlife:   Kasia's story

July 4, 2003  Kasia Stalinski, a member of our WildlifeOntario messageboard, is fighting to protect the wildlife behind her Barrhaven home from ill intentioned neighbours.  Two local newspapers cover her story:  Nepean This Week story Barrhaven Independent story.

Open Letter to the Premier of Ontario

June 23, 2003  A formal request to the Premier of Ontario for an inquiry into the treatment of wildlife seized by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in a controversial raid on the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre in September 2002.  Read letter to Premier Eves.

Press Release:  OMNR slaughter of thousands of raccoons is costly, ineffective, inhumane way to control rabies: Report. 

TORONTO, OTTAWA, June 16, 2003 – Vaccinating raccoons, as opposed to killing them, would be cheaper, kinder and a more effective way to curb rabies, said a report released today by a province-wide network of animal welfare organizations. Read full press release.  See report below.

Report to the government of Ontario

June 16, 2003  This report has been prepared by animal welfare organizations with recommendations for an effective strategy for raccoon rabies control in Ontario.  Click here to download report Click here for photos

International Fund for Animal Welfare letter to Premier Eves  Read letter

CFRA radio show highlights wildlife crisis; Reinforces need for inquiry

May 18, 2003  Today's CFRA radio show "Sunday Morning with Bev McRae" featured Donna DuBreuil, President of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.  It was an excellent show that touched on all of the issues surrounding the wildlife fiasco caused by the MNR in eastern Ontario.  Read full story.

Animal lover' worries sick squirrel will die if no one steps in to help

May 15, 2003 / Ottawa Citizen - Amanda Woolford is furious she can't find anyone who will help save Baby, the little charcoal-coloured squirrel she's been caring for ever since she found him hobbling along Blake Boulevard in Vanier a couple of days ago. She says she's taking care of him because she has nowhere else to turn.  Full story.

Press Release:  Let Katie go:  IFAW and OCWC demand fox be given back to her Ottawa caregiver

Ottawa - May 14, 2003 - The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) must give the year-old fox they tamed back to her Ottawa caregivers if she is to have any chance to return to the wild, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) demanded today.  Read full press release

Ottawa Humane Society begs public to stop picking up wildlife

May 13, 2003 - In the wake of the closure of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, the Ottawa Humane Society has been inundated with calls regarding wildlife and now that birthing season has arrived, people are picking up young wild animals and bringing them to the Champagne Avenue Shelter.  Read full press release

No Disney-like ending for Ottawa wildlife

May 7, 2003 - If ever there was a time for an inquiry, the time is now.  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources reached a new low in its mismanagement of wildlife rehabilitation last week when it released 34 healthy raccoons and three skunks into an area where rabies is prevalent and where the Ministry is exterminating raccoons.  Full story.

Press Release:  Healthy Ottawa wildlife released by OMNR in rabies hot zone

OTTAWA, May 7, 2003 – A call by the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) yesterday for an inquiry into the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) mismanagement of wildlife rehabilitation in the province has taken on a new sense of urgency.  Read full press release

Press Release:  Wildlife Centre calls for inquiry of MNR; wants wildlife rehab file transferred to Environment ministry

OTTAWA, May 6, 2003 – The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) is calling for an inquiry into the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ (MNR) mismanagement of wildlife rehabilitation in the province, including its unjustified move last week to release quarantined raccoons and skunks back into the wild without first allowing an independent assessment of the health of these animals, and a brief period of rehabilitation.  Read full press release

Bring Katie Home - Fox needs rehab, not zoo

May 05, 2003  After seizing Katie the fox from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre last September and keeping her in solitary confinement for 9 months, the MNR says she is too “tame” to survive in the wild and that they will place her in a zoo. This is unacceptable!!  Read full press release.

Click here to find out what you can do to help Katie live a free life in the wild.

Special appeal:  Bring Katie Home!
Special appeal:  Bring Katie Home!

MNR releases seized animals without providing further rehabilitation

May 02, 2003  MNR says it has released 34 raccoons and 3 skunks seized from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre last September.  They were apparently "hard" released on crown land in Southeastern Ontario, i.e.  left there without the benefit of any further rehabilitation to learn crucial skills such as foraging or climbing and presumably no way to check on their progress.  Read MNR press release.

Rehabilitation vital before releasing animals into wild

May 02, 2003 / Kanata Kourier Standard - If the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre gets back the 34 raccoons seized by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources by this Friday, there is still a chance for a good life for them. Donna DuBreuil, president of the OCWC, says with four weeks assessment and rehabilitation, the raccoons could be released into the wild with a great degree of success.  Full story.

Premier of Ontario comments on CFRA radio

April 28/03 On CFRA radio this morning, Premier Ernie Eves committed to looking into the issue regarding the animals that were seized by the Ministry of Natural Resources last September from the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre.  Full story and details for letter writing campaign.

Press Release:  OCWC demands proof that animals seized by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources are alive, and releasable

In court, Justice says a period of rehabilitation would be in the best interest of the animals.

April 25, 2003 The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) is demanding proof that the raccoons, skunks and fox seized from its care last year by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) are alive, and have not been damaged to the point where they are no longer releasable.  Read full press release what is MNR trying to hide?

Wildlife Centre loses legal battle for animals

April 24, 2003 / CBC  Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre workers have lost their fight to win back the animals they once cared for. An Ottawa justice of the peace ruled late Wednesday that he could not force Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources to return the 34 raccoons. Full story

Wildlife Centre fights for seized animals

April 23, 2003 / CBC  The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is back in court Wednesday, trying to get back 40 animals seized in a raid last year by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Full story

Press Release:  Ontario government taken to task over treatment of animals seized from Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre.

Wildlife Centre court case begins tomorrow

April 16, 2003 - Lawrence Greenspon, the lawyer representing the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, will appear in an Ottawa court room tomorrow to challenge the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) on its treatment of animals seized from the Wildlife Centre last September.

Information released by the MNR confirms that the 34 raccoons are being cared for in ways that contravene its own guidelines for the humane and responsible rehabilitation of wildlife.  Having not only kept the animals alone and isolated for seven months, they have been kept in cages that are only one-third the size required by their minimum standard for rehabilitation of this species and on wire mesh floors with no opportunity to learn climbing skills.  Read full press release.

Press Release:  Living With Wildlife - Wildlife centre launches new web site for local residents


OTTAWA, April 2, 2003 – The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) isn’t able to respond to the thousands of frantic calls from people seeking advice for a wildlife problem this Spring, but it has launched a new web site to help residents make the right decisions.  Read full press release with accompanying squirrel photo.

Action Alert!  To Premier Eves & Ottawa MPPs: Return seized animals to the Wildlife Centre for critical rehabilitation

March 31, 2003  The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre has an application that will be heard by the court on April 17th for the return of the animals but we are asking for the leadership of the Premier and local Tory MPPs to do the right thing in not waiting until then.  Full story and details on letter writing campaign.

Every minute counts for 40 seized animals! 

Mar. 21, 2003 / Kanata Kourier Standard - What can you do in four weeks? The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is hoping the Ontario Court of Justice will see it their way in four weeks’ time. They’re asking the Court to give an immediate okay to their application asking for the return of animals taken from the OCWC shelter seven months ago. The staff of the OCWC want the seized animals back NOW but the decision to return the animals is a political one.  Find out what you can do  the next 4 weeks to help get the animals back!  Full story Information on animals seized.

Press Release:  Court to Consider Future of Seized Ottawa Animals; Canadian & American Rehabilitators Criticize Ministry’s Care of Animals

OTTAWA, Mar. 19, 2003 – The Ontario Court of Justice has agreed to consider an application that would force the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) to return dozens of Ottawa animals seized from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) in September 2002. The application, filed by OCWC Board Member Debbie Lawes, represents a final attempt by wildlife rehabilitators to save these animals before it’s too late.  Read full press release Information on animals seized

Wildlife centre seeks return of 40 animals

Mar. 19, 2003 / The Ottawa Citizen - The president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre has called on the provincial government to return 40 animals taken from the centre last year.  Full story.

Urban Animals: What's crawling in the crawl space?

Mar. 11, 2003 / The Ottawa Citizen - This column demonstrates the severity of the wildlife crisis in Eastern Ontario with the arrival of Spring.  To resolve the reporter's wildlife "problem" the city gives her phone numbers of "nuisance trappers" who advocate the use of live traps (potentially leaving babies to die), kill traps and whacking the animal with a shovel. Full story.

New published letters

Mar. 7, 2003 - Four new letters were published in The Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun this week. Read letters.

Wildlife Centre wants its animals back

Feb. 28, 2003 / CBC - The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre wants its animals back. The provincial ministry of natural resources took raccoons, skunks and foxes from the centre after expanding a rabies zone to include Ottawa.  Full story.

Animal foster parents fined $700

Feb. 28, 2003 / The Ottawa Citizen - Two longtime animal "foster parents" were given light fines in a provincial court hearing yesterday for refusing to co-operate with a law they feel leaves animals unprotected.  Full story.

Press Release:  Ottawa judge dismisses charges against Wildlife Centre

Lawrence Greenspon calls charges inhumane

OTTAWA, Feb. 27, 2003 – The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) is declaring victory today following a ruling by Ontario Court Justice Jolicoeur to dismiss most of the charges laid against the Centre’s president and one of its foster volunteers by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Read full press release

Centre's closing puts animals in danger

We're about to become a 'killing municipality':
Wendy Stewart, Councillor for River ward.

Feb. 26, 2003 / The Ottawa Citizen - Wildlife centre's demise means there'll be no help for creatures in need, official fears.  Hundreds and maybe thousands of baby squirrels, raccoons and other small animals will die this spring because the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre was forced to close. Full story.

News Update on seized raccoons

Feb. 16, 2003 - We have learned that the raccoons that were seized from the Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre and being held at the Codrington research facility, 240 kilometres southwest of Ottawa have been separated and are being caged separately, a practice that is unbelievably cruel for raccoons.

Wildlife experts from Canada and the United States are appalled that the healthy raccoons, social animals by nature, are not being wintered in groups. Experts say that what the MNR is doing is unthinkable and will likely result in the animals perishing following their release into the wild.

The MNR's cruelty knows no bounds!

Wildlife fiasco destroys public trust

Jan. 30, 2003 - Ottawa Citizen: Guest Column; By Debbie Lawes

For six months, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has insisted on defining Ottawa as a high-risk zone for raccoon rabies. It has never explained why.

On Jan. 16, the city's health, recreation and social services committee sought an explanation. Concerned residents, an Ottawa MPP and an Ottawa veterinarian appeared, along with national and local animal welfare organizations, warning of the health, economic and legal repercussions that will ensue as a result of this decision.  Full story.

Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre closes

Dec. 31, 2002 - The Ottawa Carleton Wildlife Centre has been forced to close following a four-month battle with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.  Half way through the wildlife season the MNR imposed a 1 km release restriction for all wildlife in Ontario and disallowed rehabilitation of rabies vector species (raccoons, skunks, foxes) in a large part of eastern Ontario, including Ottawa. These restrictions made it impossible to offer a humane and responsible wildlife rehabilitation service and have resulted in the loss of a valuable world-class community service.  Full story.

Wildlife centre closes its doors

Nov. 29, 2002 / CBC  – Beleaguered by budgets battles and confrontations with the province, the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre is emptying its cages and shutting down. The centre's director announced the decision Friday.  Full story.

Press Release:  Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre announces closure of rehabilitation facility and hotline service

OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2002 – The Board of Directors of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre (OCWC) regret to announce that they will be closing the Moodie Drive wildlife rehabilitation facility, and its Conflict Resolution telephone hotline service. The Centre finalized its decision at its annual general meeting November 28. Read press release

Wildlife Centre loses animals

Sept. 12, 2002 / CBC - Officers with Ontario's Natural Resources have removed more than 30 raccoons from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre in the city's west end. Full story.

Wildlife Centre must let officials in: Judge orders ministry to care for animals, not kill them

Aug. 15, 2002 / The Ottawa Citizen - The Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre has refused to let Natural Resources officials seize its animals, including these two raccoons.  Full story

Ministry battles Centre over animals

Aug. 13, 2002 / CBC - Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources says it won't necessarily kill the animals it wants to seize from the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre. Officials say they want the Centre to hand over the animals so they can observe them at their own facility for an indefinite period. On Friday, a rabies unit with the ministry showed up at the wildlife centre but staff at the centre refused to let them in. Full story.

Press Release:  MNR descends onto property of the OCWC.

OTTAWA, August 9, 2002:  This afternoon at about 3:00pm officials from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources descended onto the property of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre for the purpose of seizing young animals being housed and cared for in its facility.  The Ministry mounted this operation in the face of a legal proceeding that is presently in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.  Read press release.

Newborn wildlife will suffer most under new provincial rules

July 24, 2002 / The Ottawa Citizen - Is the Ontario government intent on shutting down responsible wildlife rehabilitation in this province? If so, I congratulate it on doing an effective job.

There has been much coverage in the media over the last week of strong-armed tactics by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to impose new restrictions on the release of wildlife, including squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines, groundhogs and skunks. At the same time, they have – without any scientific justification – expanded the rabies risk zone to include Ottawa.

These two decisions will do more to jeopardize public health, than protect it.  Full story

Press Release:  OCWC Press Conference July 24, 2002  Details


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