Ontario politicians should have looked west and saved themselves the trouble of asking the public to weigh in on their moose preservation plan. The government quietly put forward a regulation proposal on the province’s Environmental Registry last month that would make it easier to kill wolves and coyotes for all hunters.
Moose populations have been in flux in recent years in Ontario due to several factors, notably the deadly combination of climate change, development and resource exploitation, and a wide open hunting season. While the bureaucrats organizing hunting regulations in the province have reduced the “calf harvest” available (yes, that is killing of juvenile moose), their plan now is to increase the number of potential predators killed each year.
This is eerily similar to the plan in British Columbia to protect endangered caribou populations by killing wolves – it is ignoring the primary causes of a population decline so that the loud hunting lobby is impacted the least. It should be noted that moose in Ontario are not considered a species at risk – loose population counts have indicated a decline.
The proposal on the table includes primarily focuses on the requirement of a “game seal” for hunters in Northern Ontario who want to kill wolves and coyotes. The proposal indicates that this requirement would be changed to holding a small game license – meaning every hunter in Northern Ontario could kill two wolves per season and as many coyotes as they wish. The reporting requirements would also be reduced, with hunters only needing to confirm kills – not hunting activity itself.
These proposed changes are being put forward at the whim of Ontario’s hunting and trapping lobby – not to do what is best for wolves, coyotes, and moose. The true factors of the moose population decline (development, under researched and treated disease, and ongoing hunting activity) are not appropriately addressed in the proposal, and that’s what we need you to tell the government.
While an online petition is circulating, the government of Ontario will not recognize it as a formal communication. The Environmental Registry, MPPs and Ministry leadership are key aspects of this kind of policy change and must be addressed. The commenting period for this proposal ends on January 18, 2016, so please get your comment in as soon as possible.
If you’re a resident of Ontario, you can access and comment directly on the Environmental Registry online. Click here to see the full proposal, click here to submit a comment, and click here to send it as an email instead.
Your elected official does want to know what you have to say about these issues – and if they don’t,… well, tell them anyway. You can find your MPP by clicking here.
If you’re not a resident of Ontario, you can still take action – write to the leaders involved in this decision: Bill Mauro, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Kathleen Wynn, Premier of Ontario. Tell them that the way they treat their environment will be reflected in your business and personal decisions – such as a vacation or sourcing for manufacturing.
Stay on point: this is a proposal that is relating to moose population declines and the decision to make wolf and coyote hunting more accessible – not anything else. Keep your comments directed to the facts and provide citations if necessary.
Stay polite and use spell check: if you’re rude, aggressive, misspell words, or use incorrect grammar, readers may become disengaged or dismissive of your points.
Provide solutions: rather than just say what’s wrong, say what’s right. Offer solutions or alternatives to help move forward conversations.
Identify yourself: it’s important to include your address when writing politicians so they know who you are, where you’re from, and that your vote will affect them in the next election.
Include relevant details: make sure you cite the appropriate petition, proposal, or government policy (providing a link doesn't always count) so it is recognized by the right people.
Let us know what you hear: if you receive a message back from your representative, or they would like to discuss the issues in greater detail with us, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work like our growing Living With Wildlife campaign is only possible with the support of monthly donors. Please consider become a monthly donor – for as little as $5 a month – and help us create a Canada that is truly fur-free.