Province to form bear management committee
QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Natural Resources Critic John Vanthof says the success of his motion calling for the creation of an all-party bear management committee is a victory for the North, where nuisance bears and bear attacks have become a growing problem.
“Ever since the government cancelled the spring bear hunt, and slashed the MNR’s bear management budget, Ontarians have become much more concerned about nuisance bears, and bear attacks,” said Vanthof, the MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane. “My motion lays the groundwork for real solutions to the problem, by consulting with the people who actually deal with bears on a daily basis.”
Vanthof’s committee, if struck by the government, will be charged with investigating the impact of the cancellation of the bear hunt, cuts to the MNR bear management budget, and the ongoing impact of human-bear conflicts and damage to crops by bears. It will also be tasked with creating a comprehensive, fully funded bear management strategy.
“Since the cancellation of the bear hunt, and the cuts to MNR, there have been bear attacks across the province. This is a real problem, that needs real solutions now,” said Vanthof. “The success of this motion is a real sign of hope for communities struggling with nuisance bears.”
Vanthof says the Conservative opposition to the motion underlines their lack of respect for the North.
“Once again, Hudak and the Tories have turned their backs on the North,” said Vanthof. “They have proven once again that they do not have a real plan for the North, nor do they take the bear management issue seriously.”