Dear Friends of Wildlife
Just when you thought things couldn't be worse for wildlife in Ottawa, Mayor Jim Watson has delivered another blow!
He has handed over the long-overdue Wildlife Strategy to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, whose chair, Councillor Doug Thompson's negative view of wildlife is well known. It was Councillor Thompson who hired a trapper from his office budget to kill coyotes in Osgoode and was quoted on CBC as supporting a coyote cull. Mayor Watson has given the fox the key to the henhouse.
We believe that an 'alternative' Wildlife Strategy, described by one city staff member as your
"basic trappers' manifesto", which the Coalition has obtained through Freedom of Information influenced the Mayor's decision in handing over wildlife matters lock, stock and barrel to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. This
'alternative' Wildlife Strategy is brutal in that it categorizes all urban wildlife as
'nuisances' and fair game for lethal removal.
People like you and me pressured Ottawa Council back in 2010 for a Wildlife Strategy because we were frustrated and embarrassed with the City's approach that including shooting moose, trapping coyotes and beavers and gassing groundhogs in neighbourhood parks.
Now, after three years of promises, Mayor Watson has washed his hands in working with community stakeholder groups on a progressive Wildlife Strategy, putting any kind of humane and transparent approach to dealing with human-wildlife concerns back a decade or more in Ottawa.
You can tell the Mayor and City Councillors that this is entirely unacceptable by supporting the
You can edit the letter if you wish. For example, if you live in the country you might want to add
"I happen to be a rural resident and strongly disagree with Doug Thompson's lethal approach to resolving human-wildlife conflicts. His views don't represent mine or that of my neighbours".
Or, "As a Canadian, I am appalled that our Nation's Capital has adopted such inhumane and out-dated practices".
In addition to supporting the sign-on letter, we ask that you also
send a brief email to your Ward councillor letting them know that this is an important issue to you and your family and requesting that they personally let you know where they stand as your elected representative.
This is a crucial turning point for wildlife. We must stop this very bad plan. Please forward this to family and friends who share your love of wildlife and use social media to get the word out, particularly among young people, because we know they care.
Ontario Wildlife Coalition
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