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Response to Bear Hunt announcement today- Letter to the Editor

Thank you Premier Kathleen Wynne – Adopting PC policy ideas for a better Northern Ontario Dear Premier Wynne – I am delighted to see a refreshing change in Liberal Government today.

Thank you Premier Kathleen Wynne – Adopting PC policy ideas for a better Northern Ontario

Dear Premier Wynne – I am delighted to see a refreshing change in Liberal Government today.  It seems you have finally admitted that the PC Party and our ideas are what is best for Northern Ontario.  In June of this year you stated your party had no plans to reinstate the spring bear hunt, and your Minister of Natural Resources, David Orazietti, repeated this statement in August.

Following that NDP house leader Gilles Bisson was quoted on Friday September 20th saying “When it comes to reinstating the spring bear hunt that Northerners shouldn’t hold their breath”.

Then that same weekend the Ontario PC Party had its policy convention and it was reported the delegates supported a policy change to give northern municipalities the ability to reinstate  a spring black bear hunt for male black bears, managed by the MNR.  This followed a release of our northern discussion paper saying that decisions impacting Northern Ontario should be made in Northern Ontario including wildlife management.

All of a sudden the Liberal Party and NDP party shifted their stance on the issue, with first a Liberal Private Member bill to reinstate the hunt, and then and NDP motion to have a committee review the bear issue supported by Liberal and NDP members.

On November 1st, NDP house leader Gilles Bisson commented in local news about not supporting hunting bears on the corner of Third Ave. and Pine St, in downtown Timmins and how he couldn’t support that.  It appears to me he really doesn’t appreciate the seriousness of the bear issue in Northern Ontario and thinks spending more taxpayer money flying around the province to have committee meetings is the solution.  Maybe if he had been here over the last few years he would have been able to see the bears walking the streets throughout Northern Ontario and he wouldn’t joke or mislead people about a hunt being allowed downtown.   Clearly no party has ever supported hunting be allowed downtown, but it was more important for him to play political games then actually address the issue.

Today Premier Wynne, your Minister of Natural Resources announced the reinstatement of a pilot project spring bear hunt.  It is disappointing that you have played favourites again and selected only some of the wildlife management areas that deal with nuisance bears instead of giving all affected municipalities this option to deal with wildlife management.   It will be hard for the residents of Hearst and other communities who don’t fall in your selected areas to accept that many of their neighbouring communities can have a spring bear hunt but they can’t.  It is also disappointing you have turned your back on the tourism possibilities from out of province hunters and the revenue this generates for Northern Ontario businesses.

However it is refreshing to see how a policy put forward by 3 PC candidates from the ridings of Timmins-James Bay, Timiskaming-Cochrane, and Kenora-Rainy River has had more impact than the three sitting MPPs have had on this long standing issue.

Now that you have finally accepted PC policy ideas are best for Northern Ontario would you please step aside and call an election and give the taxpayers of Ontario the same opportunity to decide if a PC government is best for all of Ontario.  In the meantime, since you like our ideas so much if you need more advice on what policies are good for the north don’t hesitate to contact me.

Steve Black

PC Candidate

Timmins – James Bay