PoV: Responsibility for black bear management belongs to MNR – by Wayne Snider (Timmins Daily Press – October 2, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

The battle for Northern Ontario is heating up, even though a provincial election has yet to be called. A trio of Northern Progressive Conservative candidates were pushing pro-North policies at the party’s recent convention. One component of the proposed policy — which has not yet been endorsed by the party –would be to allow municipalities to reinstate the spring bear hunt in their areas.

If the Tories form the next government and legislate this change, it would reverse a decision made by the Mike Harris-led Conservatives in 1999 to cancel the spring bear hunt. The decision came after the Tories caved in to animal rights groups, which threatened a major advertising blitz in eight key swing ridings shortly before an election.

“When the spring bear hunt was removed, it was done for political reasons after a large lobby by southern special interest groups,” said Steve Black, Tory candidate for Timmins-James Bay. “A misguided campaign was launched to convince people that ending the hunt was the right thing to do.”

This proposal came on the heels of the Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association supporting a similar resolution being presented to the provincial government.

But as Timmins-James Bay New Democrat MPP Gilles Bisson pointed out to Northeastern Ontario Municipal Association members, the responsibility of wildlife management should not be downloaded from the Ministry of Natural Resources to municipalities.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2013/10/02/pov-responsibility-for-black-bear-management-belongs-to-mnr