Black Bears Shouldn’t Be Needlessly Killed in Toronto

We are shocked and dismayed that another Black Bear has been needlessly killed in Ontario.  The Bear recently shot in Scarborough would not have happened had there been a long-overdue plan in place by the Ontario Government.

Premier Wynne, it has been almost 50 years since we put men on the moon, developed a world wide web to move information at the speed of light and sent probes to view the edge of the universe and yet our government has not been able to set up a coordinated response when a bear accidentally wanders into a developed area.

Police spent hours trying to resolve the situation in Scarborough to no avail because the agencies better suited to address a roaming bear in the city were unwilling or unavailable to assist.  Police will continue to be the first responders in these situations and while they are well equipped to handle the public safety element, they do not have the knowledge or training to deal effectively with bears at this time. 

Police should not be made the scapegoats for public anger in these situations – situations that are certainly likely to continue to occur on occasion in our communities.  Bears can be attracted to food sources such as unsecured garbage, crab apples and fruit trees in suburban backyards.  This happens during times of the year like spring when their natural food supply is not yet readily available or in the fall when bears have to put on extra weight before hibernation.  Sometimes, younger inexperienced bears wander into a developed area and can’t easily find their way out.

There are different situations and, therefore, different options.  The basics, however, should include:

-  A commitment for a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry response during regular hours

-  A non-government qualified service provider(s) after hours and on weekends to assist police

-  Species-specific (bear) educational opportunities for the police force and the public

We are calling on you, Premier Wynne, to be the lead in bringing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as the ministry responsible for wildlife, Toronto Mayor, John Tory, and Toronto Police Services together to come up with a plan so that another Black Bear isn’t killed in Toronto. Toronto has put plans in place to deal effectively and humanely with other species of wildlife.  Now it’s time to do so for Black Bears.

In 2017, Canada’s 150th Anniversary, this is the time to show that Toronto, a world-class city in Canada’s most populous province, is ready to establish a ‘best practices’ model for a progressive response to Black Bear encounters.  A win-win for the City of Toronto and Toronto Police Services, the Province of Ontario and the Bears.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Mayor of Toronto
    John Tory
  • Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
    Kathryn McGarry
  • Chief of Police
    Mark Saunders

Animal Alliance of Canada (Liz White) started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,377 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.