August 2020

Doug Ford Announces Hunting Season of Double-crested Cormorants

Doug Ford Gets Sued over BILL 197
 

Late on Friday afternoon before the August 1 Civic holiday, Doug Ford announced a hunting season on Double-crested Cormorants in Ontario.

The hunting season opens on September 15th and closes on Dec 15th.  Hunters can kill up to 15 birds a day until the end of the season.

They are no limits as to how many hunters can engage in this hunt as long as they have a small game hunting license. Approximately 197.000 hunters in Ontario hold a small game hunting license. There are approximately 290.000 cormorants in Ontario. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/conservation-groups-concern-ontario-hunt-cormorants-fall-1.5672509

Do the math. 15 birds a day for approx. 90 days x 197.000 hunters. Even if hunters each kill one bird - do the math.

The Ford Govt. does NOT routinely monitor the impact of sport hunting on wildlife populations. Monitoring is done ‘periodically’ (their words) via hunter surveys and the policing of the hunt is the responsibility of the province not the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). The CWS is the agency that issues waterfowl licenses and polices the hunt in Ontario, but they will NOT be policing the cormorant hunt.  There are no additional Conservation Officers hired to monitor this hunt and the fall includes hunting seasons of many other big game species such as black bears, deer, elk, and wild turkey.

Conservation Officers do not typically patrol waterways. Therefore, we are confident in concluding that there will be no policing of the cormorant hunt by the Ford govt.. That sends sport hunters a clear message that they can do whatever they want to these birds. 

There will be hunting in provincial parks.

However, the scariest aspect of this decision relates back to BILL 197 which was passed late July with first, second and third reading all completed in one week with no public consultations.   Bill 197 gutted the Environmental Assessment Act and gave sweeping powers to Ministers to override municipal by-laws that protect the environment and its citizens so to swiftly approve development projects especially on the protected Greenbelt.

Doug Ford is being sued over Bill 197: please read notice below.

The largest colonies of Double-crested Cormorants in Ontario are found within the boundaries of municipalities such as Toronto, Hamilton and Kingston.  Bill 197 makes it legal for the province to override municipal jurisdiction pushing aside Conservation Authorities such as the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority which protects the largest cormorant colony in Ontario at Tommy Thompson Park on the Leslie Street Spit.  With Bill 197, Doug Ford can potentially initiate a cull of cormorants within cities without necessarily using firearms. 

This is a real possibility, as Doug Ford bowed down to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters whose supporters continue to lament that the hunting season is too late and largest colonies remain protected.

But they are not protected up North where numerous small colonies collectively form a good proportion of the cormorant population in Ontario.  

While a fall hunt is less effective than shooting nesting cormorants, they remain extremely vulnerable because of their tendency to ‘stage’ in the fall.  

Staging is when cormorants gather along shorelines to rest and feed in preparation for migration. Please see attached photographs. If there is no limit on the # of hunters that can ambush a colony especially using waterfowl blinds, it is very possible  to kill dozens of cormorants before they fly off.  Even if many survive, the stress on the birds impact their ability to store energy for migration.  This hunt is cruel and unethical because hunters can spoil the birds, something which goes against basic conservation principle, where hunters are normally required to eat what they kill. 

What you can do - and we need hundreds of people to engage:

Doug Ford is mute on the details of this hunt, therefore we need you to:

  • Please call your local provincial park and ask if cormorant hunting will be permitted and if so, will they be providing blinds and/or adding additional blinds to accommodate the increase in hunters.

  • Please email enforcement and ask how they intend to police the hunt. Will they be adding more officers specifically to monitor the hunt. Rick Watchorn, Director Enforcement Branch: rick.watchorn@ontario.ca

  • Please monitor the hunt in your area. Hunters are not permitted to kill cormorants without collecting the dead birds. Please record any dead birds that wash up on the shoreline. Please photograph the birds and send the images to us ppc@peacefulparks.org with the exact location and time. We will call Crime Stoppers on your behalf or you can call them directly. 

Hot spots to monitor: Bay of Qunite,  Lake Nippising, Rice Lake, small colonies along the Trent River, the Severn River. Presquile Provincial Park,  Rondeau Provincial Park or any colony close to home.

The best time to monitor this hunt is on opening day – September 15 ! and early In the morning.

Please make a commitment to be out there on September 15 as cormorants will not be anticipating a hunt and the greatest kill will occur on opening day. This is true for any hunt as wildlife is unsuspecting.  Please continue to monitor through to the first week in October.

Please send us an email if you can participate and/or tell us about a gathering of cormorants in your area. You cannot interfere with the hunt but you can bear witness to the hunt and document dead birds.

Thank YOU !!

Peaceful Parks   

Attached Images: Presquile Provincial Park - staging of cormorants with blind in the background  

Greenpeace is heading to court again to protect Ontarians' environmental rights.

On behalf of Greenpeace Canada and Wilderness Committee, Ecojustice has just filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government. We're arguing the government acted illegally when it steamrolled through major changes to environmental laws in July as part of an economic recovery bill — without consulting Ontarians.

Doug Ford's first action as Premier was to kill the province's cap-and-trade system without first consulting with the public, as required under Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights. Thanks to a lawsuit Greenpeace launched with Ecojustice nearly two years ago, Ontario's Divisional Court found that the government broke the law in its failure to consult. But the court stopped short of actually sanctioning the government. 

Now, under the cover of the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act, Ford has yet again side-stepped public consultation in making major changes to the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act, the Planning Act and other environmental laws. These changes remove the right to public appeal and mean that public sector projects will no longer require environmental assessments by default.[1] 

This isn't an economic recovery act — it's a smokescreen to sneak in the wishlist of regulatory rollbacks Ford's business buddies have been seeking since before the pandemic began. Ford's government has enjoyed more favourable polling thanks to its response to the COVID-19.[2] But this attempt to exploit the pandemic and undermine Ontario's environmental protections is a blatant violation of our environmental rights.

SOURCES

[1] https://www.nationalobserver.com/2020/07/15/news/doug-fords-changes-environmental-assessments-explained

[2] https://abacusdata.ca/ontario-political-update-doug-ford-image-may2020/ 

END

 

Peaceful Parks

www.peacfeulparks.org

toll free: 1.877.785.8636

Ontario's Premier, Doug Ford pushes forward with an open hunt on nesting Cormorants. 

November 2019

Typical of the Ford govt,  the push to exterminate Double-crested Cormorants through an open hunting  season, that includes shooting up their nesting colonies,
is embedded in an Ominous - Bill 138.

This Bill received it's Second Reading THIS WEEK !!  

We need a TWITTER STORM sending Conservative MPPs the message that this wildlife policy is cruel and that an open hunting season on nesting cormorants will collapse the population in Ontario.  If you are not on TWITTER, then please call your MPP.  They are debating it NOW. 

Records released through Access to Information, show that Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry staff begged the Premier not to implement this policy knowing that the open hunt will desecrate the population. There is no limit as to the number of hunters that can ambush a nesting colony. Realistically, a group of hunters can shoot up a colony, killing both nesting parents and their chicks, within  hours. 

Doug Ford is also pushing this policy WITHOUT making public the results of the public consultation process. It is highly likely that the vast majority of Ontarians find this policy abhorrent but the Ford govt. DOES NOT listen to the people.  They ONLY listen to their cronies and be clear - this policy is being pushed by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.    

Please find below a list of the TWITTER accounts of Conservative MPPS.  There are 59 listed here.  One can TWITTER 50 addresses per TWEET.

Please TWITTER everyone, and please TWITTER often.  Here are samples of messages.

*Doug Ford wants to make the hunters and anglers happy by letting them murder a harmless bird. Don't let him.

*Your govt. is cruel not just because you are will to bring harm to nesting cormorant colonies but because you don't care so long as it solidifies your base.  I can't wait to vote you out.

*Please Mr. Ford tell us what you have against the scientists. They've already told you why the hunting season for cormorants is unwise, yet you are going to allow an open hunt anyhow..

*Ontarians want to know the results of the posting of ERO 013 4124: the proposed cruel slaughter of  double-crested cormorants by hunters.

*This government knows that hunting as a means of wildlife population control has no scientific basis. This is just pure cruelty.

 

Please TWITTER often and over and over again. Also please copy your own MPP.  Please do it today !!!!  

 

@fordnation                                      @Christina_Mitas                            @VijayThaniMPP

@OntarioPCParty                            @C_Mulroney

@DeepakAnandMPP                     @RickNichollsCKL

@MPPArnottWHH                          @samoosterhoff

@Roman_Baber                               @Billy_Pang

@Aris_Babikian                                @lparkpc

@TobyBarreHHN                             @MichaelParsa

@PBethlenfalvy                                @RandyPettapiece

@WillBoumaBrant                           @RodPhillipsol

@PaulCalandra                                 @DavidPiccini

@StanChoMPP                                 @Krasheedmp

@SteveClarkPC                                 @GregRickford

@lornecoe                                          @JR-Ottawa

@stcrawford2                                   @RossRomanossm

@RudyCuzzetto                                @SherefsabawyPC

@douglasdowney                           @sandhumarjot1

@JillDunlop1                                      @PrabSarkaria

@celliottability                                  @LaurieScottPC

@VictorFedeli                                   @SkellyHamilton

@AmyFeePC                                     @ComocDaveSmith

@DrFullertonMPP                           @ToddSmithPC

@gghamari                                         @KingaSurmaMPP

@ParmGill                                           @ninatangri

@RobinMartinPC                             @JeffYurekMPP

@GilaMartow                                    @bilwalkermpp

@JimMcDonell                                  @Daisy_Wai_PC

@janemckennapc                           @Effie_ONB

@MonteMcNaughton                   @MichaelTibollo

@normmillerpc                                 @LisaThompsonMPP


Thank You !!!!
Peaceful Parks

ppc@peacefulparks

toll free 1.877.785.8636

                                               A cormorant shot by Parks Canada staff at Middle Island, Point Pelee National Park.

                                                Image Credit: Cormorants Defenders International

September. 2019

 

Urgent: Ontario Proposes a Wipeout of Northern Wolves

 

 

Wolf and coyote hunting to be deregulated in Northern Ontario to placate moose hunters.

 

Premier Doug Ford is proposing regulation changes that will allow any small game hunter to kill as many eastern coyotes as they want between September 1st and June 15th – a period that incorporates the coyote pupping season – as well as up to two wolves/year between September 15th and March 31st in Northern Ontario.

 

There are thousands of small game sport hunters in Ontario, and no one knows the population number of wolves or coyotes in Northern Ontario.

 

While Doug Ford is proposing a bag limit of two wolves per hunter, he is not limiting the number of hunters that can kill wolves.  It is a REAL possibility that the number of small game hunters, each killing two wolves in one year, could wipeout the wolf population in Northern Ontario in one year.

 

Worse still, is that Ontario will not monitor the number of wolves or coyotes killed which clearly indicates that Doug Ford is OK with a total wipeout.  OR stop the hunting of moose calves !

 

The goal of this proposal is to ‘grow’ the moose population, which is in decline, to enhance the ‘moose hunting experience’ for sport hunters and these recommendations were introduced by Ontario’s Big Game Advisory Committee.

 

Who is this ‘advisory committee’?  It is filled with Doug Ford cronies who are either directly linked to the sport hunting industry as professional outfitters or big game sport hunters themselves.

 

Committee Members include: JOHN KAPLANIS,  Executive Director of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance:   GARY COUILLARD of Nighthawk Outfitters providing black bear hunting services; GLENN RIVARD Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters; FERN DUQUETTE offers moose hunting services. All committee members will directly benefit from the killing of wolves and coyotes in northern Ontario

 

We had until September 26 to stop this proposal cold.

 

Read the proposal here: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0406

 

You can comment directly from the proposal page: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0406

However, please copy your comments to:

 

Christie Curley: Acting Director of Species Conservation Policy Branch

christie.curley@ontario.ca

 

Premier Doug Ford, premier@ontario.ca

 

Please remember to include the EBR # 019-0406

 

Sign Our Petition Here: https://www.thepetitionsite.com/938/916/243/ontario-proposes-a-wipeout-of-northern-wolves/?cid=headerClickC2#published

 

Background

 

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is revisiting a proposal to liberalize hunting of wolves and coyotes across 750,000km2 of northern Ontario.

 

A similar proposal was announced and subsequently abandoned by the previous provincial government in 2016 after hearing from over 100,000 Ontario residents concerned about its lack of ethical and scientific rationale to boost dwindling moose populations.

 

 

Hunters will no longer need to purchase special game seals or report to MNRF about how many wolves and coyotes they are killing each year.

 

MNRF’s own website “Factors that affect moose survival” explains how wolf hunting will do nothing or very little to boost moose numbers because hunting reduces wolf pack size, and smaller wolf packs do not kill significantly fewer moose than larger packs.

 

“Getting rid of reporting requirements makes it glaringly obvious that the Ministry isn’t even planning on studying whether such an unethical and unscientific regulation change will benefit moose. Hunters could wind up killing hundreds or even thousands of wolves and coyotes each year and we’d have no idea,” notes Hannah Barron, Director of Wildlife Conservation Campaigns for Earthroots.

 

“Eastern coyotes are not major predators of moose, they are generalists able to survive on rodents and other small mammals. Under the guise of moose conservation, this proposal was designed to appease those who persecute wolves and coyotes. The removal of bag limits, game seals, reporting requirements and closed seasons all encourage mass predator killing, which already happens in southern Ontario,” said Lesley Sampson, Executive Director of Coyote Watch Canada.

 

“I’m worried about what this mismanagement could mean for our wolves and coyotes, but also how it distracts from dealing with moose declines directly. The Ministry should phase out calf hunting and manage habitat at the ecosystem level to increase resiliency as the changing climate results in wildlife range shifts, increased parasite loads and altered vegetation and wildfire patterns,” notes Barron.

 

Excerpt: SaultOnline.com-Aug. 29, 2019

 

Thank You

Peaceful Parks

www.peacefulparks.org

peacefulparks.org

toll free: 1.877.785.8636

 

 

Doug Ford accommodates 'Slob Hunters'

The Ford government is proposing to reduce the minimum distance requirement for placement of bait from a public road and trails for black bear hunting: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0022#proposal-details

 

The Ford govt. wants to allow sport hunters to bait black bears only 30 meters from a public road way and public trail.  This literally means that sport hunters can shoot black bears from the road while sitting in their trucks !!! 

Sport hunters have been advocating for this because many hunters CANNOT shoot in the woods and then drag the bear to their trucks or do not know how to butcher the bear into small pieces so it can be carried out of the woods.

This proposal appeases 'slob hunters' - those hunters that lack any skill and tend to be thrill hunters - kill for fun.

This is very dangerous for any person walking on a trail or driving on a public road.  Currently the distance for baiting black bears from a public roadway or public trail is 200 metres.  The Ford govt, is now proposing that this distance be reduced to only 30 metres.  

This is crazy.  It places innocent outdoors users in the path of a bullet and/or keeps outdoor enthusiasts inside for the duration of the black bear hunting season which runs from May to June and then again from August to December. 

What is worse is that the Ford govt. has not provided any rationale for this proposal because in doing so it would have to acknowledge 'slob hunters' and their inability to hunt skillfully.  This is the worse sort of hunter one would encourage shooting along a public roadway or trail.  

Please comment today as the deadline is June 17.  You can comment online here: 
https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0022#proposal-details

No decision has been made as of Sept. 2019

UPDATE: APRIL 2020: This policy was adopted by the Ford Govt. 

Update: Endangered Species Act June 6, 2019

 

The Ford Govt. passed Bill 108 - an omnibus Bill that included sweeping changes to many environmental   
and heritage protection laws including Ontario's Endangered Species Act.

You can read more from the press release issued by Ontario Nature today: 

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/endangered-species-to-make-way-for-sprawl-development-828636576.html

 

 

Endangered Species Act – Emergency  

May 2019

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/05/04/sweeping-changes-buried-in-housing-bill-called-doomsday-scenario-for-ontarios-endangered-species.html

Sweeping changes buried in housing bill called ‘doomsday scenario’ for Ontario’s endangered species


On Saturday May 4, the Toronto Star reported that Doug Ford buried 20 pages of sweeping changes to Ontario’s Endangered Species Act in Thursday’s omnibus housing bill, amendments that wildlife experts say would gut protections for the province’s at-risk animals and plants.

Bill 108, the “More Homes, More Choice Act,” would weaken classification criteria, allow the environment minister to delay protections for up to three years, and provide developers, industry and others who impact the habitat of endangered species with a suite of options to continue their activities, including a fee-in-lieu fund derided by critics as “pay to slay.”
 

This, while there is an active public consultation period posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry (please see below).

What sort of person would bury sweeping controversial policy on species at risk in a housing bill?  A person that knows what they are doing is wrong, and has gone into hiding.

Over 15.000 people responded to the first EBR notice asking for greater protection and instead the Ford govt. is offering less protection for species on the brink of extinction or vulnerable to extinction

We need action now.  There is very little time to stop this.  The omnibus bill hasn’t passed yet and it cannot pass with the new Species at Risk Act embedded in it.

We have two calls to action:

  1. Please call Doug Ford on his cell number – 416.805.2156.  He apparently returns people’s calls so please leave a message expressing your outrage over changes to the Species at Risk Act and please ask for a callback.

 

   2.  Rod Phillips, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, is a glossy faced  corporate hack who            headed PostMedia from 2014 to 2017. 

Minister Phillips is stomping on our voices for stronger protection by not even waiting for the public comment to end May 18, 2019.  Since there is no effective opposition at Queen’s Parks, we are asking that you please cancel your subscriptions to Post Media newspapers. 

Please explain that you are cancelling your subscription in protest to changes being made to the Species at Risk Act by Rod Phillips, once Chair of Post Media. Please explain that since the Ford govt. has a majority at Queen’s Park, you are hoping that his corporate partners will heed your protest and speak up for species at risk. Please tell them once Minister Rod Phillips hears from Post Media and protects species from extinction, you will happily resume your subscription. 

Post Media owns most, if not all, regional newspapers such as the Toronto Sun,  Windsor Star, London Free Press, North Bay Nugget, Sarnia Observer, Ottawa Sun, Sudbury Star and many, many more. They also own newspapers across Canada such as the Vancouver Sun.

Obviously, the impact of this action will only be effective if people take action. So please cancel your post media newspaper subscription, tell them why, apologize if you feel it is necessary for placing them in the crossfire but this policy cannot go forward as written.  AND THEY CANNOT HIDE.

Please act today. Call Doug Ford and cancel your subscription to any post media newspaper. If you read the paper online at no cost, please send them an email just the same.  There is NO TIME TO HESITATE.

 

Thank You !

                                                                                                                             

********************************************************************************************

Please, Please read and send a comment opposing these horrible changes to Ontario's Species at Risk Act. .  Please post a comment on the EBR page:   http://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-5033

Even more importantly, please send your message directly to Minister Rod Phillips rod.phillipsco@pc.ola.org

 

We are entering a very dark period with the Doug Ford govt.,  We are the last generation of people that can influence change after which there will be little to protect.  

Please read on.

 

The Doug Ford govt. is proposing sweeping and horrible changes to Ontario’s Species at Risk Act that are far worse than what has been reported in the media.

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has organized two virtual meetings explaining the proposed changes. Peaceful Parks participated in the first session and the rhetoric was thick with double-speak and contradictions.   What is being proposed will trigger a steep decline in species protection and place many others in peril.  This is not an exaggeration.

Media reports have focused on the proposal to allow developers to pay money in lieu of species protection, but there is so much more:

While experts on Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO) will remain the primary authority in deciding which species will be listed, the Minister will have sole authority to decide how species will be protected, and it is here that the legislation breaks down.   

The new legislation provides the Minister sweeping powers to AVOID and DELAY protection of a species to the point where its habitat could be destroyed through development making protection mute once there is no more habitat or species to protect.

The Minister can DELAY protection by asking the experts on COSSARO  to reconsider their listing decisions if the Minister believes that the listing is no longer appropriate,  The experts on the committee tend to be leading scientists  in their field, therefore why would a Minister have greater expertise?

The Ford govt. is considering DELISTING species currently listed but have refused to say which ones.

The Ford govt. wants to remove species from the list if their population is not threatened in other areas of Ontario / North America. 

The Ford govt. doesn’t acknowledge that habitat loss is the primary reason for species extinction and that if a population is in decline in one area – it is in decline – period.

They are proposing protection ONLY at a critical point – when the species is on the brink.

No other point demonstrates more clearly the ignorance of this Minister and Doug Ford and why these changes are so dangerous for species at risk. 

Anyone who has even a tiny bit of  knowledge of biological understanding knows that species have regional differences that make them unique from their cousins in other regions.  It is these differences that make them resilient in their local environment and define  ‘biodiversity’.   Species in decline in one area is a warning sign that the population is experiencing stress and recovery is more successful before populations reach a critical point..

Wolves are a perfect example of how DNA diversity makes each regional species diverse from the next.

No one so ignorant should have any authority to decide which species have biological value and which ones can go extinct.  AND this new legislation will allow the Minister to override COSSARO’s listing, forcing the committee to delist any species whose population is not threatened in other areas of Ontario.

The COSSARO members will also be ‘dumbed down’ by including members outside the fields of expertise such as community members. Community members are not defined but it is reasonable to assume given the direction of this new legislation that ‘community members’ will include industry, sport hunters and farmers – interests that are self-serving rather than an arms-length unbiased approach.  It also does not provide a ratio of community members to experts.

Enforcement of the legislation is being moved from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to the  Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks whose budget was slashed by 300 million dollars by Doug Ford.

There is so much more – all of it intended to give the Minister supreme authority over the Species at Risk Act and since the authority is being shifted from COSSARO to the Minister, there will be less transparency, as some Minister decisions will no longer be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry.  

Please, Please read and send a comment opposing these horrible changes.  Please post a comment on the EBR page:   http://ero.ontario.ca/notice/013-5033

Even more importantly, please send your message directly to Minister Rod Phillips rod.phillipsco@pc.ola.org

We are entering a very dark period with the Doug Ford govt.,  

 

We are the last generation of people that can influence change after which there will be little to protect.  

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