QUEEN’S PARK –Today, Jeff Yurek, Ontario PC Critic for Natural Resources & Forestry questioned MNRF Minister Bill Mauro on the Liberal government’s failure to protect public safety and wildlife management after York Regional Police officers were forced to shoot and kill a black bear that was wandering Newmarket, Ontario over the weekend.
“Minister, yesterday Police were forced to shoot a bear because the MNRF was unable to respond in time. Even though the bear had been sighted on the weekend and staff received a call Monday morning at 6:30am, the MNRF was not prepared. Why was the MNRF unprepared and unresponsive?” asked Yurek
Minister Mauro’s recent comments contrast what his colleague, former MNRF Minister Orazietti, who was quoted as saying “When you look at incidents in schoolyards when children can’t go out for recess, teachers wearing bear whistles, city police officers having to shoot black bears in the middle of communities in Northern Ontario, it’s not acceptable.”
In 2012, the Liberal government made significant cuts to the Bear Wise program. Unfortunately, the number of the occurrences that forces municipalities and police services throughout Ontario to deal with bears without MNRF assistance has dramatically increased.
“The Ministry knew about the bear sightings over the weekend and failed to react in a timely fashion. The Minister has failed to protect public safety and wildlife management and needs to do a proper investigation of this incident.” said MPP Yurek
Video attached: https://youtu.be/rTl2KAYVVeM