NDP candidate Celia Ross balked at Liberal claims to be taking action on public safety and nuisance bears.
“It’s this government’s cuts to the MNR’s trap and relocate program and the Bearwise program that are to blame of increasing incidences of nuisance bears” Ross said.
MNR program cuts have endangered the safety of Ontarians, leaving northerners nowhere to go when faced with nuisance bears in their communities. To this end, New Democrat MPP for Timiskaming-Cochrane, John Vanthof, introduced a motion in the Legislature to create an all-party committee to devise a strategy around bear management. However, the Liberals unilaterally decided to re-introduce the spring bear hunt without going through the proper work to determine what the right solution to the problem would be.
The reintroduction of the hunt went against recommendations from MNR scientists, who warned the hunt would do nothing to reduce incidents with problem bears.
“Once again the Liberals are demonstrating they’d rather pursue a cheap, band-aid solution than do the work necessary to tackle a real problem faced by Northerners. Meanwhile their well-connected friends in the highest executive positions reap million dollar salaries. It just doesn’t make any sense” said Ross.
The NDP would cut waste by capping public sector CEO salaries, consolidating overlapping agencies, and developing a Minister of Savings and Accountability responsible for identifying efficiencies that can be made at the top of the bureaucracy, so that more money flows to the frontlines.
The NDP will also invest in real solutions for Northern issues, such as following through with a strategy for bear management.