Statement by MPP Goldie Ghamari on the Coyote situation in south Ottawa:
Ontario has worked with municipalities for many years to prevent and manage conflicts between coyotes and people. Municipalities are responsible for deciding what course of action is necessary when human-coyote encounters occur within City boundaries. The province provides support to municipalities by providing advice and expertise on actions they can take to resolve ongoing conflict situations.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) staff have been in constant communication with the City of Ottawa since my office first learned about this issue. As recently as yesterday, June 9, 2020, MNRF staff were on a call with the City to provide guidance on the management of troublesome wildlife.
Since first learning of the coyote situation on May 31, 2020, I have been working diligently to ensure ongoing communication between the province and local representatives. I have been in regular contact with councillor Carol Anne Meehan and Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. This morning, I was also pleased to speak with Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly and Deputy Chief Steve Bell to discuss what my office can do to assist Ottawa Police Service in handling the situation. I was informed that they are coordinating with Ottawa By-Law as the situation unfolds and if they require any further assistance, they will reach out to me directly.
In many cases, conflicts between coyotes and people can be prevented. Homeowners can take steps to ensure wildlife, including coyotes, are not attracted to their property and neighbourhood by properly managing garbage and by accompanying pets outside. However, we recognize that preventative measures may not always be effective in preventing conflicts with individual animals, especially when human-provided sources of food continue to be made available to coyotes.
That is why the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) allows municipalities and property owners to protect property by harassing, capturing or dispatching a variety of wildlife species, including coyotes, or to hire an agent to do so on their behalf. No approval or authorization is required from the province in these cases.
This morning my office received another inquiry from Councillor Meehan. I’ve brought it to Minister Yakabuski’s attention and will be sharing his response with Councillor Meehan and the rest of the community as soon as my office receives it.
Our government will continue to work with communities and partners to develop local solutions that address local needs.
My office will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to provide assistance and information to residents, stakeholders, involved parties, municipal staff, local politicians and anyone else who requires provincial support.
/Goldie Ghamari, MPP
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Candice Coates, Executive Assistant
Office of Goldie Ghamari, MPP