While the situation with aggressive coyotes continues to be problematic in rural South Ottawa, Carleton Progressive Conservative MPP Goldie Ghamari is working with both the city and the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to help resolve the issue.
“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,” Ghamari said in a statement issued last week. “I have been in regular contact with Councillor Carol Anne Meehan and Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. 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.”
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.
On June 9, MNRF staff met with the City and other stakeholders including NCC, the Ottawa Police Services, and the Public Health Unit, to discuss the coyote situation in Ottawa.
MNRF staff provided technical advice and assistance to the group, including:
- MNRF’s opinion on the particular coyote and the rare behaviour;
- MNRF’s role in this situation, which is to provide advice, information and outreach;
- Options for the City to hire an agent/trapper. The district is developing a list of potential contacts for the City. Alternatively the City was also informed that it can contact the Ontario Fur Managers Federation.
MNRF has also provided the City of Ottawa with messaging specific to best practices for preventing and dealing with human-coyote encounters that could be used to share with the public.
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.
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.
MNRF will continue to work with the City of Ottawa, including working to provide a list of potential agents who might be able to assist in the dispatch of the coyote alongside additional technical information to support the City of Ottawa in its decision-making regarding dispatch/removal of the coyote.
“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,” Ghamari stated.