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Natural resources says no to premier's promises

In a surprise move the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has said NO to promises made by Kathleen Wynne . In 2013, the Premier made a number of promises in writing to Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in Ontario.

With the loss of almost 2/3 of the wildlife rescue centres the Premier's promises were designed
to correct the problem and make it easier for them to operate.

Wildlife rehabilitators take in injured and orphaned wild animals and rehabilitate them
and release them back into the wild. They are authorized by the Ministry but receive no
funds by any level of government.

Wildlife rescue centres are run by volunteers and operate at personal cost and by donations
from the public In order to be authorized to rehabilitate wildlife, rehabilitators must give up some their civil rights such as reasonable search and right of appeal. Rehabilitators have no right of appeal .

The Premier promised to correct this situation and change the policy and regulations to facilitate rather than punish and persecute the rehabilitation community.

The Deputy Minister Bill Thornton has said No to Kathleen Wynne's promises and refused to meet with representatives from the wildlife rehabilitation community.

Currently any wildlife rescue centre can be closed down at any time with no right of appeal. Many centres have invested hard earned dollars on physical infrastructure such as buildings, caging, equipment needed to care for these wild animals. Yet they remain vulnerable to the whims of Ministry staff.

Ironically, hunters who kill animals have the right to appeal should their hunting permit be suspended for cancelled for reason.

In most cases, Ministry staff have little or no knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation but still have the power to close down a wildlife rescue centre with out giving a reason. Even a wildlife rescue centre that has been in operation for 20 to 30 years can be closed and has no right of appeal.

With the continuing loss of wildlife rescue centres across Ontario the remaining centres are being pushed beyond endurance.

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Sandy Donald

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