Cormorant massacre continues
Written by Stirling Community Press   
Tuesday, 19 April 2005 16:10
Sources close to Ontario Parks say the McGuinty government is quietly making preparations to kill thousands of nesting double-crested cormorants at Presqu?ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario for the next three years.

The McGuinty government is also considering extending their lethal ?egg oiling? operations in the Georgian Bay and North Channel region of Lake Huron. Oiling eggs suffocates the embryo inside. And the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA) is currently waiting for the government green light to begin egg oiling at the Leslie Spit, also known as Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has also confirmed that it has no plans to monitor the actions of private landowners who shoot cormorants on their private property.


Government fish and wildlife agencies have aggressively targeted the native migratory bird across North America because of pressure from sport anglers who wrongly blame the bird for fisheries depletion.


?Dalton McGuinty won?t publicly announce his plans to eradicate the native birds from Ontario because he doesn?t have a scientific ?leg? to stand on,? says AnnaMaria Valastro of the Peaceful Parks Coalition. ?These birds are being killed by the thousands because of political games.?


Technically, the provincial government doesn?t have to publicly announce its plans to destroy cormorants province-wide because it posted each program individually on the Environmental Bill of Rights for public comment at some point in the past. The oiling program on Lake Huron was posted in 2002 and plans to shoot cormorants for four consecutive years at Presqu?ile Provincial Park was posted in 2004. The Toronto Region and Conservation Authority will likely host one public meeting, after which they will begin oiling.


?The Conservation Authority has to at least ?appear? it is consulting with the public, even though the outcome of any public meeting is already predetermined,? says Valastro. The TRCA is waiting for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to ensure that all regulatory and legal requirements have been met before moving forward with a lethal cull. One public meeting will likely suffice to meet their regulatory obligations.

 
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