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Friday, April 30, 2004

“It’s like a freakin' country bear jambaroo around here”

The Ontario Provincial Police have signed a protocol with the Liberal [prov] government which requires them to respond to emergency bear calls. The protocol, according to the fact sheet, allows them to shoot the animals "if there are no other safe alternatives following recommended procedures". (I like the way governments always stick the really important stuff on the backgrounders.) Back to the press release:

"The new protocol will help the OPP improve upon the safety of people who are placed in danger by bears," said OPP Deputy Commissioner Maurice Pilon. "Every bear incident is different and by providing a coordinated approach to assessing each situation and potential response, we can also act in the best interests of our human and bear population."

Gotta love that last phrase "our human and bear population". Of course our human and our bear populations are on equal footing, except that bears don't vote... at least not in general elections (who knows, maybe they are allowed to vote in party nomination meetings; just about everybody else can).

Does anyone know what prompted this? Have there been recent news stories about bear attacks that I missed? I'm tempted to think it is some sort of vague, echoing response to problems brought about in the long-term by a general distrust and disarming of the populace by our elitist governments--"sometimes bears must be shot; only the police should have guns; send the police to shoot the bears"--but perhaps this is only my Albertan red-as-beet-neck showing.

Posted by Kevin Steel on April 30, 2004 | Permalink


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These procedures are part of the Ontario government's response to the increase in bear-human conflicts due to the Ontario government cancelling the spring bear hunt a few years back. Of course, our betters tell us that this is not the cause of the increase at all, rather, it's lack of traditional food sources that have forced our bear brothers to seek food among the human population. They know this because bear-human interaction in Toronto has flatlined. They even have a website heralding their "Bear-Wise" program. ( http://bears.mnr.gov.on.ca/ ) It's pretty funny reading until you realize they are serious! Quoth I: "Fighting back is the best chance of persuading a bear to stop it's attack. Use a large stick, a rock or anything else that you have on hand to hurt the bear."
Here in rural Ontario, we prefer to use a gun and a shovel. It's not that we're rednecks per se, it's just that we have this quaint notion about life and property trumping Yogi's right to wander about unmolested. Or to put it more succinctly -IT'S A FRICKIN' BEAR YOU IDIOTS!

Posted by: Robert | 2004-04-30 7:37:34 AM

And a big gun at that, annoying them is dangerous.

-not red neck, but practical

Posted by: Fred | 2004-04-30 9:03:45 AM

"...except that bears don't vote... at least not in general elections (who knows, maybe they are allowed to vote in party nomination meetings..."

I'm pretty sure they're allowed to vote in Chicago, though. After all, everybody else can -- dead people, guys in jail, etc.

Posted by: David Crawford | 2004-04-30 12:11:08 PM

They may not be able to vote, but they are also (so far) exempt from paying taxes. I'd make that trade any day.

As a city dweller, I have an unwritten agreement with our furry friends, stay the hell out of my neighbourhood and I'll gladly stay out of yours.

Posted by: Jay Jardine | 2004-04-30 2:16:17 PM

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