Wednesday, April 17: Transporting bears, killing beavers: readers have strong views on the city’s upcoming wildlife strategy. You can write to us at

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We can co-exist with wild animals

Re: Will Ottawa take a humane approach to urban wildlife? We’re skeptical, April 10.

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It is embarrassing that the nation’s capital is still killing wildlife. Other cities introduced “living with wildlife and coexistence” programs years ago. These cities have developed a wide range of other environmentally progressive initiatives, such as sponge parks and rain gardens, wildlife passage guidelines and biodiversity strategies.

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Why is Ottawa so far behind? From the good work being done in other cities, it seems to come down to vision, leadership and most important, the willingness of staff to engage the public in solutions. The Citizen op-ed on Ottawa having shut groups out of the Wildlife Strategy consultation process should send a strong message to the mayor and councillors on what needs to change.

Kristiina Musson, Kanata

Wildlife plan is a Pandora’s Box

Human interactions with wildlife are complicated. Some individuals call for bears to be transported to other locations. Others are upset because some species have been transported to their neighbourhood. Some raise concerns about euthanizing beaver. On the other hand, anyone with a rat or mice infestation will take measures to euthanize these pests.

Ottawa has a significant agricultural community. There are some organic farmers.  However, most farmers depend on the use of pesticides (Insecticides, herbicides, rodicides etc.) to produce the food we enjoy. All this is to say that a wildlife plan is very complicated and can involve treating different species differently and different situations differently.

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The city has a lot more important and urgent things to do than opening the Pandora’s Box of a wildlife plan. The city’s role is best limited to helping residents better deal with their interactions with our wildlife. This could involve how to mouse- or raccoon-proof your residence. Another is advice on eliminating standing water, where mosquitos propagate.

Alan Asselstine, Ottawa

Bad management wastes our money

For a city facing serious financial challenges, it is disturbing to hear the money being wasted in Ottawa’s outdated approach to beaver management.

Spending hundreds of thousands annually to carry out physical maintenance at the huge number of city road culverts and stormwater ponds is unacceptable when there is a proven alternative. It is to install flow devices that effectively protect infrastructure while allowing beavers to continue to provide their essential environmental services.

Flow-device technology would eliminate or greatly reduce costs to Ottawa taxpayers while benefiting the environment and providing a humane alternative to killing beavers. Check out for modern solutions.

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Robert McNamara, Stittsville

Killing beavers has to stop

I was shocked to learn that the City of Ottawa kills 150 beavers a year. Cities across North America are recognizing that beavers are a critical ally in protecting our shrinking wetlands, a key component in fighting climate change. A number of U.S. states, facing floods, drought and wildfires, are reintroducing beavers.
How can Ottawa have declared a climate emergency and not be aware of this fact?

It seems the bureaucracy is content to just muddle along in isolation, out of step with the rest of the universe. Where is our elected leadership?

Eric Farrar, Ottawa

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