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Nuisance coyotes concern council

Hornepayne to update bylaws to combat their nuisance coyotes.
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HORNEPAYNE – Early in the spring the township of Hornepayne was having a problem with nuisance coyotes in the community.

As a result, council members needed to address the issue before a potentially dangerous situation unfolded.

To do so, the municipality looked at its by-laws to see what would be the appropriate course of action.

“Since I brought this up about three months ago, I appreciate the staffs’ effort that was put forth,” Coun. Drago Stefanic said during the council meeting on Wednesday.

“Since there's no coyote danger at the moment, I still think we should enact the bylaw and be prepared in the future as we should have been prepared a few months previous and we were not.”

Stefanic pointed to the staff report submitted by CAO Aileen Singh.

The report highlights the municipality's investigation into the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) current information for wildlife animal control, as well as the municipality of Wawa’s bylaws on regulating the discharge of firearms within the municipality and predator controls.

Wawa’s bylaw allows the discharge of firearm authorization areas to control nuisance wildlife. The bylaw indicates that hunting of nuisance wildlife is “limited to December 14, 2023, to December 31, 2023, January 1 – March 31, 2024, and November 16 – December 31, 2024, and would be limited to half an hour before sunrise (as set by provincial hunting legislation) until 9:30 a.m.,” the report stated.

The MNRF also outlines that the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act allows municipalities to protect their property nuisance wildlife, including coyotes, or they can hire a licensed hunter or trapper to do so on their behalf.

Stefanic believes a bylaw to address nuisance wildlife is necessary to ensure the safety of the community because he is uncertain the Ontario Provincial Police have the staff to service the community.

“To have the OPP officer dispatch the animal when it becomes dangerous - my concern is if there's no one available locally, what do we do? That's my main concern because I think it's very dangerous, especially little children playing in backyards. But I'd like to move forward and to see the best possible (outcome). Even if we compensate the trappers or whoever the case may be, once we could define the discussion, I think we should be acting on it," said Stefanic.

Mayor Cheryl Fort agreed with Stefanic on updating the bylaw. In the past, the municipality has had an issue with beavers on the waterways.

“Even when other animals are a nuisance that may come in the community, if we don't have anyone to call at least we can get some advice or something in that,” said Fort.

Staff have been directed staff to look into updating their animal bylaw and possibly enact a secondary bylaw to ensure they are providing safe information to the community.

Clint Fleury

About the Author: Clint Fleury

Clint Fleury is a web reporter covering Northwestern Ontario and the Superior North regions.
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