What to do about Winnie the Pooh, Presenza wonders
By: Supplied Press Release
Sudbury, Ontario, September 25, 2014:
Ward 8 Candidate Stefano Presenza says that one of the greatest concerns of the residents of Ward 8 is the tremendous increase in bears directly visiting residents on their front-yards.
“Ward 8 is very family-oriented, with lots of kids and schools in the area. Public safety is becoming the number one concern.”
Since early summer, more and more bears have been spotted in driveways, and residents are becoming frustrated with the passive response by government agencies. During his past few weeks of canvassing, Stefano has inevitably had direct contact with bears on a weekly basis, either on or around garbage nights.
“Others have joked that I seem to be a bear magnet, and should be carrying an air horn – although I have been told residents have driven up to them and honked their horns in an attempt to scare them off, with absolutely no success”.
Bears were a center issue at the last Ward 8 CAN meeting, with local resident Maria Bozzo compiling a more formal report of sightings and actions that have been taken to date. Despite the usual advice of keeping garbage in until morning, limiting the use of bird-feeders and scaring them off by banging pots and pans, no formal plan has been put in place.
Being a long-time resident himself, Stefano sympathizes with the lack of response.
“Residents are feeling ignored, and the unfortunate current situation is that the MNR won’t take action, and the GSPS is simply too busy attending more severe calls, leaving us to live under the possibility of constant threat – it seems like nothing will be done until a youngster is finally gobbled up - this is absolutely unacceptable. We have the right to feel safe in our own front yards, let alone neighbourhoods!”
Presenza is proposing that the City take on a very active role in dealing with the issue.
“The province used to fund a catch-and-release program, which was cut due to budget constraints. I realize money is tight, but resident safety is a top priority”.
Presenza is advocating for a temporary use of funds to ensure a similar program, perhaps in conjunction with animal control.
“Perhaps a very basic bear sanctuary can be developed, where food sources can be provided in a more suitable location outside of City walls. As cute as he is, Winnie the Pooh’s gotta go. he can have a party, but not around our kids.”
Other proposed ideas from Bozzo’s report include notifying neighbourhoods and schools, and Presenza also thinks a neighbourhood watch should be organized, along with a potential website where sightings can be quickly blogged about in real-time and easily updated.
“My prayer is that I don’t wake up tomorrow and read about how Winnie got a little hungry taking a bite out of young Christopher”.
Stefano remains committed to improved safety for Ward 8, a priority since day one of his campaign.
More updates on the Bear Issue can be seen at www.stefano-ward8.com.