| Mar 31, 2005


Letters, March 17, 2005

Letters March 17 2005

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Re: Coyotes and Wolves

I am writing to you about, an article that appeared in your newspaper in December called Wolves or Coyotes. (Nature Reflections column December 9, 2004)

The article in your newspaper referred to a study by Theberge et al that was published in the Canadian Field Naturalist.

I would like to try to help your readers understand the wolf issue properly with science and true biology, and remove all the confusion if that is possible. All of this can be verified on MNRs web site or in your library.

The wolves we have in Ontario today are the Grey Wolf, The eastern wolf and the Coyote.

First The Coyote is found from in every corner of this province and are the most prominent of the wolf family in the southern part of the province.

Yes you do have Eastern wolves and Coyotes in your part of the province. But as far as wolves or Coyotes breeding with dogs goes, it is a very rare thing, as most times the wolves or coyotes consider the dog a threat and kill them. So what you are probably seeing and hearing are coyotes.

Next The issue of the so called Algonquin Wolf: these wolves are all members of the same family, the eastern wolf and there is no such thing as the Red Wolf in Ontario or in Algonquin park.

Dr White of Trent university did an in depth DNA study in March 2001 on all the hides from the trapping houses and found that the Eastern Grey wolf and the wolf that Theberge called the red wolf were exactly the same wolf and there is no distinct wolf to Algonquin park nor do they have a distinct DNA from the other eastern wolves in Ontario.

I was part of a group of stakeholders that Mr. Brent Paterson from MNR gave a presentation to in December, on the wolves of Ontario and Algonquin Park.

The study has showed that in fact there are more wolves in Algonquin Park today than when D. H. Pilmot did his work in the 1960s, and that the park is at its maximum carrying capacity for the amount of prey species available (beaver & deer and moose).

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Last year MNR had tracking collars on 146 wolves in the park and have found at least 28 packs ranging in size from as few as three animals to 18. He also noted that there are no areas in the park where wolves were absent, as Mr. Theberge has suggested.

These packs of wolves have home ranges that overlap each other and expand outside the park boundaries as the packs from outside the park overlap inside the park boundaries.

I would also like to point out that the Eastern wolf is not endangered and have been healthy and stable in Ontario for 20 to 30 years, with a population of over 10,000 and is thriving, all the way from Manitoba to the east New Brunswick, according to MNRs own biologists in the field.

The Committee on the status of Endangered Species in Canada ( C.O.S.E.W.I.C ) determined in 2002, that the Eastern Wolves was in no way endangered. The committee also expressed no concern about over harvesting of these wolves.

Basic wolf biology tells us that wolf populations can sustain harvests of 30 or 40% without any negative impact. At the present time the harvest in Ontario is less than 6% each year. Wolf researcher, Mr.Douglas Pilmot, demonstrated this decades ago when Wolf Control was found to be ineffective in the park. The MNR in Algonquin Park were killing 55-60 wolves annually, in the 1950s and it did not reduce the population.

Dr Pilmot indicated that the saturation point for wolves in Ontario was 2.9 wolves per 100 sq Klm and we are at that point right We feel that Mr. Paterson should have been given more time to prepare an accurate assessment on this issue before any restrictions were made permanent around Algonquin Park.

The hunters and trappers of this province are your front line conservationists we spend millions of dollars every year on wildlife and wildlife habitat improvement. If the outdoor community recognizes a legitimate reason for regulations on species-specific hunting, we will be the first to condone the actions needed to regulate and preserve that animal.

Given all the facts, numbers, and data collected to date we find that the Eastern Grey Wolf and the Coyotes are not only abundant but their population is growing rapidly.

If this government is not careful they may make a decision that could only be compared to the spring bear hunt and we know what a disaster that has turned out to be.

Please take the time to investigate Mr. Patersons report at your earliest convenience. You can contact him in the Peterborough office of MNR.

John Bell, Lindsay, Ontario

Re: Same-Sex Marriage

Exerpts from A Companion to Catechism by Arthure W. Lochead, D.D. The United Church Publishing House, 1945. What is sin? Sin is mans refusal to trust God and do His will, and his following the evil desires of his own heart. -page 17: What are the consequences of sin? Sin brings upon men God's displeasure, and condemnation, breaks their fellowship with one another, corrupts their nature, and involves the world in moral confusion and distress.---Page 22: What did Jesus Christ do to overcome sin? Jesus took our sin upon Him and bore it on the Cross, and God set His seal on Christ's work, by raising Him from the dead, and exalting Him as Lord of all. page 23: What must we do to be saved? If we are to be saved, we must repent of our sins, and commit ourselves to Christ in life and death. page 27, What is the task of the church? To minister to the needy, to wage war on evil, and strive for right relations among men----.page 74- What duty do husband and wife owe to one another? It is the duty of husband and wife, as Partners for life, to give one another Love, Fidelity, and Co-operation, married life is a precious gift of God. In married life man and woman double their joys and halve their sorrows. The love that a husband bears to his wife should be a picture of Christs love to the Church and the love of a wife to her husband should be deep and sincere as the love of a believer to Christ. ..The Christian ideal is that there be no breakdown of the marriage tie, Husband and wife are one till death parts them (Mark 10:2-12 Matt:19:3-9

This book has a lot more to say about the holiness of Gods own church, and that is good enough for me.

Donna Carr

Mitchell Creek Bridge

The Federal Government's bureaucratic heavy machinery is about to mow down local solutions to bridge repair over a tiny creek in South Frontenac Township. Collateral damage will include major new township expenses, weeks of traffic headaches for local residents, the destruction of a picturesque waterway, and potentially serious environmental impacts.

It didn't have to be this way.

Mitchell Creek is just a small, pretty stream that runs between Desert Lake and Birch Lake. The wood-and-steel bridge over the creek is an integral part of the lively surrounding community which includes year-round residents, summer cottages, Snug Harbour Resort, and Mitchell Creek Outfitters. The narrowing of the bridge to one lane serves an important traffic-calming function in this neighbourhood, where kids and dogs abound.

Traffic calming occurs in the stream, as well. The bridge is high enough to allow canoes and small motorized craft to pass underneath. It is also low enough to inhibit access to larger boat traffic, particularly in the early spring when the water is high and birds are nesting. This is important in a narrow and ecologically sensitive waterway, where the eggs of loons and other nesting waterfowl can easily be swamped by the wake of large speedboats. All summer, visitors to Frontenac Park use public access at the bridge to launch their canoes, rewarded with a quiet wildlife-enhanced paddle up the creek to their campsites.

A simple repair is all that is needed. Engineers hired by the township last year came up with a cost-effective proposal to replace the steel girders. Their solution would maintain the essential character of the bridge, cause minimal disturbance to the stream and limit traffic disruption for residents on upper Canoe Lake Road to a matter of a few days. Many local residents expressed their strong support for this proposal through their letters and participation in a public information session last summer.

It all seemed quite straightforward until the federal government waded in. Transport Canada's Navigable Waterways Protection Act has rules about bridges rules, it seems, that apply blindly to all bridges, whether the passageway goes over the St. Lawrence River on a major highway or over a tiny creek on a backwoods road. And those rules say that Mitchell Creek's new bridge repairs must ensure a five-foot clearance over the waterway's high water mark.

Five feet! What's five feet?

Five feet means a major development that will excavate roadways on both sides of the creek. It means weeks of long detours to get to work and school and critical access problems for emergency vehicles. Five feet means tens of thousands of dollars (or much more) in additional and unnecessary expenses for the township and its taxpayers. It means a narrow, hazardous waterway overrun by high-powered motorboats speeding between lakes.

Five feet also means a whole host of new problems. Will the new and wider bridge block access to the public boat launch? If so, will there be costly expropriations of land to maintain public boat access? Will larger, faster boats in the narrow creek threaten the safety of canoeists and other non-motorized travellers? If so, will there be a whole new round of investigations regarding speed limits and channel markers?

To the Federal Government, it doesn't seem to matter that the existing bridge over Mitchell Creek is perfectly satisfactory, maintaining the liveable community and rich natural environment that we cherish. To the Feds, rules are Rules.

But it matters to us to the taxpayers, local residents, and users of Mitchell Creek. We care about this community and its safety. We care about maintaining and supporting a local environment abundant with thriving plant and animal species. We care about the squandering of many thousands of dollars on a wasteful and potentially damaging project.

Mitchell Creek is not the Thousand Islands Bridge. Exceptions to rules can and do happen. The Desert Lake causeway, for example, was built long after the Navigable Waters Act came into effect, but it has no high water clearance whatsoever.

Township Council must not allow South Frontenac to be bullied by federal bureaucratic rules that attempt to shoehorn every community into the same ill-fitting shoes. I urge Council to face up to the Feds and demand that room be made in the regulations for a little bridge that needs to survive.

Nancy Bayly Hartington, Ontario

Multiple chemical sensitivities

If I were sitting in a wheelchair, my disability would be obvious and severe. However, my disability is an invisible one that is not well known or understood.

I have multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) or environmental illness or sensitivities which is afflicting a growing number of people in our society. This diagnosis has been confirmed by a physician, a leading specialist in environmental medicine, and formally acknowledged by the government of Ontario.

Because this illness so drastically affects my ability to function around other people, I feel compelled to educate my community about it. I must hasten to add a thank you to those who continue to accommodate my needs.

MCS is a complex of symptoms that are distressing and confusing, especially to the person suffering from them. The causes are toxic chemicals in the "environment", in the air and water and food and everything around us. A reaction is triggered by exposure at lower levels than those that would affect the "average" person. The treatment is basically one of avoidance, as there is nothing else to be done to avoid a reaction or to treat it when it happens. The reactions vary and I will return to this later. The important point here is that avoiding the toxins is the only treatment.

Now, I am not saying all this off the top of my greying head. The information comes to me from the specialist in environmental medicine and from the common literature on the subject.

If this publication will give me the space, I will discuss in more detail the substances that cause reactions and what the reactions are, the differences between allergies and chemical sensitivities and my own personal experience of this illness later.

In a letter to another woman even more devastated by this condition than I am, Commissioner Norton of the Ontario Human Rights Commission writes explicitly, "It is the Commission's policy position, ., that environmental sensitivity is a disability and is thus protected under the Code.

"The Commission encourages individuals and organizations to be aware of their human rights obligations and to consider the needs of persons with chemical sensitivity including the duty to provide appropriate accommodation short of undue hardship. Failure to do so may contravene the Code."

Next time, I will go into just exactly what all this means for my situation and your role in it. Meanwhile, please think of me when you splash on some cologne or put fabric softener in your laundry because, though you may consider it none of my business, yet when we meet at the community centre, library or grocery store, it affects me in a most detrimental way.

Jennifer Tsun, McDonalds Corners

Re: Same-sex marriage

This is in reply to a letter in the Frontenac News by Rev. Jean Brown re same-sex marriage (March 3, 2005)

I do not agree with the statement: There are many ways of interpreting the Bible. The Bible is the divine revelation of God and you cannot dispense any part of it. Whether it is modern scholarship or 2000 years ago, the Bible cannot be changed to meet the sins of the world.

Genesis 19 gives an account of the sexual sins in Sodom and Gomorrah, and what God did to the cities, verses 24 and 25. You can also read it in Leviticus 18: 22; Romans 1: 24 27; and 2 Peter 2:6. I do not believe that this refers to anything but homosexuality, same-sex marriage and it cannot be an honourable marriage.

God created everything, including male and female, and then He said, multiply and replenish the earth. Can you give me an inkling of how this can be done in same-sex marriage? You can call it whatever you want, but God calls it sin, and He will only let sin go so far, and then He will do the same as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah.

Yes, we will all stand before God and give an account of ourselves, and the way society is going it wont be long.

Grace Tooley

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