The Ontario legislature has passed a motion to strike an all-party committee on bear management.

The motion was supported by the NDP and some Liberal members. Progressive Conservative members voted against it, with many arguing it's a duplication of bear policies already in place.

John Vanthof

Temiskaming Cochrane MPP John Vanthof. (photo supplied)

MPP John Vanthof of Timiskaming-Cochrane introduced the motion and said he sees the committee as a way for northerners to finally weigh in on the issue of bear populations.

The NDP member said such a committee is long overdue.

"The fact of the matter is that expert opinion has never been looked at by a legislative committee,” Vanthof said.

"There's been an expert panel, all kinds of stuff. But at no time have northerners had a chance to talk to legislators and give their views to legislators."

The committee would travel the province to seek solutions to a climbing bear population.

But a wildlife ecologist at Cambrian College in Sudbury said he hasn't seen any evidence to suggest that bear populations have increased.

"I just think it's hogwash,” Josef Hamr said. “I just don't see any data to that effect."

The Liberal government has not said if it will follow through on the motion and strike the bear committee before the next election.


  • A previous version of this story stated Josef Hamr doesn't think the committee is necessary. That statement was inaccurate.
    Nov 01, 2013 12:16 PM ET