At its April 30th meeting, Collingwood Town Council voted in favour of Staff Report C2018-12, recommending that Council approve the updated Coyote Management/ Communication Plan, and support the recommendations contained herein, be approved.
Councillor Kevin Lloyd voted against. He said he sees the coyote problem in Collingwood’s east end as being a major problem and because of that he couldn’t support the staff report.
Staff does not recommend implementing a trapping program unless the problem coyotes meet the criteria within the updated coyote management / communication plan. Human safety is a priority and the natural ecology.
Staff recommends proceeding immediately with the communication plan as outlined in Schedule A of the report, including but not limited to:
• Establishing a hotline for immediate response to coyote issues
• Establish education sessions on coyotes and hazing techniques
• Direct mailing to residents in the east end, and concerned areas
• Provide appropriate Officer training
• Develop radio advertisements
• Increase signage throughout town
Staff also recommends retaining the services of Coyote Watch Canada to help undertake components of their program to meet the needs of the updated Plan, including facilitating education and training programs and developing a local coyote response team to assist staff, residents and potentially the OPP.
Staff will also be requesting assistance from local veterinarians and physicians to report any activities or concerns they are witnessing/addressing as it may pertain to coyote attacks or encounters.
Councillor Bob Madigan said that he didn’t feel the coyote problem should be a situation to be dealt with by elected officials. He said the problem is a provincial ministry matter.
He also provided the quote of the evening when he commented on presentations and discussions to educate the public to co-exist with coyotes as a solution to the reports of a growing problem.
“You can educate the public but you can’t educate a wild animal.”
Others presented the argument that people need to learn more about co-existing with coyotes. Sarah Abawi presented this side of the conversation to council.
The purpose of the Staff Report report was to respond to Council’s request that staff undertake an immediate assessment of the “threat” (of coyotes) in the east end of Collingwood and develop options for Council’s consideration by April 30th, 2018.