Newmarket bear shooting led to threat, MNR response change

1297707047324_ORIGINAL

York Regional Police and Ministry of Natural Resources officers remove the dead bear from a Newmarket resident’s backyard June 1, 2015.

In the wake of a high-profile bear shooting last month, the Ministry of Natural Resources received at least one threat, hundreds of complaints and a manager advised staff not to wear anything that would identify them as government workers.

The public fallout also moved the MNR to speed up their response times.

After days of sightings, York Regional Police shot a male black bear that was seen wandering around Newmarket on June 1.

Around 6:20 that morning, police alerted ministry staff the bear had gone up a tree in a neighbourhood near Upper Canada Mall and was in an ideal position to be tranquillized and removed.

Nearly two hours later, an MNR staffer arrived only to discover police had killed the bear minutes before when it tried to climb down from the tree.

The shooting unleashed a wave of anger and several protests that criticized police as well as the government.

Government e-mails, obtained by the Toronto Sun through a Freedom of Information request, show the ministry’s office received at least one threat which was reported to police and prompted the MNR to tighten security.

York Regional Police Const. Andy Pattenden says no one was charged for the threat.

Read more here: http://www.torontosun.com/2015/07/29/newmarket-bear-shooting-led-to-threat-mnr-response-change