FILE -- Police look on after a bear fell from a tree on Cox Cresecent in this August tbnewswatch.com file photograph. Citing a growing bear population, Liberal MPP Bill Mauro is presenting a private member's bill to Queen's Park asking for an expanded bear hunt.
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The spring bear hunt debate is waking from its hibernation and heading straight for Queen’s Park.
MPP Bill Mauro (Lib., Thunder Bay-Atikokan) is introducing a private member's bill at the province’s legislature in Toronto that would address a growing bear population, something he said has been an issue throughout Northern Ontario since the Progressive Conservatives cancelled the spring hunt tin 1999.
"I see it as a public safety issue. I think most of us have strong concerns about the amount of bear and human interactions that are occurring," Mauro said.
While the spring hunt's return could be a possibility, Mauro intentionally left the wording out of the discussion out of fears that MPPs might not support the bill. Instead, the MPP intends to have a discussion about an expanded hunt.
Having a discussion about an expanding hunt means the legislature can explore other opportunities.
"I'm going to try and see what we can do, what's possible," he said.
Expanding the hunt could also lead to more economic activity for the region and the province Mauro said.
Environmental aspects of an expanded hunt also need to be looked at, he added.
The Progressive Conservatives are considering whether they should include reinstating the spring hunt as part of its platform in the next election.
At a party policy convention this past weekend in London delegates voted in favour of having the party's policy team look into the idea.
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