City council voted to let area deer fend for themselves by having no exceptions to a by-law that prohibits residents from feeding them.
The majority of council voted against an amended at Monday night’s meeting to a city by-law that would have allowed residents to feed deer found only on Mission Island and McKellar Island. Council passed a by-law in May prohibiting any feeding of any wild animal as well as limited bow hunting of deer within the city.
At-Large Coun. Larry Hebert, who put forward the amendment, voted for the change. He had requested that the amendment would allow feeding of deer on private property on the islands with permission from the owner.
Current River Coun. Andrew Foulds said allowing feeding in that area wouldn’t be fair to those who want to feed animals in other parts of the city and added that feeding animals isn’t right.
Giving food to animals can harm them because it causes them suffering when they become depending on those handouts, he said.
Foulds also pointed out that allowing the public to feed deer also put more people at risk of contracting Lyme Disease from the ticks that are on deer as well as other diseases and infections.
“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about deer,” Foulds said. “This council has decided that in some parts of the city it’s OK to shoot (deer) to get the population down and then other places to feed them to keep their population up. I’m not sure our credibility on the wildlife manage file is particularly stellar.”
Council also approved $1.3 million for phase two of the repairs to the Whalen building. That money includes an additional $170,000 to replace the damaged lantern that was struck by lightning in May. An additional $110,000 was also included for additional work with phase 1.
In other business, council also approved three more low-floor, 40-foot diesel transit buses. The contract was awarded to Nova Bus at $1.2 million. The contract also allows the city to purchase six more buses over the next two years.
City Manager Tim Commisso also announced that the city along with Fort William First Nation and the Community Economic Development Commission have picked SNC Lavalin to develop and implement the comprehensive Mining Readiness Strategy and Integrated Economic Development Plan.
SNC Lavalin will work alongside Edward Hoshizaki Development Consulting.