Public doesn't appear to be happy with the position the city has taken on the coyote problem

By Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2023



When the city put out a media release earlier this week  advising the public that the coyote population was now in its Denning Season a number of people had questions.

The Gazette is currently running a readership survey. It will be up until the 15th – you can access the survey HERE

One wrote: “I’m waiting for the time when someone gets seriously attacked or their pet killed, and resorts to a class action suit. This, sadly, is where we may be heading”

City seems to be taking its lead, again, from Coyote Watch and placing the onus on citizens to manage what the City increasingly appears incapable of administering.  This is a failed strategy that is as ineffective in 2023 as it was in 2015.

A dangerous coyote – they don’t all snarl – but they are a concern

Another reader finds that when she is out walking her dog, more often than not she spots a coyote and has to pick up her dog and start walking backwards away from the coyote.

In September of 2022, Stephen White and Julie Martin wrote and presented to the City Manager, a detailed report with some action that could be taken.

The City Manager sat on the report – didn’t pass it along to any member of Council.  He later said that he should have circulated the report.

White points us to several features in the report which we have set out below.

Conduct an impact analysis by neighbourhoods to identify various controls that should be implemented to safeguard residents, children and pets from coyote attacks.

Improve both the quantity and quality of signage relating to coyotes, and ensure it offers meaningful information on what to do in the event of sightings.

Current municipal by-laws should be amended to permit the laying of charges and assessment of fines for persons who feed coyotes.

Provide appropriate coyote management education in schools and parks that border creeks.

Change municipal by-laws to permit residents to increase fence heights in order to deter coyotes from entering residents’ properties.

Permit residents’ whose properties back onto wooded areas to place an awning structure at the top of their fence to prevent coyote jumps.

Request more frequent and nightly bylaw officer visits to wooded areas known to have coyote dens.

Scientifically measure the size of the coyote population in West Oakville, Bronte and Burlington.

Institute a program of coyote contraception to limit the size of the coyote population.

Initiate a program of aggressive hazing to instill fear in coyotes.

Institute a program of regular pesticide spraying of rats and other vermin consumed by Coyotes in our trail areas and known den areas.

Stephen White is of the view that parts of the report he submitted are being implemented which he sees as a problem

Related news story:

Coyotes are creating dens for their newborn pups

Orillia takes a different approach

The White- Martin report on the Coyote problem


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8 comments to Public doesn’t appear to be happy with the position the city has taken on the coyote problem

  • Denise W.

    Where to begin? The whole list is a joke.

    “Permit residents’ whose properties back onto wooded areas to place an awning structure at the top of their fence to prevent coyote jumps.

    Request more frequent and nightly bylaw officer visits to wooded areas known to have coyote dens.”

    Who pays for this? Suppose a neighbour doesn’t put up such an “awning”? Then the yote is free to fence hop all over.

    Bylaw officer visits??? To what end? To read the riot act to the yotes? I could go on and on.

    Seriously, you can’t make this up. Why is it so hard for council to step up?

  • Country Gal

    … ? Clive, what would you recommend a non-rural citizen do if confronted with a black bear off Brant Street? (This happened just a few years ago …) Coyotes can be menacing to those not familiar with the species. ~ I know of one family who had 2 small family pets snatched from their fenced-in backyard in broad day-light! The coyotes got ‘in’ via the lake shore. ~ Feral animals, when acclimatized to human habitat & food are NO JOKE. They will not leave if their food source is abundant. ~ The BEST solution for citizens south of Dundas would be a ‘catch, sedate & release’ in a territory far removed from humans. Otherwise, their presence is a tragic accident waiting to happen. For sure, an unattended child will die. ~ Remember the bear? It was finally shot. ~ Best for all if these important critters are transported out of the area as soom as they appear. Council needs to step-up.

    • Philip Waggett

      You realize of course that removing an apex predator from the neighbourhood only provides temporary relief. The original attraction to the coyote–natural prey (rabbits and squirrels, rats and mice) are plentiful in Burlington with lots of cover along wooded creeks. Remove one apex predator and another moves in to take its place–it’s inevitable.

  • SteveW

    The joke is the coyotes are running this city and doing a much better job than we are. They have free reign, choice of food and protection from animal lovers. The coyotes don’t belong in an urban setting. They have no natural predators other than man and because people are feeding them, they are no longer afraid of us. It is not a question of if, but when a child is killed and eaten by these animals.

  • Penny Hersh

    Why is anyone surprised? It was public outrage, after residents had been attacked by coyotes, that made staff and councillors take a somewhat pro-active stand in dealing with the issue.

    Once again the city is putting the onus on residents to deal with the issue. My question is how many animal control officers are dealing with the coyote issue and what are their working hours?

    In the past I had been told that there was no money in the budget to hire more animal control officers or by-law officers. I suggested at the time that perhaps those employed should work staggered hours. Doing this would result in more officers being available in the evening.

    The 2023 budget seems to allow for more officers to be hired, has this been accomplished?

    Calling into an after hours phone number is a total waste of time.

  • David

    I waved a copy of the pin wheel chart and the cities recommendations at our resident coyote who walks up from the lakeshore in daylight hours. I swear he gave me an eye roll.

  • Pamela Cowan

    I can assure you that if and or when my child or dog is confronted by a coyote I am signing on to the lawsuit in place. Why are we protecting vicious predatory animals within a city????? City Hall is beyond lame when it comes to commonsense.

  • Clive Thomas

    Coyotes were here long before us humans. These belly aching
    Folks should realize we kicked out the deer, black bears and even had the gall to name streets “Deer Run”.
    Perhaps these folks should move to a high rise to be safe

    What a joke.