Letter to the Editor – Liz Craik Not Happy with Ottawa Decision to Move Lily & her Kits – BEAVER

Dear Editor,


Mayor Jim Watson, the City of Ottawa and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) decided last week to ‘relocate’ Lily and her two kits, the beavers who had been residing at the Paul Lindsay Park Pond since last summer. This ‘relocation’ seems somewhat suspicious due to the clandestine nature of how it was conducted, occurring in the dark of night and wee hours of the morning. There was virtually no community or media involvement, which surprises me for such a high profile case such as this. I wonder, if everything was as legitimate as the Mayor claims, then why not include a community member as a witness and inform the media of the wonderful deed that you are performing? Doing so would certainly go a long way to building community relations and make for great PR and press for the Mayor!


And why relocate so late in the season? Lily will need to build a new lodge and store a cache of food for herself and her kits before winter sets in, without help from her mate Lucky who mysteriously disappeared when the City destroyed their lodge late last June. Why not let them winter at the pond and relocate on their own come spring when the drought is over and water levels have returned to normal?




Why would the City turn down the opportunity to relocate the beaver to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Rousseau, where they would have been monitored, with transitional care? This was an option, but the MNR claimed “it was out of their jurisdiction”.




The Mayor and his staff felt that ‘relocation’ one month before winter begins would be a good idea, that this was the “window of opportunity”, despite numerous emails and data that stated differently. The Mayor and City staff would like the public to believe that the beaver were living in a culvert, when in fact, Lily had managed to build a small lodge, not as nice as the first one that the City destroyed, but a lodge nevertheless, and they would have been better off wintering there, than having to start all over again in a new location, with only one month to prepare before winter sets in. Relocation at this time means almost certain death for the beaver. Lily on her own will frantically try to build a shelter, forage for food, defend territory, fight off predators and take care of her babies. Mortality rates for young kits that are relocated are 100%. Predators are the largest cause of death, especially when there is not an established shelter or lodge.


The Mayor is putting a lot of emphasis on the fact that the MNR authorized this relocation. According to the MNR’s own website, they state that “Ontario is considered one of the world’s leading suppliers of wild fur.” Not sure about anyone else, but this statement doesn’t exactly give me a lot of confidence in the MNR


In my own correspondence with Mayor Watson, I have posed some  specific questions,   none of which have been addressed. Most have been mentioned within this letter. I have received the typical ‘form letter’ reply, some with photos attached. The photos are lovely,    but they do not answer any of my queries. The letters and photos are meant to pacify, but those of us asking questions don’t need to be pacified, we need the truth!


We have no reason to trust the Mayor and City staff.  That they destroyed the beavers’ first lodge and provided misinformation about this act, and then covertly relocated them with no involvement from the community or media, makes us question what they have to hide.


The City of Ottawa desperately needs a Wildlife Strategy that is humane, progressive and respectful of all wildlife. Conibear traps are still used when trapping and they are anything but humane! Beaver baffles and flow devices can be implemented where beavers dwell. There are always humane options to consider when managing the wildlife around us. We are the ones encroaching on the habitats of wildlife. We are the ones who need to learn to adapt, to live with the animals in our environment, instead of the ‘shoot, shovel, and shut up’ methods that are being questioned by numerous concerned residents of Ottawa and other cities.



Liz Craik

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  1. We could always pass the collection plate and pay their way to wherever they would like to live – hotel Hilton, etc. Or put them up in some kind of social housing, but who would want beavers for neighbors. Last but not lease, we could do the unthinkable, we could put them in the zoo? Circus? – something “that is humane, progressive and respectful of all wildlife”. What is the going rate for beaver pelts now a days?

  2. Very disappointed in the latest news on the little beavers. As for Pastor Newton’s callous comment – get a REAL job instead of living off the collection plate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. “get a REAL job instead of living off the collection plate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – at lease in is Biblical, honest, and rewarding!

    1Ti 5:17-18″ Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward”.

  4. Very disappointed to read such a cruel, insensitive, ignorant comment coming from a Pastor. If that was your attempt at humour…”EPIC FAIL.”

    Many of us have been supporting this innocent beaver family for months now. There has been time and money invested, there has been numerous demonstrations and media coverage, there has been support from neighbours who live close to the pond and there has been the promise from the Mayor and the MNR that these beaver would be safe until the spring.

    How foolish we were to have trusted him and his dim-witted gang of thugs?

    These beavers are as good as dead. The conservation area where they were dumped, still allows trapping and this young mother has not nearly enough time to build a lodge on her own ( her mate was trapped this spring), collect food for her babies, and protect them for wildlife in the area.

    In the end, the Mayor won, he got rid of the beavers and somehow made himself out to be some kind of hero that he relocated them at all, which has never been proven.

    Like most people in a position of power and authority, money and greed always win out over “the right thing to do”, there’s nothing to be gained from that is there? Except maybe a clear conscience! Well, it’s not over yet, there’s another protest to be held this Friday, we are not going to let this die along with those innocent souls. We have been promised a wildlife strategy and we’re going to make damn sure we get one!

    On a closing note, Pastor, I’m pretty sure the Bible speaks very clearly about respect and compassion for ALL living things, it seems you might need a refresher course in this area, be careful what you preach!

  5. Have to wonder what it is about wildlife, and beaver in particular, that the good pastor finds so abhorrent. There must be a passage in his book where Jesus declares woe unto wildlife and they will be thrown into a fiery lake, or some such BS.

  6. MA Schroer writes “On a closing note, Pastor, I’m pretty sure the Bible speaks very clearly about respect and compassion for ALL living things,…”

    Does that include the life of the unborn?

  7. Pastor Newton, please stay on topic, this discussion is about beavers not unborn babies! And for the record, from where I sit, ALL living things means just that, ALL living things, born or unborn!

    What about you? I bet you sit down each night to a big steak or chicken dinner, drink a big glass of milk not meant for you but a baby cow.
    Have you ever visited a factory farm Pastor Newton, ever walked through a kill floor and seen a cow, pig, chicken or lamb, skinned alive? Do you like eggs? Did you know that all male baby chicks that are deemed useless to the food industry are ground up alive minutes after they are born or thrown in garbage bags to suffocate a slow and painful death? And that all baby male calves are slaughtered within days for your piece of veal? Do you even give one second’s thought to insane amount of cruelty inflicted on our fellow earthlings just for you to enjoy a few seconds of taste in your mouth?

    Wasn’t Jesus a vegetarian? Explain this to me:Wherefore I say to all those who desire to be disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths; for the Lord is just and bountiful; who ordains that man shall live by the fruits and seeds of the earth alone. I am in all creatures and all creatures are in me. In all their joys, I rejoice. In all their afflictions, I am afflicted.” 38:1-6 Please watch “Earthlings” educate yourself, wake up, raise awareness to your congregation, that’s your job!

  8. 38:1-6, Ma Schroer – what book? In the Bible? I see it is not from the Holy Bible -“The Gospel of the Nazarenes (also Nazoraeans or Nazaraeans) is the traditional but hypothetical name given by some scholars to distinguish some of the references to, or citations of, non-canonical Jewish-Christian Gospels extant in patristic writings from other citations believed to derive from different Gospels”. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I think the Standard-Freeholder has as much authority as “The Gospel of the Nazarenes”. Maybe “Dear Abby” has more!

  9. Perhaps Mayor Watson and Shad Qadri should start listening and consulting with the fantastic Wildlife groups rather than sneaking around the backs of these Groups and “The Public” to move or perhaps in reality, exterminate the Beaver.
    The entire Nation is now watching and growing ever more angry by the inability of Mayor Watson and Shad Qadri to conduct themselves in a truthful upfront and transparent manner.
    They both seem to lack the desire to acknowledge that when council continues to allow DEVELOPMENT of the area wetlands – it is DESTROYING the Beaver natural habitat and God knows how many other wildlife species – have become homeless! Of course lining Stittsville coffers with the development money coming from the destruction of the wetlands is acceptable? No it is NOT! Not at the cost of Canadian Wildlife. Mayor Watson and his council have angered a tremendous number of Canadians. This issue will not simply be forgotten. Mayor Watson / Shad Qadri, in all sincerity it would be in your best interests to stop the charade you have tried to pass off as open truthful dialogue and sit down with the Wildlife orgs to work together.

  10. Pastor Tom Newton, why the sarcasm and insensitivity? As a pastor and leader of a flock, I would think that you would care about ALL life and ALL injustice being perpetrated?! Jesus certainly does!

    Matt. 25:40 “And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the LEAST of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (NKJV) (That’s quoted directly from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible, by the way)

    Yes, we were given dominion over the earth and the animals, however, I believe that means we are to care for the earth and the animals, not destroy them. They are living, breathing beings. Your remarks are callous and quite frankly, inappropriate for a man in your position.

  11. Funny how the Pastor skirts the issue, hypocrisy leaves a bad taste in your mouth!

  12. I did not “skirt” the issue, the good administrator chose not to post my response.

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