Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Threats were made against Mayor Catherine Fournier and Councilor Jonathan Tabarah.

The slaughter of deer in Longueuil will begin in the fall of 2024

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A young white-tailed deer, also called roe deer, in the middle of Michel-Chartrand Park, in Longueuil.

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After obtaining court approval this fall, the City of Longueuil announces that it will move forward in the fall of 2024 with its operation to reduce the deer population in Michel-Chartrand Park, during a controlled crossbow hunt.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the municipal administration explained that it planned to carry out this felling only next fall, or almost in a year, in particular due to the delays required to obtain all the permits and launch the necessary calls for tenders.

The mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, added that the City must also comply with the biological wildlife calendar and the hunting periods prescribed by the Ministry of the Environment […] which generally extend from fall until the start of winter.

Prepare for such an operation in an urban environment requires time, planning and precision.

A quote from Catherine Fournier, mayor of Longueuil

According to the municipality's plan, the park will be temporarily closed next fall and will be secured by the city's police department. The slaughter of the animals will be carried out by a company of professional hunters, under the supervision of a private security firm to ensure the coordination of operations.

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The mayor of Longueuil, Catherine Fournier, announced Wednesday that the slaughter of white-tailed deer in Michel-Chartrand Park will take place in the fall of 2024.

Confined in an urban woodland of less than two square kilometers, these white-tailed deer, which have no natural predators, have multiplied there in an uncontrolled manner for years and have exerted strong pressure on the natural vegetation, incapable of feed these dozens of animals. Not to mention the damage inflicted on properties neighboring the park and the dangers to road safety in the surrounding area.

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Around sixty road accidents involving deer have been recorded near the park for two years.

We see it at Michel-Chartrand Park, at the size of a man, there is no more food. What is directly threatened is the ecological balance of the park.

A quote from Jonathan Tabarah, councilor of the Parc-Michel-Chartrand district

The overpopulation of deer also poses public health problems by contributing to the proliferation of certain animal diseases and, above all, ticks capable of transmitting Lyme disease to humans.

According to data presented by the City in 2017, there were 32 deer in the park with an area of ​​1.9 km2. During the last count, there were 117. However, a wooded area of ​​this size cannot accommodate more than fifteen deer without endangering its regeneration, maintains the City, which can have up to 100 animals under court decisions.

Approximately 50,000 white-tailed deer are killed each year in Quebec as part of hunting and population control measures. In 2021, the herd was estimated between 250,000 and 325,000 head in Quebec, including the deer population on Anticosti Island. It is estimated that their population has doubled in the past 30 years.

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Little Sébastien Berthelet, 8 years old, and his mother Isabelle van Weereld were present this morning in front of Longueuil city hall to express their opposition to the slaughter of deer which are, according to the boy, tame animals.

Outside city hall, around twenty peaceful demonstrators gathered in front of the building to protest the decision of municipal administration.

Aware of the problem represented by the overpopulation of deer, opponents advocate methods other than eliminating the animals to resolve the problem; sterilizing females, as is done in British Columbia (New window), or capturing and moving the animals to wooded areas, where they will not cause harm.

We are governed by a gang of cavemen, protested a woman who brandished a sign in front of the doors of city hall.

Another demonstrator, who claimed to have driven two hours to come demonstrate in Longueuil, wanted to remind Longueuil residents that there is a lot of information that is not relevant to them. been given in this folder.

As long as they have not taken action, we continue to have hope.

A quote from A protester

Deer trust humans and we must save them at the zoo and the shelter… And not the cruel massacre, pleaded another demonstrator.

The affair, which has unleashed passions for three years in Longueuil, gave rise once again on Wednesday to the uttering of threats against Mayor Catherine Fournier, who had already been targeted by such comments last October.

According to the Longueuil agglomeration police department, the new threats received this time were aimed at the both to Mayor Fournier and to municipal councilor Jonathan Tabarah.

Although Sépaq recently killed nearly 400 deer in the Îles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Saint-Bruno national parks, just a few kilometers from Longueuil, the decision concerning Michel-Chartrand Park gave rise to to a real legal and media saga.

The affair began in 2020 when the mayor at the time, Sylvie Parent, announced the capture and slaughter of half of the deer in the park in order to preserve the balance of the ecosystem, leading to an outcry.

The mayor was even threatened with death following this announcement which was very poorly received by citizens and animal protection organizations who were firmly opposed to this measure. A petition of 40,000 names had also been filed.

Giving in to pressure, Mayor Parent opted for capture, anesthesia and removal animals in zoos and authorized places.

However, around fifteen experts consulted rejected this idea, emphasizing that the project entailed numerous risks of injury, paralysis or mortality linked to the stress of capture and transport for the animals.

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Lawyer Anne-France Goldwater (Archive photo)

When it came to power in 2021, the administration of Mayor Catherine Fournier resolved to resort to slaughter through controlled hunting.

This measure was then contested in the Superior Court of Quebec by opponents whose voice was carried by lawyer Me Anne-France Goldwater, but in vain. The court confirmed last August the City's right to slaughter up to 100 animals at Michel-Chartrand Park.

The opponents then seized the Court of Appeal to try to overturn the decision. The Court of Appeal suspended the slaughter of the deer in December 2022, while the case was studied.

In October, the court refused to hear the case and dismissed the organization Sauvetage Animal Rescue, a citizen of Longueuil as well as the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

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