Thank you for the question. I appreciate it very much.
You cited a couple of examples, so I'll refer to those first.
On the deer on Manitoulin Island, you're quite correct. It was a bad winter last year, and our DeerSave program had to contribute $10,000 to cut trails and whatnot to help save those populations.
Not to be overly dramatic, but the moose population in Ontario, and not just in Ontario, but in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well, has crashed significantly in the last few years.
There are a number of factors as to why this has occurred. Unfortunately, the response of some governments, and I'll speak to the Ontario government, is to manage hunters rather than to manage for the situation and extraneous factors. Those factors include things like climate change, as you mentioned. They also include things like clear-cutting by forestry. Most predominantly, they include things like predation by wolves and coyotes and bears.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources does not seem to recognize that there are a number of things having an impact on the moose populations. It seems intent on regulating tags for the hunting of moose without looking at these other factors. There is a moose project right now that they're engaged in. We will be participating and have participated in it, to try to get them to understand that there are a number of factors—predation, climate, forestry, a whole bunch of things—that impact our wildlife populations. It's goes beyond simply saying, “Oh well, let's just cut the tags. Oh well, let's just cut the licences”, etc.
Lake Nipissing is another example in Ontario. It used to be one of the premier walleye fisheries in Ontario, or anywhere in Canada, as a matter of fact, and was worth huge tourist dollars. Well, the wildlife population has crashed completely. The response from the government has been to cut the number of fish that recreational anglers can take. They don't touch the commercial interests there. In fact, the commercial interests have indicated quite clearly that until the recreational fishing has stopped entirely, they're not prepared to even sit down at the table and discuss it, yet it's the commercial fishing that has destroyed the walleye.
There are a number of factors that governments have to take into account, and climate change is just one of them. The clear-cutting is great for caribou but not great for moose, for instance