The Deputy Minister Bill Thornton has said No to Kathleen Wynne’s promises to fix wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario and refused to meet with representatives from the rehabilitation community.

Wildlife rehabilitators take in injured and orphaned wild animals, rehabilitate them and release them back into the wild. Rehabilitators receive no financial support from any level of government.  Wildlife rescue centres are largely run by volunteers and most operate at personal cost and by donations from the public.  For their generosity, rehabilitators are subjected to extensive and expensive reporting requirements  by the Ministry of Natural Resources .

Most Wildlife rescue centres have invested hard earned dollars on  such as buildings, caging and equipment yet can be closed down at any time with no right of appeal.

More troubling is the lack of provision  for authorized rehabilitators to defend themselves should the Ministry decide to interfere with a rehabilitator’s programme or decide to shut a rehabilitator down completely.  Wildlife rehabilitators have no right of appeal these decisions.  They are vulnerable to the whims of Ministry staff.

In most cases, Ministry staff  have little or no knowledge of wildlife rehabilitation but still have the power to close down a wildlife rescu centre with out giving a reason. Even a wildlife rescu centre that has been in operation for 20 to 30 years can be closed with ni recourse.

Ironically, hunters who kill animals have the right to appeal should their hunting permit be suspended or cancelled.

The Premier promised to correct this situation and change the policy and regulations to facilitate

rather than punish the rehabilitation community.

With the continuing loss of wildlife recue centres across Ontario the remaining centres are being pushed beyond endurance.

For more information go to or contact

Sandy Donald  416-436-9892