Bowmanville Zoo Falls Short on Support

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After 97 years, Bowmanville will no longer have a zoo to call their own. Businesses open and close all the time, but few have the name recognition that Bowmanville Zoo had, albeit for all the wrong reasons lately.

For all those blaming PETA, you need to give your head a shake. This zoo has been operating during their protests for years. It wasn’t PETA that laid charges against Michael Hackenberger, it was an agency of the Ontario Government.

It wasn’t PETA on the video swearing at a monkey during live TV, nor was it PETA who was swearing and whipping a tiger. (Michael admitted that he gave the animal “two quick swats to bring it into compliance”)

Michael Hackenberger also stated “If PETA ever got a hold of this they would burn this place to the ground”

The problem isn’t with PETA; the problem here lies squarely on the shoulders of the zoo owner, Michael Hackenberger.

Until Mr. Hackenberger is out of the picture, I can’t see attendance ever returning to its glory years. A bailout of any type from any level of government is unacceptable during the current ownership.

It’s quite obvious that those who showed up to support the zoo after the announcement that it would be closing it’s doors had little effect on the Zoo’s bottom line.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help raise money for the zoo. Since this page started over a month ago, only 3 people have donated raising $400.

The Zoo’s supporters on Facebook are begging people to go to the zoo and buy souvenirs from the gift shop, they even suggest that if you have the money, pay full price instead of using the discount coupon. They are also shamelessly asking their more than 1100 members to donate as little as $5 to the GoFundMe site. At the time of this writing, not one $5 donation from that group has been submitted.

Maybe someone out there wants to buy the Zoo and turn it into a place that we can all be proud of. The infrastructure is there for someone with creative idea’s to turn this Zoo into a place that cares for the animals as much as the people who are in charge of their care.

As it stands now, this Zoo has turned into a circus.

Michael Hackenberger didn’t own the Zoo for the last 97 years, it has changed hands before, and maybe it will change hands again.

My 2 Cents on Bowmanville Zoo

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Karma, an unintentional type of revenge.

This is what a lot of people are saying happened to the owner of the Bowmanville Zoo, Michael Hackenberger, I couldn’t agree more.

On April 12 the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals charged Michael with the following charges:

Causing an animal to be in distress by striking the animal with a whip handle.

Causing an animal distress by repeatedly striking the animal with a whip.

Causing an animal to be in distress by striking the animal in the face with a whip.

Causing an animal distress by pushing his thumb into the animal’s eye.

Failing to comply with the prescribed standards of care for such an animal.

He was also stripped of his professional membership in Canada’s Accredited Zoo and Aquariums.

Yet people still go on the Zoo’s Facebook page and comment on how much the zoo means to them or how they stand behind Michael.

If only animals could talk.

Truth be told, as far as I am concerned that whole shit show known as the Bowmanville Zoo is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

After it was announced that Limba the Elephant had passed away the zoo had people editing and deleting their Facebook page of negative and threatening comments. If you see 20 positive comments on their page, make no mistake at least 100 negative comments were removed. Social media pages that support the zoo are pushing for people to write positive reviews on Google instead of stepping back and letting the courts determine what happened.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not in favour of PETA or the protesters that come out to protest only because it’s something to do for them. I am however thankful they received that video that was released showing the world what goes on at that zoo.

What is even more disturbing is the bullshit statement realeased following his charges.

He is stepping down as director…what’s he going to call himself, he owns the zoo?

He is donating $100,000 in tickets and merchandise to families in need and charity group’s….because charities and families need zoo passes

Closure of the zoo will result in the loss of 60+ jobs…60 minimum wage jobs that most leave within the year. Should we interview those that worked there?

Who wrote the statement?

You see Michael I once supported you. I started a Facebook page that got you more positive press than you could imagine. Limba was on every major TV station and Newspaper in Ontario and most of Canada. Remember marching in the Santa Clause parade and everyone was cheering and clapping when they saw the zoo and Limba approach? I made that happen, so please don’t dismiss this as being from someone that has always had an issue with you and the zoo.

Then I made friends with an employee of yours. I saw for myself the conditions in which they lived. When people say how well the animals are treated they are correct, if they’re comparing the employees living conditions to an animal.

Your own employee, not PETA or any protester showed me what really goes on there. I know how having cameras where you house the lions and wolves are a major no-no. I know how another one of your employees fixed a contest that was aimed at children.

You were caught on TV calling one of your animals a cock sucker. You admitted to whipping the tiger a “couple of times” or as you called it, a “couple of swats.”

You said yourself that “Cause I like hitting him in the face and the paws being on the rock when you hit him, it’s like a vice, it stings more”

Those are your words out of your mouth.

My friends name who worked at the zoo, it’s karma!

 

 

Time To Merge Ontario ATV Trail Network

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It’s time ATV clubs across Ontario focus on building trails rather than building walls.

One thing most ATV riders can agree upon is the need to amalgamate trail permits in Ontario. As it stands now, if you split your time riding between Eastern Ontario trails and trails in the Kawartha’s it is going to cost you $260 for a yearly trail pass between both trail systems.

Most clubs including OFATV, HATVA and KATVA are open to the idea of a “provincial pass” but there is always the holdout club who looks at the almighty dollar, rather than benefits to its members.

Where I live it’s not a stretch to say I can ride on an OFATV trail, which will take me to the Ganaraska and then to a trail on the KATVA system all in one day. A combined yearly pass for all three clubs would be $410 where it would cost me $210 if I was on a snowmobile.

Why a club wouldn’t want its members to be able to ride on other trails without having to purchase an additional trail permit is beyond me.

The last major merger for ATV clubs was back in 2009 between the OFATV and the EOTA.

I get that the ATV trail system will never be as connected as the OFSC trail system due to frozen lakes etc., but we can try if we toss our ego’s aside.

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Nobody is naive enough to think that with a stroke of a pen all the trails will become one, but we need to start somewhere. We need to realize that each club has different structures, rules and regulations, but there is enough common ground and similarities to use as a starting point.

Trail permits and donations are big business, just look at the finances from the EOTA

Maybe it’s time to push all three levels of governments to seriously consider halting funds to any district clubs that refuses to look into a provincial trail merger.

Instead, all levels of government should give priority to clubs looking into shared use as a way to invest public funds.

Off road vehicles are becoming the fastest growing motorsport in Ontario. By using the best practices I am positive ATV clubs can put their differences aside for the benefit of all who ride and the volunteers who maintain our trails.

Catch A Tiger By The Toe

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Sometimes people have to wake up and say enough is enough. I get it when people try protecting family and friends even though they know something isn’t quite right.

That’s what family and friends do, doesn’t mean it’s right.

No longer can the people of Bowmanville and beyond play the game of see no evil.

I am just as guilty for promoting and sticking up for the Bowmanville Zoo as everyone else. There is one Facebook page supporting the zoo that is run by zoo employees who try to pretend they are not associated with the zoo that I know of. There are employees at the zoo that fixed a contest about naming the lion. How do I know this?

I foolishly went along with their fraud.

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My problem with the zoo started with how a friend was treated and the conditions in which they lived, that will be a different blog later when it’s all settled.

Most people in the Durham Region and beyond saw the video of Michael Hackenberger whipping the tiger to get it to perform. Before you jump on this saying he whipped the ground, Michael admitted to striking the tiger.

The problem with this whole mess is PETA. Most people do not trust PETA, as soon as that name appears the story loses its credibility.

That is a dream come true for the zoo.

The first protest against the zoo following the video release was a joke. The protesters involved couldn’t organize a piss-up at a brewery. When you have protesters berating the media who showed up to cover the story, you lose all credibility.

Even though there is an ongoing investigation by the OSPCA I don’t believe anything will come of it as the animals have shelter and are provided with water and food.

Will they find any marks or wounds on the animals? I doubt it.

Is the whipping or scaring the shit out of animals in a zoo against the law in Canada? Maybe that’s what needs to be looked at.

I have been in the area where the wolves, lions and tigers are housed. Even though it’s pathetically small in my opinion, they are safe and fed.

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I believe zoos are a valuable teaching tool for educating people about animals and their habitats. I believe they are necessary for researchers to study behavior, reproductive biology, etc. If you are against animals in captivity then you’re not going to agree with any of this.

What I don’t believe in is how an animal is treated to make it do a trick. I wouldn’t whip my dog a couple times and then crack the whip all around her in order for her to perform. I wouldn’t scare it so bad that it shit itself when it saw me raise a whip.

Why is this ok for zoos?

The answer is it’s not!

If you go to any good zoo, you see the animals lazing around their pen or enclosure. You don’t see that animal performing tricks for you. That my friend isn’t a zoo, it’s a circus and circuses have no place on this planet.

I will hold my own protest against the Bowmansville Zoo by never again walking through their gates again; I don’t think I will be the only one.

Open Letter to Kathleen Wynne

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Dear Kathleen Wynne,

I understand next week you will be offering shares on Ontario’s electrical transmission grid. I also understand that even though close to 200 Municipalities across our province have passed a motion asking you not to proceed with the sale, you’re still “full steam ahead”.

I know you won a majority government a year ago and can do whatever you like, although I’m not sure you won that election as much as Hudak lost the election but that’s neither here nor there.

Maybe it’s just me but I don’t recall you talking about selling off any public utilities during your campaign as I keep an eye on things like that.

I know the province needs money for such things like infrastructure and public transportation just like some of us home owners need money to pay bills, do renovations, put food on the table, send kids to school etc.

I remember back in 1998 when Mike Harris was Premier of Ontario he sold/leased Highway 407 for $3.1 billion dollars and the province is still in a financial mess today. Bet it would be nice if the province were getting the toll revenues from that highway today.

Apparently the money Harris received from the 407 is close to what you will be getting to use for your projects. 15 years from now, where will we be knowing that we will no longer be receiving the close to $700 million that Hydro One pays to the province each and every year?

If we can sit back for a minute and look towards the future, wouldn’t it be nice having the money from Hydro One and the money from the 407 tolls rolling in each and every year?

One is gone the other doesn’t have to be.

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Your new financial accountability officer warned you that we will be in worse shape after the sale, how you can reject those findings is beyond me. Both the Conservatives and the NDP are agreeing that Hydro One should remain 100% in public hands, doesn’t that raise a flag to you when those 2 parties agree?

I can’t say that I understand big business, stock markets, IPO’s etc. but I do know that if I bought shares in a company the goal would to make money from these shares. I guess my question is, who will be paying more so those that bought these shares can profit?

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Sincerely,

Marven Whidden

Resident of Ontario

Time to vote Canada

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When I was a younger, Canada looked a lot different. People thought of us as a friendly nation, a nation that helped others, a nation that stood up for all its people. When I look at Canada now, I don’t see that anymore. I see a country that is starting to mirror the country to the South of us, and that quite frankly has me worried.

Just to be perfectly clear, I don’t want any party to get a majority government in this election, none of them deserve one. I think there are some great candidates running for every party; it’s their leader I have issues with.

But someone is going to get more seats than the other two and form our next government; the question is who should it be.

According to most of the polls, 70% of us don’t want Harper back as our Prime Minister and I agree. He has had his turn only to drive a wedge between us with his talk of fear. His attitude of “my way or the highway” and you know he’s out of touch with the real world when he tries telling anyone that will listen that marijuana is infinitely worse than tobacco.

What about Justin Trudeau, is he ready to become Canada’s next Prime Minister?

If you believe in the polls, people are giving him an edge over the other two parties but I still can’t throw my support 100% behind him. The one thing we all know about the Liberal party is our taxes are going up, carbon pricing is going up, but they wont tell us how much. How can you give the keys to anyone without know what they’re going to do. If any politician told us they were going to raise the HST but wouldn’t tell you by how much, would you vote for them? Didn’t think so.

The other problem I have with the Liberals, are the Liberals. The Ontario Liberals to be exact. The policies between the two are as close as you can get. Out of control spending, tax increases, sky-high hydro bills, selling off public utilities. Liberal fans will tell you the two are different, unless it’s the NDP you’re talking about, and then they’re the same.

Don’t vote NDP, they ruined Alberta, don’t vote NDP, remember Bob Rae.

Yet the NDP have never been in power federally and I think it’s time they had a chance, but on a short leash. Tom Mulcair is everything Trudeau isn’t. His party wants to bring in a universal Daycare for parents, the same thing the other parties have said they would do in the past, but have failed to do so.

Increasing the federal minimum wage is something every party should be interested in doing, but only Mulcair is ready to help out those that need the help. Creating and protecting good jobs should be for all of us, not just the wealthy business owners. The NDP promises to cancel Harpers health cuts and begin work to develop a new health accord.

Personally I would like to see the NDP win a minority government and have the other two parties there to make them accountable.

In my area there are some quality candidates running who shouldn’t be over looked. In Oshawa, Tito-Dante Marimpietri should be given a chance to continue the work he has done for years serving the people of Oshawa. He is local, knows the community, grew up in the community and sincerely loves representing his community; he deserves a chance at showing what he can do at a federal level.

In my riding of Durham you have Erin O’Toole who was Minister of Veterans Affairs, a thankless job if you ask me, as it has to be one of the most scrutinized positions. We all care deeply about our veterans and want the best for them. I believe Erin has done a good job for the vets and this community. As much as I don’t like the Conservative Party, I believe they are changing their ways with people like Patrick Brown and Erin O’Toole who I believe one day will become leader of the Conservative Party.

Then you have Corinna Traill. She is my local councilor at the municipal level and does a great job for her constituents. She is smart, witty and is fiercely loyal to those she serves. With all due respect to Derek Spence, this is a 2 race riding this time around. Personally this area can’t go wrong with Erin or Corinna representing us, although a loss for Corinna is a win for us here in Ward 3.

At the end of the day it is up to each and every one of us to get out there and vote, it’s the only time politicians listen!

Now you can try before you buy

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Whether it’s a sport or a life style, going for a ride on an ATV is becoming more popular than ever. Municipalities are changing their by-laws so ATV’s and other types of off-road vehicles can travel along their streets.

Sales have increased consistently year after year and where people traditionally would buy a snowmobile, they are now buying All Terrain Vehicles.

Every section of Ontario is pretty much represented by local ATV clubs who make and maintain hundreds of miles of trails. These clubs deserve every person’s gratitude whoever rode on a trail. The volunteers who take their time to keep trails in top condition all deserve our thanks.

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One problem people are encountering is where can they try out an ATV to see if they like it or not. Nobody wants to put out that kind of money to find out that it’s not a sport or recreation for them. Good luck on getting someone to lend you one.

Most companies who rent them offer you a couple hours “adventure” at a price that seems quite ridiculous to be honest.

I did find a company that will rent them to you by the day, days or week to do what you want, when you want.

The company we used this past week was Kawartha Adventure Rentals. They rent ATV’s, Snowmobiles and Jet Ski’s and are located in the heart of the Kawartha’s.

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For what it would cost you for a tour from most companies, you can rent an ATV from them and go to where ever you want. If you need a trailer, they have that covered as well.

What we enjoyed was the flexibility they allow in picking up and returning their machines.

Their machines were all clean, well maintained and provided an opportunity for a couple to decide if they would like to buy one.

If you want to check one out, see the leaves or just get out on the trails, click here.