Defender Radio and The Switch
Episode 304: Meet the #MammothMovement

I’m a bit late with this week’s episode but I have a good excuse – last week I had surgery on my sinuses, a procedure that will help me breathe – and talk – without complications for the first time in several years. You’ll be hearing a whole lot more of me – whether you like it or not. On top of that solid excuse, I’ve also got some incredible news that makes the wait worthwhile: we’re going to bring an end to coyote fur trim.

This week we launched an exciting new partnership with a company that’s offering something so many of us have waited so long for: a totally animal-free, deep cold jacket. Mammoth Outerwear, founded by CFL football player James Yurichuk, is offering these incredible made-in-Canada coats that will directly compete with the fur-trimmed jackets we’ve seen too often around our neighbourhoods.

And what puts Mammoth Outerwear even further over the top is the simple fact that a portion of proceeds from every animal-free jacket sold will be donated to The Fur-Bearers. I KNOW! Right now the jackets are exclusively available on Kickstarter with early bird pricing, so while you listen to this episode head on over and order yours before they’re gone! Let’s get into it with our very special guest, Founder of Mammoth Outerwear and professional football player James Yurichuk.

Direct download: 2015-11-26_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 5:06pm EDT

Episode 303: Spring killing returns to Ontario

It’s hard to describe the frustration I felt when I saw the announcement from the Ministry of Natural Resources here in Ontario – the spring bear hunt will be extended, expanded across the province. A little over two years ago I felt a similar level of frustration as the government said they would introduce a two-year pilot project of a spring hunt, which was cancelled in 1999, to try and curb human-bear conflicts.

At the time, government research indicates that it wouldn’t help curb the conflict; now, two years later, more evidence shows that not only did the hunt not help, but it will continue to not help. Everyone from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario to wildlife protection groups to the government’s own scientists have come to this conclusion – yet years of fear mongering and politicking continue to push the agenda.

To discuss the proposal put forth by the ministry and provide context, science, and a helping of practical experience, Defender Radio was joined by Mike McIntosh of Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation.

Direct download: 2015-11-16-DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 6:28pm EDT

Episode 302: The political wilderness

We have a new Prime Minister, new Members of Parliament, and a new cabinet. What does it all mean for the animals?

It’s hard to make a clear distinction. On one hand, we have a PMO that already seems more open and transparent than it has for the past 10 years; on the other, we have a Prime Minister who’s a little too fond of his Canada Goose coyote fur-trimmed parka. We have gender equality in the cabinet for the first time, and cabinet members who wore seal skin to their swearing-in ceremonies.

To help us break down what some of this means now, and over the next four years, we connected with political powerhouse Camille Labchuk. A former Green Party candidate and now the freshly minted executive director for Animal Justice Canada, Camille’s experience, education, and compassion gives her the unique perspective we need to help figure out what a red Canada means for the animals.

Direct download: 2015-11-09_DefenderRadio.mp3
Category:Season 03 -- posted at: 6:14pm EDT

Episode 301: Whistler faces feeding crisis

Following our break for the 2015 Living With Wildlife Conference, we’re getting back into it with a tough situation facing bears – and those who want to protect them – in Whistler, British Columbia.

An unprecedented food shortage has affected the behaviour of the bears, who through September and October are looking for calories anywhere they can be found. As a result of this unique situation, Sylvia Dolson and the Get Bear Smart Society proposed a provincially-operated diversionary feeding program – effectively, they wanted to put natural foodstuffs into the wild areas to prevent the bears from pushing closer to human settled areas and the subsequent conflict that would arise.

The province ultimately rejected this plan and, despite Whistler’s reputation of being a Bear Smart community, several bears have been killed following conflict scenarios.

To discuss this difficult situation, potential solutions, and what the real cost of the consequences will be, Sylvia recently joined Defender Radio.

Direct download: 2015-11-02_Complete.mp3
Category:Season 02 -- posted at: 5:47pm EDT