Residents of bougie Ottawa neighborhood Westboro are sick of seeing squirrels having gonads and strife all over their manicured lawns. So for years they’ve been rounding up the little bastards and transporting them across the Ottawa River into Quebec, the squirrel toilet of Canada.
This is illegal, not to mention rude. (No wonder Quebec feels so alienated from Anglophone Canada — “sacre bleu, you think we are nothing but a squirrel dump!”) Ontario law forbids transporting wildlife more than 0.6 miles, mainly to prevent animals from spreading diseases but also because it’s potentially cruel. The displaced Westboro squirrels are likely to get immediately involved in a turf war with the Quebecois écureuils, and those guys are TOUGH. And way better dressed.
But there’s a persistent myth that squirrels will only stay away permanently if you transport them over a body of water, so Westboro homeowners would have kept dumping them in Quebec indefinitely if brave whistleblower Daniel Sylvester hadn’t ratted them out. “The solution is to get used to it,” said Sylvester, adding that if squirrels were invading his neighbors’ property, “I think the easiest thing would be to fix your house.” He then fled to Hong Kong.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources is taking this crime ring seriously. According to the National Post, a spokesperson zeroed in on the most relevant concern: “Are they French-speaking squirrels?”