09/18/2012 11:57 EDT | Updated 11/18/2012 05:12 EST

Mayor Tells Province To 'Sue Us' Over Skunk Solution

Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis has challenged the province to sue the city over its solution to a growing skunk problem.

Windsor is contemplating going against the Ministry of Natural Resources' advice on how to deal with a skunk invasion.

City council is looking into the possibility of hiring licensed trappers to capture skunks. Council wants to explore the idea, despite the fact the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources said charges could be laid against city employees if the skunks are "killed."

Francis said bring on the lawsuits.

"The fact of the matter is there's an increase that could be attributed to the fact that the Parkway just knocked down their natural habitat, right?" Francis said. "If there were coyotes on the street or there were snakes on the street, somebody would be doing something about it. And if the MNR and the Province of Ontario want to sue us, then so be it."

Coun. Percy Hatfield admitted he's concerned about possible charges. But, he said something has to be done about the pests.

"I don't know if this is a one-time only thing or whatever it is, but it just seems that this year, there's more skunks than ever before. So we have to look at all the options," Hatfield said.

Staff is preparing a report on the problem.

"I don't know what the options are going to be when that report comes back. Maybe there's going to be some removal and relocation. Maybe there's going to be some eradication in the most humanely fashion," Hatfield said.

By law, trapped skunks can only be relocated one kilometre away from where they were caught.

Coun. Alan Halberstadt also asked for more study on the possibility of requiring everyone to use hard-sided containers for curbside garbage pickup as a way to discourage skunks.

The Humane Society also suggested hard-sided containers as a deterrent.