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andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Today I attended a rally on the lawn of the legislature in support of a province wide ban on trophy killing of an iconic species: The Grizzly Bear. For more information on the Save BC Bears campaign, please visit their Facebook page. Below is the text of my speech at the rally.


Speech at the Save BC Bears Demonstration

on the Lawn of the Legislature

February 15, 2014

Thank you all for coming to this very important event.

The Orca is an iconic species in British Columbia. And so too are Grizzly bears.

Would we condone the trophy killing of an Orca — just for the heck of it? Obviously not. Yet we allow the trophy killing of Grizzly bears — just for the heck of it.

The Coastal First Nation Great Bear initiative recently conducted a province-wide survey. Almost 90% of British Columbians believe that trophy killing of grizzly bears should be banned.

And this number is also important: 95% of hunters agree that people should not be hunting if they are not prepared to eat what they kill.

91% of hunters agree that fellow hunters should respect First Nations laws and customs when on First Nation territory.

In the case of the Great Bear Rainforest, bear viewing generated 12 times more in visitor spending than bear killing and over 11 times in direct revenue for BC’s provincial government.

Bear viewing generated 50 times the jobs of trophy killing.

When we think about habitat, climate and the impacts we are having on iconic species like Grizzlies look no further than what has happened this winter in Europe.

Due to an incredibly mild winter, bears in Finland have come out early from hibernation into an environment with little food. The climate in BC is rapidly changing as well. We have had one of the driest winters on record, with low snow pack – how will this affect food supply for BC Grizzlies, and their population? We have simply no idea.

We have no idea how many Grizzly bears there are in BC. We have no idea how they are responding to climate change.

But here’s what I know: I know what I want — I know what you want — I know what BC hunters want — and I know what the people of BC want.

A province wide ban on trophy killing.

And I reiterate again, we’re not taking today about the majority of hunters in BC harvesting deer and other species for food.

This is all about a government protecting a small lobby of well-heeled jet setters looking to tick one more item off their bucket list.

We have an opportunity right now in the Great Bear Rainforest. A coalition of 9 First Nations, scientists and environmental groups have been undertaking field work on bear populations, breeding habits, and the impacts of trophy killing. They’ve done extensive analysis. At the same time, forest companies and environmental groups have reached an agreement on the preservation of the Great Bear rainforest.

That region must be immediately declared a sanctuary

Thank you

4 Comments

  1. DP-
    April 8, 2014 at 11:27 pm

    I am a hunter and a conservationist. Although I would not personally kill a Grizzly Bear, I do support the hunt. Why do I support it? I support it because it provides jobs in rural locations where there isn’t much else to do. I also support it because it is predator control. Too many people watch Planet Earth and takes sides with this practice on emotional grounds. What people forget is that a large number of northerners (including FN’s) subsistence hunt. Due to habitat encroachment and extensive forest service roads, populations such as wolves are at peak levels. This has led to significant decreases in ungulate populations. Grizzly bears are one of the main predators in BC. If they are allowed to increase in population this will have a negative effect on “meat”. Unstable populations should be closed to Grizzly hunting. Healthy populations should remain open. I would like to see some data on whether Gbear populations have actually decreased in the great bear area since all of the ecotourism has exploded.

  2. February 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you for speaking up for those with no voice and for taking a leadership position rejecting the pseudo-science of ecosystem ‘management,’ as well as your efforts to halt trophy hunting, stop the wanton killing of predator species and to reverse a historic trampling on the rights of the indigenous people of British Columbia.

  3. samantha-
    February 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I attended the rally to stop the slaughter of grizzlies for profit in bc. I have been writing to the previous premier and this one about how heinous this practice is. Not content to rip off bc’ers they have also turned to our wild creatures and their habitats. ( An anonymous hunter has paid a record $275,000 US for a special permit offered by the B.C. government to hunt a wild mountain sheep outside of the regular hunting season.

    Proceeds from the auction go to the province’s Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation — 75 per cent to sheep-related projects and 25 per cent to other wildlife enhancement projects.

    The hunter made the winning bid during an auction at the annual convention of the Wild Sheep Foundation in Reno, Nev. He is permitted to hunt outside the regular season anywhere where sheep are normally hunted; if a non-resident, he must also hire a licensed B.C. guide-outfitter. The hunter can shoot either a Dall or Stone thinhorn sheep — found in northern B.C. — or a California or Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, found in southern parts of the province.

    Kim Nieters, spokeswoman for the sheep foundation, said a similar special hunt offered by the Alberta government sold for $150,000. Foundation policy prohibits identifying the winning bidders for such hunts.

    From 2000 to 2010, the B.C. government raised almost $1.6 million from auctions offering special hunts for mountain sheep and Roosevelt elk, according to a trust foundation report.)

    also, would you be able to acquire a report on bird kill at the wind farm on the north end of the island? wind farms kill birds, bats, raptors at an alarming rate and just because it is out of our sight, those giant cuisinarts in the sky are giant killing machines.

    Yellowknife jacket!