(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

Today the BC Government announced a moratorium on the hunting of Grizzly bears in British Columbia. As you can see from our media release reproduced below, we are delighted with the BC NDP announcement.


Media Release


B.C. Green caucus responds to the end of the grizzly bear hunt
For immediate release
December 18th, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – “After years of work on this file, my colleagues and I are absolutely overjoyed this decision has finally been made. The results of the government’s consultation were clear and government has listened – we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and B.C. Green Party spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“A focus on protecting grizzlies has been a constant throughout my time at the legislature, and I am proud to have been able to help advance this issue,” said Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party.

“Andrew has been a strong advocate for the long term wellbeing of grizzlies since his election in 2013,” said MLA Olsen. “He tabled the Wildlife Amendment Act multiple times and stood as a lone voice in the legislature against the B.C. Liberals who actively supported grizzly trophy hunting and the B.C. NDP who would not take a position. This legislation was intended to give the BC Liberal government a feasible path forward to protecting Grizzly Bears.

“Now we have a very different political landscape in B.C. and our office shifted its efforts accordingly,” said MLA Olsen, who became lead on this file after the May election. “The minority government and a governing agreement signed by the B.C. NDP and B.C. Greens have allowed us to take a stronger position and we commend the government’s bold announcement today.

“Ending the grizzly hunt is a momentous accomplishment, but there is still work to be done to protect this species. If we fail to also consider habitat and food supply – especially with climate change further threatening essential salmon and huckleberry stocks – conflicts with humans, roadkill rates, or poaching incidents, we will fail to protect grizzlies in the long term.

“We hope that this announcement will be followed with a comprehensive ecosystem based approach to wildlife management because we cannot continue to perpetuate the slow, methodical extirpation of native species in BC. We will celebrate progress along the way and work to ensure species like grizzly bears and wild pacific salmon have the resilient ecosystems they need to thrive into the future.

“This breakthrough would not have happened without the efforts of many – thank you and congratulations to everyone involved.”

-30-

Media contact
Sarah Miller, Acting Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | sarah.miller@leg.bc.ca

12 Comments

  1. Richard Habgood-
    December 20, 2017 at 10:14 am

    As a long time animal rights activist, thank you Andrew for protecting our grizzlies. We must protect all animals which are hunted only for their heads or other body parts.

    How to now protect this legislation? This is very important, key, to ending this hunt. Your next step must be implementing PR. Without doing that, the next Liberal false majority will see this legislation overturned and it’s back to hunting Grizzlies. Such is the nature of the beast, FPTP. Protect the Grizzlies, vote ‘ yes ‘ for PR….. also, many thanks to Adam and Sonia.

  2. David Hau-
    December 18, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I thought the Greens were supposed to be EVIDENCE -BASED policy makers?

    Man, this is disappointing. I don’t hunt grizzlies, but I understand that the hunting may be managed and may be good for populations of other species.

    Implementing a policy based purely on public opinion and not science, is insane.

    Do you want to ban all hunting? So that we all have to eat the meat from factory farms?

    Crazy.

  3. John-
    December 18, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    “We care deeply about the animals we hunt.”

    Yeah right. Your lack of policing the industry shows otherwise. I mean, what did you do to stop the helicopter Americans? Or maybe you are one? Next time are you actually going to get out of the helicopter after you kill the bear?

    Oh wait, there isn’t going to be a next time!

    • Ken Cropley-
      December 19, 2017 at 12:19 am

      John You see that is the problem some people don’t know what they are talking about. In BC it is not legal to hunt from a helicopter. Do some research maybe read the BC hunting regulations before you dane to criticize people.

  4. Ryan-
    December 18, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    This hunting ban is a cynical ploy that takes advantage of a very real problem facing wildlife populations in British Columbia. The hunting ban is not supported by science or best practice, as indicated in the Auditor General’s “Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management,” and distract from the systematic underfunding of wildlife management (by all recent governing parties). Further, this ban seems cynically devised to speak to the current government’s urban base who have no direct experience of bears and little understanding of nature, and delay necessary action in addressing problems affecting wildlife populations.

    This ban removes a tool from the scientific management tool kit embodied in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. This model, formulated as a response to both European practices where the aristocracy owned the wildlife on their lands, as well as rampant market hunting in the 19th century, saved many North American species, and has brought many others back to areas where they were extirpated from their historic ranges.

    Following this model, there are cases where there should be a hunting moratorium, and others where hunting opportunities should be increased, but these decisions must be made using best practice informed by evidence, something that the Province has long ignored.

    And management is necessary. Human activity has irrevocably altered the landscape: there is not a single place on the planet you can go, from the high arctic to the equatorial rain forests, where human activity has not had an effect. Wildlife exists because we, as a society, enact laws and manage it, sometimes poorly (as in the case with BC Bears), sometimes with science (look for example to our neighbors in Idaho). Indiscriminate use of our wild places, be it industry, hunting, off-roading, or anything else, needs to be managed. Hunters have a long history of working to conserve wildlife and wild places. Look to the work Jonh Audubon, Franklin Roosevelt, and Aldo Leopold. Look to the work of our great conservation organizations: Ducks Unlimited, Back Country Hunters and Anglers, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and many others in the US, as well as the BC Wildlife Federation and the Wild Sheep Society of BC here in BC. And this is not abstract, the Wild Sheep Society put literal sheep on literal mountains and conducts invaluable research into the diseases impacting sheep, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has returned sustainable herds of elk to many parts of their historical range where they were extirpated a hundred years before. Hunters should be partners in conservation, not alienated by misguided policy.

    Despite rhetoric propagated by organizations such as Raincoast Conservation Foundation (who question the proven effectiveness of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation), the vast majority of hunters are not motivated by the “thrill of the kill” or some urge to display manliness. Rather, hunters are motivated by the honesty of entering into nature as part of the food-chain (not as a mere observer), the difficulty of the endeavour and subsequent success (often multiple weeks need to be spent to harvest one animal), and the satisfaction of knowing the source of their meat and that the animal that provided it was treated with respect. Although it’s not often apparent to non-hunters, this respect can involve the taking of a memento or trophy to help remember the animal and the hunt, long after the meat has been consumed.

    Hunters and hunting are not the problem: we care deeply about the animals we hunt. Because of our time spent observing animals, existing in nature with them, coming to understand them in the most natural of ways–the predator / prey relationship–we often care about them far more deeply than we are given credit for. As such, the Province should look to hunters as partners and enact evidence based methods of supporting grizzly bears and the rest of our wildlife and wild places.

    • Ken Cropley-
      December 19, 2017 at 12:23 am

      Well said!

  5. Aaron-
    December 18, 2017 at 10:29 am

    You have lost my vote! My families as well. Poor decisions! Glad that 4100 people can decide what 4.6 million can do. Not science based but popularity based is pathetic.

    • Margaret McCullough-
      December 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      FYI 90% of residents in BC are against hunting Grizzlies, so where do you get the 4100 from? Please reference your science!

      • Steve-
        December 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm

        78% of the 4100 emails supported stopping the hunt. Surveys of people not educated on species management is not science. The science says that land development, not hunting, is a greater risk to grizzly bear populations. This was the auditor generals conclusion.

    • Greg-
      December 18, 2017 at 1:58 pm

      Science doesn’t support the continuation of this hunt. As mentioned the vast majority of residents are opposed to it.

      • Dave-
        December 18, 2017 at 4:08 pm

        And how does the science not support the hunt? Less than 300 bears a year killed by hunters, from a population conservatively estimated at 15 000+. Less than 2%.

        This decision was purely political pandering between the Greens and the NDP, for the NDP getting to leave Site C going.

        This decision will hurt wildlife in this province, by removing money from wildlife funding. The only people in BC who put money into wildlife are hunters, from license revenue.

        Because some people get some hurt feelings that another segment of the population does an activity, that makes it ok to ban it?

  6. Ellaine ashby-
    December 18, 2017 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for continuing to work hard to protect wildlife the environment and the water. Next steps…farmed salmon and Kinder Morgan