I want to thank Barry Vandaelle for his sincere and passionate letter on the status of wildlife in our region. I talk to hunters and other outdoors people on a regular basis, as well as provincial wildlife biologists and there is a consensus that we have too many predators and our prey species are under pressure. The deep snow and extended cold weather this winter has made things more difficult.
In the near term, I have raised $10,000 for feeding that the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund is undertaking. The $10,000 is only part of what will be made available to feed elk and deer. Forests Lands & Natural Resource Operations is also gathering some considerable resources to help with feeding. Right now is the critical time so everyone realizes time is of the essence.
In the longer term, I have been working with FLNRO and my colleagues in cabinet on a major improvement to wildlife management that will be announced soon. During my time as MLA, I managed to get 100% of all fishing license revenues to go to the Freshwater Fisheries Society and I am intent on ensuring that hunting license and tag sales go to wildlife management. I’ll have more on this in the near future. We need more resources in wildlife management and given that BC has the strongest economy in Canada, we can afford to invest more.
Wildlife management is a complex science. Government biologists do their best to determine populations and they do take considerable advice from local hunters and other interest groups on harvest policies. I too wonder sometimes if we should be more conservative in our seasons but I leave it to the professionals.
I agree with the writer that government needs to stand up to urban interests that do not understand the power of wolves, bears and cougars to devour huge numbers of ungulates. I have taken that stand for 16 years as the regional MLA and frankly anyone who thinks it is easy to manage a huge majority population in the lower mainland on these kinds of issues is naïve. Our government has stood strong on having a grizzly bear hunt while the other political party has done nothing but pander to those who do not understand how many bears we have in BC. Nonetheless, we can’t give up the fight and I agree with so many I am hearing from now that we have to do more to nurture healthy wildlife populations. You have my commitment that government is acutely aware of the current challenges to wildlife in our region and that there are some very positive initiatives in the works. I live here and I hunt here and spend as much time in the mountains as I can (more after retirement!). I care as much as anyone so count on me to help.
Bill Bennett, MLA, Kootenay East
Well folks, it appears that the Kimberley Deer Committee will be going into its seventh season trying to decide what to do with our local deer. The number of meetings and documentation production must have set a record for longevity with still no final resolution. They have tried everything: culling, hazing dogs, input from high profile people from Toronto and the West Coast, collaring some deer to trans-locate them — this has not been cheap. But all we see are increasing numbers, more deer now than ever.
However, I have a solution. Let’s invite that Trump guy to take charge of the deer committee because we can immediately expect an Executive Decision. Deer problem solved. If that doesn’t work, he could have us build a wall around the City to keep the deer out. And maybe he would pay for it — fat chance of that.
The Province newspaper wrote about our deer problem a few years back but now they are writing about our ‘Turkey Problem’. Now ‘The Three Amigos’ had their picture in the paper but I have a hard time believing the turkeys are about to take over the town.
Perhaps some folks will want to start a Turkey Committee. This committee could investigate where our turkeys are going. We used to have about twenty birds about town, but now we only have three. There were four that hung out at the golf course. I was present when the turkey team lost a member. A member of my golf foursome, big hitter, using an iron, thought he could loft a shot over the flock as they were crossing the fairway. Well, I’m here to tell you that turkey didn’t have a hope when he took one for the team. Full chest shot, feathers flying, squawking. We all yelled FORE but being a bird, he only talked turkey and didn’t seem to understand us. The other turkeys ran over to see how he was. They led him off to the side of the fairway showing great concern. The next day only three turkeys showed up. I suppose that chest trauma took him out. Very unfortunate.
So our turkey flock is diminishing but by using the deer committee as a template for the management of local wildlife, we can get to the bottom of it all. I’m in favour of putting collars on The Three Amigos in order to keep an eye on them. How about you?
Bill Roberts, Kimberley
Disease is spreading
A highly infectious disease has spread from Washington DC to Victoria BC.
Trumpitis is a particularly virulent form of political swamp fever which President Trump promised to eradicate by ‘draining the swamp.’ Instead it has reached epidemic proportions, originating with the president himself who, it seems, has suffered from it all his life.
Its characteristic symptom is an inability to tell the truth.
Although it appears that Premier Clark has only recently been infected, she actually showed symptoms of it as far back as February14, 2001 when she stated on TV’s ‘Voice of the Province’, “We are not planning layoffs in the public service.”
That was a lie. Between May 2001 and May 2005, Ms. Clark supported legislation which slashed 8,700 public service jobs, particularly in resource development, and in forestry and rangeland supervision.
It was thought that her swamp fever had gone into remission, but she recently suffered a relapse over questionable political advertising, and all the symptoms of the ailment have reappeared.
On February 8, for instance she stated to Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughan Palmer, “We saw the NDP hack into our website the other day.” That was a lie, and when asked by Palmer for empirical evidence to support her accusation, she could produce none.
She also stated that Mike Smyth’s column in the Vancouver Province had broken the news about the fictional hacking. That was also a lie.
When pushed by Smyth, she stated that, “When the NDP were talking about it, they went right to the edge of saying that’s what they’ve done.” And that was the biggest lie of all.
Kootenay East MLA Bennett said recently that the upcoming campaign will be “the ugliest we’ve ever seen.”
Mr. Bennett announced his resignation some time ago.
Perhaps he felt that even his robust political constitution would offer no protection against the infectious malady to which British Columbia’s premier has fallen victim.
JC Vallance, Fernie
Stand down, Trudeau
Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
I am a senior citizen who loves Canada with all my heart. I cannot stay quiet any long. I need to fight back.
Justin Trudeau, you need to stand down now.
We have a lot of our young and older workers losing their jobs — they can hardly support their families.
Our children are going to school hungry — shame on you Justin Trudeau. We have sick children whose families can’t pay to get them help.
Our children are being raped and the guilty are getting away with it. Shame on you, Justin Trudeau. Enough is enough. Step down now. It’s got to stop now.
Seniors who can’t pay for their food — you see them pick up food in the store, only to put it down again because they don’t have the money, even though they worked hard all their lives.
Enough is enough, Justin Trudeau, step down now.
Our children need to sing O Canada in school again. We all do. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
Anya Lyons, Cranbrook