Letters to the Editor: March 5

Deer hazing; Cranbrook Deer Cull; Readers' Choice; ISIS.

Deer Hazing

BC Deer Protection Society put a full page ad in the paper on February 26, 2015 regarding the culling of the urban deer population.

Our city has put up with this situation much to long and the only thing the provincial government will allow us to do at an affordable cost is culling. This is not the most appropriate way of dealing with the problem but it works. The deer destroy gardens,  decorative bushes and many other things. Adults, children and pets get attacked by deer. Deer attract the predators that live in the forest surrounding our city and one of these days an adult, child or a pet being walked be an adult or a child will be attacked and severely harmed or killed by a predator inside the boundary of the city. Then everyone will be up in arms.

If BC Deer Protection Society really wants to protect the deer and the people who live in urban areas they should  put their money where their mouth is and pay to have the deer hazed by trained dogs instead of wasting money on full page ads that get them nowhere and get the majority of the people in the annoyed because the society has tunnel vision.

The BC government does not seem to think this the best way but it has been successful in other places.

Waterton Lakes National Parks had a big problem with deer in the townsite until a few years ago. They hired a dog handler who had dogs that were trained to haze the deer and the problem quickly disappeared. The same could be done in Cranbrook and any other town or city.

Gene Jaster/Cranbrook

Cranbrook Deer Cull

I appreciate that some residents of the City, the BC Deer Protection Society and groups like it may not agree with an urban deer cull.

The full page ad taken out by the Deer Protection Society last week in the Daily Townsman certainly makes people aware of their position. But the fact of the matter is the majority of residents who took the time to complete the urban deer public survey in March 2014 (70 per cent of survey respondents) indicated that they would support further culls to try to manage the urban deer population.

As of today, culling is the only management method available to any municipality to try to manage their urban deer population. Council, elected by the people to represent them and work on their behalf, were asked to deal with safety concerns of the residents around urban deer and that is what they are doing.

The urban deer culls that have occurred within the Kootenay Region since 2011/12 have resulted in decreased population levels and conflicts. For example, aggressive deer complaints in the City of Cranbrook have decreased from 42 in 2011 to 19 in 2014. In Kimberley, aggressive complaints have also decreased from 33 in 2011 to 11 in 2014 along with a population reduction from 242 to 110.

Wildlife experts advise that capturing deer in modified collapsible clover traps and euthanizing them with a bolt gun is the safest, most efficient and most humane method of deer control in urban areas. In 2012, a Special Provincial Constable for the B.C. SPCA attended a similar project undertaken in Kimberley.

The Special Provincial Constable concluded the deer cull was conducted in a professional and proper manner. Modified clover traps are placed in secluded locations to reduce stress on deer. To further reduce stress, deer are not trapped during daylight. Culls are conducted by trained contractors. All methods used to euthanize deer have been approved by the provincial government and have been deemed humane by the provincial wildlife veterinarian, so that meat can be used by the public.

In addition, meat must be processed by a qualified butcher. Wild game meat is donated to local First Nations and food banks and the meat is always well received and appreciated.

The clover traps are monitored by City staff, the contractor, wildlife biologists with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Conservation Officer Service and by the RCMP. I think the monitoring of the clover traps is well covered and there is no need for others to be monitoring the traps.

Over the past three years, the clover traps while in use have been vandalized in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Elkford. In addition 10 clover traps were stolen out of the local Ministry office compound, burned and destroyed costing taxpayers approximately $15,000 to replace.

The City of Cranbrook has done a huge amount of work over the past five years to move forward on urban deer management and work toward creating solutions in partnership with other municipalities here in the East Kootenay and with the Province. We have worked hard to create an easy to use page on our website to provide you with lots of information around what we’ve been doing around deer management. I strongly encourage you to have a look — www.cranbrook.ca/our-city/city-departments/corporate-services/urban-deer.

Chris Zettel, Corporate Communications Officer, City of Cranbrook

Readers’ Choice 2015

My sincere thanks for honouring me with the Black Press Readers’ Choice Silver Award for Favourite Politician for the third year in a row – it, and you, are very much appreciated!

You have probably heard that I intend to be your next Member of Parliament after the upcoming Federal election. My commitment to you is that I will continue to “make myself and my ideas accessible to you, and to do it with a smile!”

It would be great to see you at the nomination meeting at the Manual Training Centre adjacent to the Cranbrook Public Library beginning at 1PM on Sunday, March 15, 2015. You can get in early on helping to determine the priorities that I will take to Ottawa, meet some incredible NDP leaders from across the Kootenays, and enjoy the company of friends and neighbours who, like you, truly care about Canada and its future!

Thanks again for the award – see you on the 15th of March!

Wayne Stetski/Cranbrook

ISIS and social media

It is horrible to think that a person or a group of people could behead dozens of innocent people, and the perpetrators use religion to fan the flames of passion. How far away is rape and pillage? It is war and, like it or not, the first casualty in war is the truth, and propaganda reigns.

Twitter had it right when this all started and refused to give ISIS a stage and blocked all their postings. During the crisis in the 1960s with the Black Panthers and the FLQ in Quebec, the US Government asked the CIA to study how Government should react, as pointed out in a recent column by Gwynne Dyer.

The answer then was — Don’t give them the stage — find the perpetrators and prosecute, just DON’T give them the stage. The presidents and the prime minister of those days got it right, the only stage they gave them was the courts, prisons or exile.

Iguess that the North American defense industry likes the idea of a War on Terror and they have the lobbying power to convince the politicians to go along with it.

One of the big reasons for the rise of ISIS is social media for recruiting and the main media for all the propaganda (sorry, they call it news).

Of course there is also real drama here and I don’t mean to be flippant about all the displaced victims. Affluent and poor kids fall for the propaganda because they are young “rebels,” as many of us were in younger years, and they love video games of war and crime because it’s exciting and cool and, best of all, no one ever really dies. Stop giving ISIS the stage and they will go away — what we see as the enemy, some will see as heroes!

I realize that it is a bit late to change course, because they had a chance to grow, but we could take away the tools of ISIS, no media, no emails, no Facebook, no youtube, jammed cellphones and un-useable satellite phones, no mediums whatsoever. Yes a few, maybe a few 1,000 legitimate users would also lose these privileges, but so what? It would be for the good of all the innocent victims until ISIS goes away.

Our governments have the power and know how to spy on all of our communications and they can probably stop it selectively, this should be a piece of cake.

But the Harper Government has to do someone else’s bidding, not the people who elected them or the soldiers who die for them and their policies. I’m afraid that we will be no better off with the next government, because Democracy only every four years (or whenever it suits the PM) is NOT a good Democracy, except for the lobbyists.

Our Industrial complex doesn’t want this kind of democracy and we believe their arguments and propaganda to maintain the current system or else we’re just indifferent.

J. Adank/Kimberley

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