Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Green Leader Weaver calls out NDP Grizzly Hunt ban as 'political spin'

It's certainly not enough of a fracture to put the fate of the new NDP government in peril, but John Horgan and Andrew Weaver have just had another political spat, this time with the terms of Monday's announcement of a ban on the BC Grizzly Bear hunt serving as the point of fissure.

The ban was trumpeted by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice as an NDP promise kept, however that's not quite how the leader of the NDP's new partner  in the Legislature sees things, with Weaver observing that in reality the announcement is just more political spin and one which will in the end make for a wasteful situation in the province's forests.

While noting that he was encouraged that the BC NDP is respecting the wishes of Coastal First Nations with their moratorium on the hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest, Weaver had a few cautions for the Horgan government when it came to their roll out of the new initiative, observing that it does not end grizzly bear hunting as many environmental groups have advocated for.

“I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies. “What we really need in BC is science-based approach to wildlife management, not a populist approach to species management."

Among his concerns related to the new NDP ban is that it creates a system in which not all of the animal will be harvested, with resident hunters no longer allowed to possess the hair, head and hide of grizzlies, something that is noted as wasteful by the hunting community.

The Green Party leader also expressed concerns over how the new regulations, set to go into effect at the end of November, will still allow for foreign hunters to shoot grizzlies in British Columbia, take a picture of themselves standing over the bear and then head home without harvesting any of the animal.

The Green leader has some company when it comes to those who consider the new NDP plan as not fully thought out, Steve Hamilton, the head of a Prince George based hunter's association outlined some of his concerns over how the NDP have rolled out their ban to the Vancouver Sun.

It seemingly won't be the last we hear from the Green leader on the issue, Mr. Weaver concluded his statement on the NDP announcement of Monday by advising that he will be working with the government in the months ahead to ensure the introduction of species at risk legislation.

You can review his full statement here.

More notes related to North Coast representation in the Legislature can be found here.

A wider overview of British Columbia politics is available on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

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