New Democrat leader John Horgan has announced a New Democrat government will ban grizzly bear trophy hunting in British Columbia and he already has one high-profile north Island supporter.
“It’s time for some leadership here,” said Horgan. “We can look after our natural environment, respect the outdoor traditions of this province and grow the economy if we make the right choices. That should start now with a change in how we treat the iconic grizzly bears of B.C.”
Courtenay/Comox NDP hopeful, Bryce Casavant said he will be supporting Horgan in ending the grizzly bear hunt, based on recently completed research pertaining to the government's review process of the hunt, which will be made available to the public and the Auditor General within the next couple weeks.
"The report is 150 pages that analyzes and critiques government public messaging and the recent scientific review of the grizzly bear harvest," said Casavant.
Casavant is best known as the Conservation officer who saved two baby bear cubs in Port Hardy last July.
Horgan added, "this province has a proud outdoor heritage that includes hunting and fishing. We also have a future that includes welcoming the world to enjoy our spectacular scenery and wildlife, creating jobs for British Columbians and a tourism industry that is second to none. Our heritage and our future can thrive together if we make the right choices.”
“The Coastal First Nations banned the grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago. A provincial ban is long overdue to stop the needless killing of grizzly bears for sport. Grizzly bears are respected by many First Nations across the province. Bear claws, hides and teeth are not trophies,” said Doug Neasloss, Chief Councillor for the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais.
“The wildlife viewing industry is booming in this province, and creating good jobs from Vancouver to Stewart,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, the B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for tourism, “Grizzlies are an iconic species and B.C.’s grizzlies can continue to attract visitors from all over the world if we make the right choices.”
Horgan added that his party had introduced legislation to ensure wildlife and habitat management has secure funding in the province – a bill supported by hunters and wildlife viewing companies, but rejected by the government.
“Wildlife, wildlife habitat, and the families, communities and economies that depend on them can’t wait any longer,” said Horgan.