Thank you for writing to me about the grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia. I just wanted to make sure that you were aware of the outcome of your advocacy on this issue.
Shortly after being elected, our government acted to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. We did so as part of our campaign commitment to British Columbians to promote economic development opportunities related to bear viewing while protecting this iconic BC species.
Almost every piece of correspondence and contact our office and I received on this issue both during the campaign and after was opposed to the trophy hunt, and reflected my personal views that we should not be hunting grizzly bears – we should be promoting the great benefit they bring to our province’s ecosystems, economy, and international reputation, instead.
Following the annuncement of the trophy hunting ban, many of you wrote to me expressing concern that the ability of some individuals to hunt grizzlies for food, even with strict rules around returning trophy parts (head and paws) to the government, left too large a “loophole” for trophy-style hunting.
These local views were reflected in province-wide feedback received by my colleague, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, Doug Donaldson, in his formal public consultation process held after the initial announcement.
As a result, on December 18, Minister of the Environment George Heyman announced a total ban on grizzly bear hunting in our province, with a limited exception for the constitutionally protected rights of some First Nations to hunt for food, social and ceremonial purposes.
I should note that the impact of this constitutionally protected hunt will be limited – many First Nations already have well developed bear viewing tourism programs, or are in the process of developing these types of initiatives with the support of the provincial government.
I hope that this information is useful to you, and that it is helpful for you to know that contacting our office and your government can make a meaningful difference in public policy on interests of importance to you and our community.
Thank you for writing.