New Democrat leader John Horgan announced a New Democrat government will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia.
“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.”
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, “Christy Clark won’t act, but I will.”
Local MLA Jennifer Rice said that keeping grizzly bears alive is “vital.”
“As the MLA for North Coast and such a large part of the Great Bear Rainforest, I know that keeping grizzly bears alive is vital not just culturally but economically to my constituents,” said Rice. “We are banning the trophy hunt and we will put more boots on the ground to enforce the ban. Very few people hunt grizzly bears for food and whether it’s requiring trophy parts to be surrendered or some more effective regulation we will not allow loopholes to be used. In the GBR we will work with First Nations who have declared a ban on grizzly bear hunting in their territory to implement their wildlife management goals and uphold their cultural decision.”