All decisions related to wildlife management must be based on science — no exceptions.
There are many species-at-risk in our province and we depend our scientists and conservation officers in the field to monitor and inform any decision related to either hunting bans or openings.
No one knows this better than Dan and Vivian Simmons, as founders of the Cow Moose Sign Project.
Thanks to their tireless campaign, we now have more than 20 First Nations all united in an effort to stop the annual cull of endangered moose cows and their calves.
During a committee meeting with Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Katrine Conroy, we talked about science-based allocations in the context of both the moose cull and why the province banned the grizzly bear hunt.
And this is where Premier Horgan and his NDP government completely drops the ball when it comes to decision-making based on science.
They prefer instead to go after votes on the Lower Mainland.
When asked if the decision to ban the grizzly bear hunt was based on science, both Minister Conroy and her predecessor Doug Donaldson could offer no evidence that the ban was to save a grizzly bear as an endangered species.
To the contrary, Donaldson told the Vancouver Sun in 2017 that the grizzly ban was not based on science but rather a political decision by the government because “the grizzly hunt is not in line with their values.”
Conroy echoed the same thing by saying “the closure was based on the perception of many British Columbians that this was just something that they wanted.”
Well there are lot of hunters, guides, outfitters, their suppliers, and don’t forget more than 20 First Nations that were never consulted with respect to either the grizzly ban or the moose hunt.
Science must always be prioritized over political gain.
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.