BC Liberals promise to eliminate grizzly trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest

In a stunning reversal of policy, the BC Liberals are promising to eliminate grizzly bear hunting in the province’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Premier Christy’s Clark’s Liberals made the promise as they unveiled a new platform for the May 9 provincial election that promised to protect healthy and sustainable wildlife populations.

“We must operate on the principle of conservation first in order to pass on B.C.’s natural splendour so future generations can enjoy it,” said the Liberal platform. “That’s why our wildlife management practices are determined by the best available science.”

The BC Liberals previously defended grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia, despite opinion polls showing nearly 90 per cent of B.C. residents opposed to the trophy hunting of grizzlies. But the new platform promised to phase it out.

“Today’s BC Liberals will work with the Coastal First Nations towards the elimination of the grizzly bear hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest, continuing with the science based approach to the bear hunt elsewhere in the province,” the platform said.

“We know that many First Nations have a deep connection to the land, and also use wildlife for food, social and ceremonial uses. Our hunting, trapping and angling regulations are designed to ensure species conservation and to maintain healthy wildlife populations for use.”

Green Party and NDP also opposed hunt

Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver proposed legislation, in March 2015, to stop the hunt.

The latest move by the Liberals also follows a similar commitment by the BC NDP which also pledged, last November, to end the controversial trophy hunt.

One of the provincial NDP candidates, Bryce Casavant, is a former conservation officer who was fired for refusing to kill two orphaned black bear cubs in 2015.

Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation, has actively campaigned against the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in B.C. over the years. He said the foundation welcomed seeing major political parties support calls to end the hunt.

“The evidence is overwhelming. Every argument that’s been put out there to justify the grizzly hunt has been blown out of the water, whether it’s economic, ecological or ethical,” Genovali said. “Studies have shown that bear viewing generates more revenue than bear hunting.

“I think finally the political parities recognized that [grizzly hunting] is not a winning party platform, at least with regard to the Great Bear Rainforest.”

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 8:50 p.m. PT with additional background information.

Correction 9:56 p.m.: An earlier version of this article stated that Bryce Casavant refused to kill two grizzly cubs. This has been corrected to black bear cubs.


4 thoughts on “BC Liberals promise to eliminate grizzly trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest

  1. Great news! Some are predicting a conservative backlash, but the BC Liberals seems pretty convinced.

    By the way, has anyone seen the NRA commercials attacking the AR movement and those against hunting? It is quite a web site with sensational/inflammatory images and statements by, for example, Peter Singer and PETA.

    The following are some of the quotes:

    “I hope that fathers accidentally shoot their sons on hunting excursions, while carnivores suffer heart attacks that kill them slowly.”

    One comic book by PETA Kids is titled “Your Daddy Kills Animals,” targeting the children of fathers who fish. The NRA is not only ranting over the rhetoric but also about the results, fearing that PETA and the movement can actually interfere with their “sport”:

    “If targeting children is the long approach to undermining sportsmen, their second established tactic seeks more immediate results. Take one recent case study: In April 2016, American hunter Josh Bowmar killed a black bear in Alberta, Canada, with a spear. He recorded the ethical, impressive hunt and posted it to YouTube. The animal rights movement and sympathetic media outlets pounced in a social media and television news whirlwind that ended with Alberta outlawing spearing as a legal hunt.”

    So activists’ complaints and media coverage actually got a terrible form of hunting banned.
    They also outlined our agenda:

    “In a sick twist of logic, these extremist groups want to bestow animals—whether a lap dog or a barn cat or chickens or beef cows—with the same inalienable rights that protect human citizens of the free Western world. They advocate for a Bill of Rights for pets. A Constitution for barnyard animals. To them, a turkey carved on the Thanksgiving table is morally akin to the murder of a human being. Animal husbandry is slavery. Hunting is homicide.”

    For conservative rural groups, especially religious ones, them’s fightin words.

    And they enunciated their mission:

    Our enemies are real. Their logic is unsound. Together, we hunters must band together and fight them head on, with a unified front. It is our job to expose and defeat them.

    I suspect that with Trump (and his two trophy-hunting sons at home) in the White House and a Republican Congress, the hunters are on a roll. They already are allowed to kill hibernating bears and wolf cubs.

    I hope that the HSUS and PETA and other groups will abandon their competition and mobilize their members to fight back. Are we ready?

  2. Without hunting, the NRA would not be able to generate as many gun sales and that’s really the bottom line. If their kids are turned off to hunting then of course less gun sales. They are a radical group that have stymied every sensible effort to enact sane gun control laws in this country. No matter how many gun massacres this country has had, they are at the ready to fuel the paranoia that all their precious firearms will be taken away if even one sensible gun law prevails.
    When it comes to wildlife, having any kind of animal rights espoused must make their heads explode…..which sounds good come to think of it.

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