This week at the Legislature started off with a rather heated debate between myself and NDP MLA Jennifer Rice who represents the North Coast.
The government got caught red-handed trying to low ball a new moose cull in an effort to somehow starve out wolves and (theoretically) save endangered caribou herds.
It’s a stretch by a long shot, but the NDP is desperate to get the anti-wolf-cull activists off their back before the next election in order to gain more votes in the lower mainland.
The issue came to light when a leaked memo from the ministry indicated that “It is worthwhile trade-off to remove a few moose – a species that’s population is secure throughout the northern hemisphere – if it assists saving another species like caribou.”
This set off alarm bells in the hunting community and with many First Nations who are working to save declining moose populations across the whole province.
At present there are 22 First Nation communities and their tribal councils that have written Minister Doug Donaldson asking why no consultation and demanding an immediate halt to a hunt scheduled to proceed in October.
MLA Rice accused the BC Liberals of politicizing the issue by pointing out that previous governments had also permitted tags for moose cows and their calves – which is quite true – but that was then and this is now.
Moose used to be a prolific species, but not any longer. And the difference here is that the government wants to apply a moose cull in the name of “caribou recovery.”
Unfortunately wolves are ruthlessly efficient pack hunters and will easily move onto another food sources (like caribou) if moose are not available.
This is a scientific experiment with unknown consequences and it needs to be scrapped immediately.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.