Shots fired: Defending BC’s fallen king

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Since the government’s announcement to end the grizzly bear hunt last week, I have been receiving quite a few questions from various individuals and media outlets. I will do my best to answer some of the main points below and for some of the more sensitive questions I will outreach to certain individuals, donors, and supporters personally. I have structured this blog in a question and answer format with the most recent questions coming first. Not all questions have been responded to simply because of time. Okay, here we go:

Q: “Why did you post/support Andrew Weaver’s CTV attack on the BC NDP?”

A: CTV auto codes its headlines. When posted to Facebook, or social media, these headlines cannot be changed by me or my communications staff. I was ensuring my supporters and donors were aware I was on the evening news providing balanced comments to a volatile situation.

Q: “As the bear guy, with bears on your election signs, did you have any input into the BC NDP grizzly bear policy?”

A: No. While the Minister of Environment has welcomed me back to the Conservation Officer Service, those details have yet to be worked out internally and I am currently just a regular citizen and not involved in policy decisions.

Q: “You wrote In Defence of a Fallen King in which you attacked BC liberal grizzly research, you have also routinely critiqued enforcement staffing levels in BC, how can you support the BC NDP now?”

A: I do support the BC NDP and firmly believe that this current policy is a step forward after 16 years of an uncaring liberal government. While, as a union shop steward, I maintain my former critiques of enforcement staffing levels, these concerns are not the fault of a brand new administration. As such, it is important to allow our new government some breathing room and let everyone get settled this fall so we can sort out some of the finer details. I hope to be involved with the new administration as we move forward on environmental issues this fall.

Q: “As an academic conducting Doctoral research into this area, how can you support the grizzly bear hunt this fall?”

A: My research pertains to human/wildlife co-existence and public trust in BC environmental law enforcement. I am currently working on a paper that will hopefully be released in October 2017. I recognize the important step forward that has been made in the Great Bear Rainforest and congratulate Coastal First Nations.

Q: “Will you help the BC NDP with progressive wildlife management policies or leave the party because of the grizzly bear hunt this fall?”

A: As discussed above, I am fully committed to our new government. I am currently working on a significant research paper, which will be released this fall. I have every intention of being involved in our new government and helping our new administration re-build the public trust in BC’s environmental and wildlife policies/legislation.

Q: “Did you finally reach an agreement with the government regarding those two bear cubs you saved, can you comment on this?”

A: I cannot comment at this time. However, ensuring the accountability and integrity of BC environmental law enforcement will always be a top priority for me no matter what the costs.

Q: “There is rumour that you may return to the Conservation Officer Service, can you comment on this?”

A: As some individuals know, after overhearing my conversation with the Hon. Minister Heyman at the swearing in ceremony, I have been welcomed back. I have no further comments at this time.

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