Topics of Interest

Minister Steve Thomson Makes an Allocation Decision

On Wednesday, December 10, 2014 the BCWF received Minister Steve Thomson’s decision on allocation, including “regionally tailored” splits between residents and non-residents. The allocation splits represent a degradation of resident priority with an increased share going to guided hunters in many cases. Your displeasure of this decision must be made loud and clear to your MLA, Minister Thomson, and Premier Christy Clark.

Letter from Minister Steve Thomson to BCWF president George Wilson explaining his allocation decision.

Allocation Splits.

Does the Province Support BC Resident Families or Foreign Trophy Hunters?

The BC Guide Outfitting industry that harvest wildlife for profit, and their foreign trophy hunting clients have become the subject of much controversy amongst the resident hunting community throughout BC, and the BC Wildlife Federation. At the heart of the issue is the Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) lobbying Minister of FLNRO Steve Thomson and Premier Christy Clark to remove more wildlife harvest allocations from 100,000 resident hunter to 210 Guide Outfitters throughout BC. Ultimately the GOABC is asking that Government hand over substantially more BC resident wildlife allocations to Guide Outfitters.

What does this mean for resident hunters? Much less opportunity to fill your freezers with organic meat, increased odds on Limited Entry, and less opportunity for resident hunters to hunt overall. This in an effort by the GOABC to prop up commercial trophy hunting primarily for foreigners, at the expense of BC residents.

Other North American jurisdictions allow commercial hunting interests 10% or less of allocated species. Here in BC Guide Outfitters have successfully lobbied the Minister to allocate (give them) up to 40% of allocated wildlife species.

Independent Guide Outfitters and the GOABC have argued the economic benefits of the trophy hunting business. However, recent economic reports reveal that resident hunters contribute far more to the BC economy through the many businesses supporting their outdoor recreation, hunting for food, and wildlife conservation. With these findings it makes no sense economically, and in the interest of wildlife to shift hunting allocations away from resident hunters to that of foreign trophy hunters.

Resident hunting spans generations having a strong heritage, traditional, social and cultural foundation. Family and friendship bonds are fostered and nurtured through our revered hunting opportunities, and many cherished memories created lasting lifetimes.

We fear that the minister of FLNRO and the Premier may not recognize or fail to better entrench these very important family values of BC residents, and cater to the GOABC and their trophy hunting for profit business agenda. By coincidence, the GOABC and a number of Guide Outfitters contributed to the liberal party in the last provincial election.

It is our perspective that after conservation, and First Nations food, social and ceremonial needs, that the needs of BC residents be met over that of foreign hunting interests. We must ask government decision makers if they will allow 210 Guide Outfitters and the GOABC to trump the social values, economic contribution, and hunt for food opportunity of 100,000 resident hunting families?

If the Minister and Premier truly support BC’s 100,000 resident hunting families, then the now vitiated 2007 Allocation Policy needs to be rescinded, allocated wildlife spits legislated, and immediately set to 90% residents and 10% Guide Outfitters for all species as is done in other jurisdictions. Does the Province support 100’000 BC resident hunting families or that of 210 Guide Outfitters catering to foreign trophy hunters? The Ministers decision will tell and are anxiously awaiting for it.

Mike Langegger

Northwest Fish and Wildlife Conservation Association – Chairman

Intended Consequences of Allocations

This paper was authored by Jesse Zeman of the BCWF Allocation Committee in response to the Trumpy Report (Harvest Allocation Policy Review)

The Intended Consequences of Allocations

 

Allocation Policy Under Review Before Fully Implemented

It took three years for representatives of the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, and BC’s Ministry of Environment to come to agreement on a new wildlife allocation policy. The process started in 2004 and the “new” BC Allocation Policy was partially implemented, rather than fully implemented starting in 2007 to give the Guide Outfitters some time to adjust their business practices. We are now in the fifth year of the interim implementation of the policy, with full implementation scheduled to occur in 2012 as guaranteed in writing by Tom Eithier, Director of Wildlife, and in person by the Honourable Barry Penner, then Minister of Environment, at the 2010 BCWF annual general meeting.

It now appears that these may have been idle promises as the Wildlife Branch has appointed Chris Trumpy, a past ADM for MOE, as a contractor to “complete an analysis of the affects of implementation of the current allocations policy on the guide outfitting industry.” The situation with GOABC is currently being described by government officials as “explosive” because at least some members of GOABC are aggressively challenging the full implementation of the policy in 2012. We believe that the review by Chris Trumpey is a direct result of intense lobbying by GOABC and from political pressure on GOABC’s behalf by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.

When it became know that the government contracted Chris Trumpy to review the allocation policy, Mike Langegger of the Northwest Fish and Wildlife Conservation Association wrote an eloquent letter to Tom Either that well describes the concerns of resident hunters. Mike has recently received a Fish and Wildlife Branch’s response to the letter, and the tone of the letter should be a concern to resident hunters, as it does not indicate that that allocation policy will be fully implemented in 2012 as promised. Instead it talks about concerns, fairness, and economic hardship. You can read Mike’s letter and Ian Hatter’s response for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Resident hunters from around the province are approaching their MLAs to express their concern that the Trumpy review of the allocation policy will unacceptably delay the full implementation of the policy in 2012, and may even open the policy up for renegotiation before it is even implemented. Trumpy’s mandate allows him to make recommendations on just about all aspects of the allocation policy. It’s time that politicians hear the voice of the 80,000 plus resident hunters in BC and make those politicians understand that decisions that erode resident priority will have political fallout. Go to your local MLA and ask him or her what they know about the allocation policy review and make sure they understand your position as a resident hunter.

2012 Allocation Policy Letter and Response

Cohen Inquiry Interim Report Gets An “F”: John Cummins MP

Cohen’s Interim Report Gets an “F”

John Cummins, M.P.

Delta- Richmond East

News Release

November 8, 2010

Cohen’s Interim Report Gets an “F”

OTTAWA– The Cohen Inquiry has issued its first report three months late. The report weighs in at 680 grams or nearly 1½ pounds and has 302 pages. If prizes were awarded for weight or number of pages the report would be given high marks; for content it warrants an “F”.

The Inquiry was established on November 5, 2009 and was ordered to submit an interim report by August 1st setting out Justice Cohen’s assessment of (i) previous investigations he considered relevant to his inquiry into the Fraser River salmon fishery and (ii) the government’s action to implement their recommendations.

The dictionary says that an “assessment” evaluates or judges the value or quality of something. Cohen was never asked to summarize previous studies, he was asked to evaluate or judge the value or quality of both them and the government’s response. He did neither.

Cohen failed on all counts. His interim report does not contain any substantive assessments. Nowhere in the 302 pages of his report did he evaluate or judge the value or quality of previous studies or of the government’s response to them.Instead of selecting investigations which were directly relevant to his inquiry,

Cohen simply summarizes the recommendations of 22 different reports. Some were noteworthy but most were inconsequential.

Instead of making substantive assessments of how the government implemented or failed to implement recommendations, he merely summarized in point form what the government claimed to have done.

Fishermen have not forgotten that the investigations by Peter Pearse, John Fraser and Bryan Williams all heard considerable evidence of widespread and ongoing problems in the administration and enforcement of aboriginal fisheries.

Their reports contained a long series of recommendations with regard to addressing the problems in the administration and enforcement. This interim report paid scant attention to these issues.

There are many references to the Supreme Court’s decision in Sparrow, but only one to the Van der Peet decision and it made no mention of the fact that the court rejected a Sto:lo claim to an aboriginal right to sell or trade salmon, an issue central to many of the fisheries management and enforcement problems on the Fraser.

The interim report sets out the various technical and scientific studies that the Inquiry has established yet seems blind to the obvious problem of using former DFO staff to conduct such work when the inquiry has as its first order of business a review of DFO departmental management policies and practices.

In addition it is never explained why the commission is undertaking such work.

Cohen’s terms of reference never requested such scientific studies. Furthermore the interim report was never to be a recitation of what the commission was doing, its sole task was to evaluate or judge the value or quality of previous studies and the government’s implementation of their recommendations.

At no time does Cohen explain why he failed to make the required assessments.

While DFO is undoubtedly relieved at not having to face any assessment of their failures to implement earlier investigations, Cohen’s inaction is not something that can be put at the door of DFO.

It was Cohen’s job and he failed to do it.

Cohen claims that his staff “toiled long hours to get the commission in operation as quickly and efficiently as possible.” Fishermen might be tempted to ask to what end?

Cohen and his staff have clearly wasted their first year. There is nothing in this interim report on how DFO might make changes in its management of the 2011 fishery. Most importantly this is not the report that was asked for nor is it what fishermen had reason to hope for when the Cohen Inquiry was established one year ago.

Contact: John Cummins, M.P.

(613) 992-2957, (cell) (604) 970-0937, (604) 940-8040 or www.johncummins.ca