Search the web for news on the East Kootenay deer culls, and you may come up with the same petition The Echo noticed this week, about midway down the first page of Google results.
As of press time “Stop the Invermere Deer Kill Plan,” sponsored by Vancouver-based ecology group Lifeforce, has garnered 107 signatures from countries as diverse as Belarus, Belgium, Turkey, Britain and the United States.
About a quarter of the signatories hail from B.C., though no one has claimed residency in the district itself. (One Kimberley resident, irked by her own town’s ongoing cull, is the closest identifiable objector.)
The point here isn’t that online petitions aren’t always the best way to get an issue taken seriously — though it’s hard to imagine the HST recall would have gotten as far done only via Facebook, and the most famous e-petition that springs quickly to mind involves getting a certain political figure to change his name to ‘Doris.’
It’s that those of us who call the Columbia Valley home are clearly missing a major promotional opportunity.
If people in Poland and New Zealand are outraged enough by Interior B.C.’s deer culls that they are willing to take 30 seconds or so to sign their names on an electronic form, perhaps they’re also willing to come here in person to wave signs and shoot sympathetic looks at those deer wandering through town that have so far avoided the clover traps and bolt guns.
If protestors as distinguished as Sir Paul McCartney are willing to fly to Newfoundland to condemn the seal hunt, surely there are at least a few agitated people in the world willing to spend their tourism dollars here, defending deer by day and enjoying a dip in one of the area’s hot pools at night.
Sure, the petition urges its signatories in Italy and France to boycott this community. But it says nothing about Radium and Fairmont, both of which can surely accommodate a few angry international guests. Think of it as a chance to really embrace the ‘whole valley’ marketing concept.
—Invermere Valley Echo