With the Invermere deer cull at least delayed, and the comments on anti-cull Facebook pages getting nastier by the day (seriously, telling someone they’re going to hell and about to face the wrath of God during a political discussion doesn’t advance anyone’s cause), it’s time to ask another question: Where’s the province in all this?
The permission and supplies to cull have come from the B.C. government. That same government has also held off on greenlighting a relocation program that many residents have suggested they’d find more palatable, and haven’t officially agreed that there’s anywhere deer can be moved.
Under the law, deer belong to the province. While Invermere may want ungulate birth control or deer deportation, it’s up to the province to give us permission to mess around with their property.
Yet it is councillors in Invermere who’ve borne the brunt of the personal attacks, boycott threats and plain rude language from those who are against the cull.
Yes, one can argue that council could have refused to agree to killing the animals, held out for the relocation plan that has been part of its strategy from the get-go, and possibly done nothing about the deer this year.
But to suggest council has ever had a wide range of options and simply picked the most malicious is warping the truth.
Dealing with the deer has been tough. On one hand, a cull is unpalatable for those of us raised on a diet of environmental sensitivity and the circle of life. On the other, there are real public safety fears. Pro-cullers have wept at council meetings when talking about the risk habituated animals pose to their children. There wasn’t, and still isn’t, a way forward that will make everyone happy.
If you want relocation (which we shouldn’t pretend is a picnic for deer either), or if you’re pushing for another solution beyond the cull, call your MLA. Call the Ministry of Environment. Call the premier’s office if you’d like.
Put some of the heat on the people who can make it possible for our officials to try something different.
—The Valley Echo