Liberal candidate responds to B.C. NDP’s pledge to end grizzly bear trophy hunting

B.C. Liberal Candidate for Kootenay East responds to B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan's pledge to end grizzly trophy hunting in the province.

Tom Shypitka

BC Liberal Candidate – Kootenay East

As the candidate to replace retiring Bill Bennett as MLA, I want the people of Kootenay East to know where I stand on the grizzly bear hunt.

The NDP recently announced they want to ban grizzly bear hunting. I support science-based decisions when it comes to wildlife issues.

Government just published a thorough study of grizzly bear populations in BC (http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082757) and populations are healthy in many regions, including the Kootenay Region.

As long as populations can support a hunt, politicians should stay out of it. I know fathers and grandfathers who want to take a son or grandson out for a bear hunt. As long as we have healthy populations, the grizzly bear hunt should continue.

The population must be managed to control numbers and our choice is a hunt or to have Conservation Officers remove excess bears. I think the choice is clear.

As for the NDP, they know the grizzly bear hunt is generally supported in rural B.C. and they know the evidence supports a hunt. With their decision to oppose hunting for political reasons, they are revealing their urban bias. The NDP is actually writing off rural B.C.

If I am elected in May, 2017, my job will be to represent the rural values that my family has lived in the east Kootenay for five generations.