VICTORIA, B.C. - “After years of work on this file, my colleagues and I are absolutely overjoyed this decision has finally been made. The results of the government’s consultation were clear and government has listened – we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and B.C. Green Party spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“A focus on protecting grizzlies has been a constant throughout my time at the legislature, and I am proud to have been able to help advance this issue,” said Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Leader of the B.C. Green Party.
“Andrew has been a strong advocate for the long term wellbeing of grizzlies since his election in 2013,” said MLA Olsen. “He tabled the Wildlife Amendment Act multiple times and stood as a lone voice in the legislature against the B.C. Liberals who actively supported grizzly trophy hunting and the B.C. NDP who would not take a position. This legislation was intended to give the BC Liberal government a feasible path forward to protecting Grizzly Bears.
“Now we have a very different political landscape in B.C. and our office shifted its efforts accordingly,” said MLA Olsen, who became lead on this file after the May election. “The minority government and a governing agreement signed by the B.C. NDP and B.C. Greens have allowed us to take a stronger position and we commend the government’s bold announcement today.
“Ending the grizzly hunt is a momentous accomplishment, but there is still work to be done to protect this species. If we fail to also consider habitat and food supply – especially with climate change further threatening essential salmon and huckleberry stocks – conflicts with humans, roadkill rates, or poaching incidents, we will fail to protect grizzlies in the long term.
“We hope that this announcement will be followed with a comprehensive ecosystem based approach to wildlife management because we cannot continue to perpetuate the slow, methodical extirpation of native species in BC. We will celebrate progress along the way and work to ensure species like grizzly bears and wild pacific salmon have the resilient ecosystems they need to thrive into the future.
“This breakthrough would not have happened without the efforts of many - thank you and congratulations to everyone involved.”