"Today's announcement of the NDP proposing a ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears is a step forward in the provincial debate around grizzly hunting.
Last year 289 grizzly bears were killed by foreign and resident hunters in BC, despite the fact that more than 90 percent of BC residents oppose the hunt. Grizzly hunting tarnishes the province's image abroad, and the grizzly hunt is hindering the development of a more profitable bear-viewing industry.
Bear-viewing operations already bring $13.1 million dollars a year into this province in direct revenues and provide more than 200 jobs. This is approximately ten times more than the amount brought in by grizzly hunting.
In recent years, the bear-viewing industry has seen double-digit growth creating many good-quality jobs in rural areas. But experience has shown that taking guests to view bears that are hunted just doesn't work.
Under the NDP's proposal it is unclear whether hunters will be allowed to shoot grizzly bears if they claim it is for sustenance. We oppose all grizzly bear hunting.
If hunting grizzlies for meat is to be allowed - and very few hunters eat grizzly bear - tough regulations will need to be put in place to ensure that trophy hunting does not continue under a different guise.
We look forward to continuing this conversation with both major parties to ensure that the significant economic benefits to the province that would come with a ban on grizzly bear hunting are realised."