Editorial: Deer process runs in circles

Pushing decision on deer management back to municipalities delays the inevitable

Talk about passing the buck.

After a Capital Regional District citizens advisory board toiled to come up with solutions for the region’s booming deer population, the province added another hurdle.

For the past year, the deer committee has gone through a protracted process of seeking input from experts and citizens on options to control deer populations in urban, suburban and farmland areas across the CRD.

The committee arrived at a series of recommendations to reduce deer-human conflict, which emerge with garden and crop destruction, and collisions between deer and vehicles.

The Ministry of Environment, which has been reluctant to promise any funding toward a deer strategy, wants CRD staff to present the deer management report to the 13 CRD municipalities, and for those municipalities to decide how they want to handle deer in their neck of the woods.

This is spinning the process in circles. It was the municipalities in the first place, egged on by residents overrun with deer, that lobbied the CRD come up a coherent set of strategies, with the expectation that the province would help guide the process of implementing a mix of solutions – be it a cull, public education, better deer fencing or expanding hunting rights for aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, among others.

Throwing it back on the municipalities seems at best a delay tactic. Councils tend to get bogged down in the public process, territory well hashed out at the deer committee. Do 13 municipalities need to individually re-debate the deer issue?

The province has clearly washed its hands of dealing with deer in cities. The CRD needs to take the lead and sit down with municipal staff to work out what is desirable and legal – and what bylaws need changing to implement a deer strategy that best fits individual districts.

Spring rutting season isn’t that far off and there is no reason to expect fewer deer across Greater Victoria – unless those recently sighted cougars do what people won’t.

Just Posted

Cannabis cultivation: Former North Saanich chicken farm goes into pot

North Saanich would join a small, growing number of communities with marijuana growing

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Study shows Oak Bay’s dwindling population is rapidly aging

Housing Needs Study says Oak Bay facing a shortfall of 349 bedrooms

Last full moon of the decade peaks at 12:12 on 12/12

December full moon also referred to as the cold moon

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

Most Read