In front of a group of silent protesters from the BC Deer Protection Society, Kimberley City Council approved three recommendations from the city’s Urban Deer Committee on Monday evening.
The first recommendation was that Kimberley undertake a limited cull of up to 15 deer in Marysville and up to 15 in the Blarchmont, Chapman Camp area. Council voted unanimously to go ahead with the cull with Councillors Albert Hoglund and Don McCormick absent.
Committee Chair Gary Glinz told Council said that the committee arrived at the recommendation after this year’s population counts conducted a few weeks ago. He said when they looked at counts and complaints in the Blarchmont, Chapman Camp area, they grouped together, whereas in Marysville there weren’t as many complaints but more deer were counted.
Secondly, Council voted to provide $2000 to start up an education program in local schools.
Glinz said that the need for this arose because of some children being afraid of deer after close encounters.
“It indicates a missing piece,” Glinz said. “To do it right we need someone who knows what they are doing. We want kids not afraid, but aware.”
Glinz said a professional would be needed to deliver the program because the School Board is careful about who they allow to speak to students.
“It has to be non-political, non-partisan and age appropriate,” he said. “It’s worth approaching a professional to put the curriculum together.”
Thirdly, Council voted to continue to lobby hard for aversive conditioning — both through MLA Norm Macdonald and any other opportunity to speak to the government.
Aversive conditioning, or hazing, has been tried in Kimberley under a special permit but continues to be illegal under the BC Wildlife Act. Council is concerned that it has been quite some time since the trial (last May) with no movement on amending the Act.
“I have to express my disappointment with the BC government,” said Coun. Darryl Oakley, who sits as council rep on the deer committee. “It’s just been so slow. I really feel strongly Kimberley could utilize this tool. This is an option that has some viability. I hope Norm Macdonald can push it along.”
Coun. Kent Goodwin said he was a little concerned about sending a mixed message to the government.
“We are saying the deer are not our problem, but on the other hand we are saying give us more tools to deal with them. Maybe the province should be doing the hazing,” Goodwin said.