The decision by Kimberley City Council to take future deer culls out of the city’s budget for the next few years had nothing to do with any warnings from the Animal Alliance out of Toronto about negative publicity and everything to do with what the city can afford, says Mayor Ron McRae.
Council voted at a budget meeting last week that no more money would be dedicated to deer culls in the upcoming budget.
“We had to make a number of decisions and recommendations around future financial plans,” McRae said. “At the same time we are striving to maintain the one million dollar surplus/contingency fund.”
At the root of it is a feeling that it’s time for the province to step to step forward with more assistance for communities struggling with urban deer problems. Kimberley and other communities have been lobbying for years to convince the province that deer are a provincial matter.
“It’s time that the various stakeholders come together with a collective voice and engage the province around shared responsibilities for deer,” McRae said. “I am hearing from local taxpayers that they are less and less comfortable with using tax dollars to manage urban deer.”
At last September’s Union of B.C. Municipalities conference a provincial task force was promised, but McRae says there has been no word on progress on that.
He said that locally, Elkford, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere representatives will meet to look at all kinds of options, including research on translocation.