Dear Editor:

B.C. is a diverse province and rarely is a one-size-fits-all approach to social or environmental issues fair or wanted. For instance, recently the NDP announced they would, if elected, shut down the grizzly bear hunt. This activist agenda was put into action by NDP politicos to polarize individuals and to garner an emotional vote response. It is also the front end of an activist-driven anti-hunting campaign to shut down hunting province-wide, with trapping to follow.

Some folks are against hunting period; others are against trophy hunting. Yet others say the trophy is incidental to meat hunting. However, if you added up what people spend on hunting against what one could buy from the local market for the same dollars, it is clear that sustenance arguments dont hold much water. Most hunters hunt because they enjoy getting outdoors with a sense of purpose, the camaraderie, the chase, a wilderness experience, the meat, and for the competitive aspect of the sport. Every hunting outdoor club runs a trophy competition for the biggest antlers or horns.

The grizzly bear a made icon is easily targeted by anti-hunting activists because it seems to be only about the rug. Next on the NDP anti-hunting agenda will be the black bear, the cougar, the mountain sheep and mountain goat; after all, there is relatively little meat on these animals compared to a thousand-pound Hereford.

I am OK with hunting or trapping for meat, enjoyment or furs; participation in and witnessing of a symbiotic relationship with the land reveals to people the long-term impacts of habitat destruction and the importance of conservation.

Although I would not care to shoot a bear given the opportunity, legal permits and sustainability issues having been taken into consideration, I believe it would be hypocritical of me to say that others should not. The NDP anti-hunting platform panders to a small but vocal number of anti-hunting activists rather than to fairness or reason. Partnering with anti-hunting philistineism is a cheap if not desperate political gambit that intends to polarize cooperative relationships.

Rather than having to tackle the much tougher human issues like urban and valley sprawl, health care costs and delivery, infrastructure maintenance and rebuilds, climate change, social services, habitat sustainability and jobs, the NDP is banking on emotional pogroms based on activist agendas that turn neighbour against neighbour. Is this the type of election tactics with which we want to build community? Is this the type people we are? Or are we being manipulated?

Peter Christensen

Radium Hot Springs