Deer cull on back burner in Penticton

Mayor says despite court decision on cull in Invermere, council isn't going ahead yet with cull here

Penticton isn’t likely to see a deer cull anytime soon, even after a B.C. Supreme Court judge decided against an animal rights group trying to stop a deer harvest in Invermere.

“I don’t think we will be able to come charging out of the gate on this issue until we wait  for the dust to settle a little bit,” said Penticton Mayor Garry Litke.

“Knowing they will not be happy with the outcome, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is not going to be some sort of an appeal or some attempt to take it to a different or higher court.”

Communities across the province, including Penticton, put their own deer cull plans on hold while the Invermere Deer Protection Society argued that the town had not properly consulted residents before beginning their deer cull.

“We used a similar process to what the government recommended. They were attacking the process and claiming that we didn’t do a good enough job consulting,” said Mayor Gerry Taft of Invermere.

“Many other communities followed the same process, so if the judge said that process is lacking in some way, that would have had implications for other communities.”

Taft said deer are still a problem within city limits. Since Invermere already has a referendum on a new community centre this weekend, they are adding a question about the deer cull to the ballot.

“Based on the results of that vote — only residents of Invermere are eligible to vote — then council will take that as information to guide a future decision,” said Taft.

“At this point we haven’t budgeted any money, we haven’t made any plans to proceed with another deer cull.

We will be very interested to see what the result of the vote is.”

Penticton council has not had a chance to sit down and discuss the ramifications of the decision, but Litke said it’s unlikely Penticton would do a referendum, though he said it might be a possibility to pose a similar question during the municipal election voting in Nov. 2014.

“Where I am sitting right now today, I am not feeling a lot of urgency to either take action or to initiate a referendum,” said Litke. “The number of complaints about deer has really dropped off in the last little while.

“I don’t know if that is because they knew it was in court or they are learning to live with the deer or people are adjusting.

“I don’t know why, but there are fewer complaints than we have had in the past. It’s been nearly a two year battle for Invermere, a small town with a population of 3,002.

“The lawsuit was filed in February of 2012,” said Taft. “We spent nearly $40,000 on legal fees around this.”

Litke said he felt bad Invermere was the target of the lawsuit.

“I know the mayor of Invermere got hate mail and death threats and all kinds of nasty stuff from all over the world, people who have never even visited B.C.,” said Litke.

“It was a tiny little city council from Invermere that was in conflict with animal rights activists from around the world. Huge organizations were funding the legal challenge, I always thought it seemed very much like an uneven fight.”

 

Just Posted

Penticton RCMP want you to Cram the Kennel

RCMP officers, volunteers will be filling kennels with food and pet supplies donations

Two vehicle incident stalls traffic

Accident on Winnipeg Street and Eckhardt Avenue

Stolen Kelowna vehicle located in Penticton, driver facing numerous charges

The accused attempted to flee from police, ramming fences and police vehicles in the process

Rikhi family donates $60,000 to Penticton Regional Hospital expansion

Donation made in memory of Raksha Rikhi, a nurse from Summerland

Bobsleigh on display in Summerland

Used sleigh set up in honour of Olympic gold medal athlete Justin Kripps

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

Women charged with stealing money from Okanagan hospice return to court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Most Read