The District of Sechelt is writing to the province to ask for authority to regulate, prohibit and impose requirements respecting wildlife in the District, after an agreement was reached that a trap bylaw, similar to the one the Town of Gibsons adopted last year, should be looked at.
Council voted April 18 to send a proposed trap regulatory bylaw to local agencies for comment and write to the federal and provincial governments to affirm their support for a ban on inhumane trapping.
Council also agreed to write to the provincial minister responsible for environment and wildlife regulation to ask for power to enforce a trapping bylaw locally.
When councillors discussed the issue at their April 11 committee of the whole meeting Coun. Doug Hockley noted his displeasure with sending the proposed bylaw to some agencies for comment.
“I cannot understand why we have the B.C. Trappers’ Association and the Fur Institute of Canada [on the list]. I have absolutely no reason to be hearing from either of those two groups,” Hockley said. “The issue is involving the welfare of animals and people in the District of Sechelt and I really don’t care what the Fur Institute of Canada has to say about it or the B.C. Trappers’ Association because I don’t want them in the District.”
Coun. Alice Lutes was not of the same opinion.
“I’m finding this bylaw easier to accept, but I have to disagree with Coun. Hockley on the referrals. We’re talking about people’s livelihood. There may not be many fur trappers on the Sunshine Coast, but they need to know of the changes that we’re looking at making in their future,” Lutes said.
Coun. Chris Moore was in favour of sending the bylaw out for comment, saying he was “curious” about what the agencies would have to say.
“I think it’s just respectful in some fashion as much as we may not agree with their livelihood,” Moore said.
Coun. Mike Shanks did not want to get involved in the debate.
“Not wanting to tip my hand at this time, I already have my leanings, but I would like to hear the results of a public hearing process and make my decision at that time,” he said.
The proposed bylaw will now go out for comment to agencies that may be affected and those comments will come back to a future committee meeting for more discussion before the bylaw is given first reading at a future council meeting.