The hunting guide sues the process against the province by B.C. prohibition of hunting the grizzly



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The operator of an armament guiding company has filed a collective action proposal against the British Columbia government on the ban on brown bear hunting.

Love Fleet owner Ron Fleming. & Lee, is seeking compensation for all BCs. guide the assembly of businesses allegedly harmed by the prohibition of hunting.

The lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court names the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the Minister, Doug Donaldson, alleging that the province has inappropriately closed the hunt to public opinion and for political or social reasons.

The statement alleges that the government knew that its decision would harm the 2,000 people employed directly by 245 arms companies, especially those with licenses to hunt bears or who lost business when the ban was announced in 2017.

The lawsuit says that before the ban, less than two percent of bears in B.C. were hunted each year and the number of brown bears increased throughout the province.

The First Coastal Nations have banned bear hunting in the Great Ombrophile Forest since 2012. However, representatives of the Tahltan and Iskut First Nations Nations are in favor of legal action. (Mathieu Belanger / Reuters)

None of the allegations were proven in court and a statement of defense was not filed.

The provincial government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

First Nations hunting for treaty rights or for food, social and ceremonial reasons were exempted from the ban.

When it came into effect, Donaldson said that "it is no longer socially acceptable for the vast majority of British Columbians to hunt grizzly bears."

Environment Minister George Heyman also cited research suggesting that the economic impact of bears watching is far greater than hunting for both income generation and job creation.

The claim statement says that there was no government consultation on the termination of guided hunting, resident hunters or First Nations. He asks for financial compensation for damages.

Support from Northern Communities

Chad Day, president of Tahltan's Central Government, which represents the First Nations of Tahltan and Iskut, says in a press release that it supports the legal action.

"This has hurt our people culturally and economically and has put many of British Columbia's communities and populations of ungulates and salmon at risk," says Day.

The court must first approve the collective action before it can continue.

The statement states that hunters pay up to $ 25,000 for a brown bears' guided hunt, and when the ban was announced, many manufacturers had to cancel reservations already confirmed by filing in 2021.

The court document says there are approximately 15,000 brown bears in British Columbia, about 25% of the entire gray population in North America, and that the number of bears has remained steady in the last two decades.

Government data show that hunting up to nine percent of some populations of gray is sustainable and that the Ministry of Forests does not have the authority of the Wildlife Law to regulate poaching "outside the scope of proper management of wildlife" .

The claim statement seeks a court order certifying a class action, seeks compensation for negligent representation, and "acting consciously when it had no legitimate reason to stop brown bears hunting over wildlife management or First Nations lands."

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