British Columbia

B.C. ministers to speak on grizzly bears following hunt consultation

The final grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C. officially closed on Nov. 30, now Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson and Environment Minister George Heyman have more to say about the animals following a public consultation on the policy, which received 4,200 written responses.

Final grizzly bear trophy hunt ended Nov. 30, consultation included ideas on how to police ban

The B.C. NDP delivered on a campaign promise by banning the trophy hunting of grizzly bears following the 2017 season, which ended on Nov. 30.

Two B.C. cabinet ministers have more to say about the controversial hunting of grizzly bears in the province.

On Monday morning, Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson and Environment Minister George Heyman will make an announcement from Vancouver regarding grizzlies.

On Dec. 8 Donaldson said a consultation process was completed to help craft regulations around the future of the grizzly bear hunt in the province.

In the summer Donaldson announced that at the conclusion of the 2017 grizzly bear hunt — Nov. 30 — trophy hunting of the animals would no longer be allowed.​

The ban also ends all grizzly bear hunting in the coastal region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

Under the new rules, it's illegal to hunt grizzlies for sport, when an animal is killed for its parts — the head, paws or hide — and not its meat.

Hunting grizzlies for their meat is still permitted outside of the Great Bear Rainforest but critics have questioned how authorities will enforce the ban.

Some say that by allowing the hunting of the animals for food, trophy hunters could remove a portion of meat from a bear's carcass and claim the kill as food.

Donaldson's ministry said at the time that it was still working on the policy and regulatory framework. The plan was to unveil it before the end of the year.

He said in early December that the month-long consultation process involved First Nations throughout the province and around 4,200 written responses were received.

About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Donaldson said is "sustainable" for the population estimated at 15,000 bears, but he said public opinion on the practice has turned.