Editorials give journalists a chance to step away from being a 'voice' of the people and instead share their own input. I believe it is key to take great care of the arguments and checking facts. Editorials allow me to validate my own opinions on issues and assess my own values. I truly appreciate that with editorial writing I write with the capacity of not just being another shouting opinion, but a well-versed and planned out thought, with a purpose.

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BC NDP must stop all forms of provincial bear hunting

The BC NDP government announced this summer that they are stopping all trophy hunting of grizzly bears. By the end of November, trophy hunting is completely forbidden. Though a politically progressive move, it doesn’t get to the heart of the issue.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) puts British Columbian grizzly bears under ‘special concern’. This means that without appropriate regulations, the species have a large possibility of entering endangered to extinct statuses.

Although the NDP plan the restriction of trophy hunting, grizzly hunts for meat is still fair game. Essentially, this makes it very easy for resident and non-resident hunters to kill grizzlies for sport and claim it as a ‘valid food source’.

BC wildlife took a heavy loss this year in grizzly bear populations. Nearly 500 bears were destroyed this year by conservation officers, who suspect the wildfires has a roll in increasing conflict with humans. Hunters currently average 250 bear kills a year. They need to realize, bears should be left alone to regrow their population. Yet, the real loss that comes from increased grizzly bear deaths is the pocket book of the tourism sector. According to the National Post, $15.1 million was generated in BC’s bear watching sector in 2012. Only $1.2 million was generated with resident and non-resident hunting that year. Additionally, 133 full-time jobs are provided with tourism, where a meager 11 are provided in the guided hunting sector.

It is clear that the NDP government can’t sit on the fence any longer. The grizzly hunt preys on a vulnerable species and is bad for business. The province gains nothing if the species all but disappears in BC.

Sean Holden, with help from Michael Jesmer

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