The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)

Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

After briefly floating the idea of a sub-regional deer management service, the Capital Regional District’s planning and protective services committee voted Wednesday to maintain the status quo.

The potential cost of adding to the CRD’s current public education and municipal support role, and the uncertainty of encroaching onto provincial wildlife responsibilities led committee members to maintain existing service levels.

CRD staff were asked last fall to look into ways the CRD could help avoid duplication of efforts and cost for municipalities with deer overpopulation issues – primarily Oak Bay, Esquimalt and Central Saanich. Taking a direct role on population reduction would require a new service mandate and would need CRD board approval.

RELATED STORY: Esquimalt mayor repeats call for regional approach to urban deer management

Director Rebecca Mersereau asked whether taking a greater role in deer management activities would include doing a regional population count to get baseline numbers. Kevin Lorette, general manager of planning and protective services said it would.

With the only cost estimate in the report calling for spending between $35,000 and $60,000, Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch jumped into the discussion.

“Our experience in Oak Bay, with even doing a small count, was in the neighbourhood of several tens of thousands of dollars to service the province’s requirements,” he said.

Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks’ comments illustrated the urban-rural divide that often overshadow regional discussions.

“We are the largest land mass in the CRD by far, and we do not have a problem with deer, we hunt them, we shoot them,” he said. “As far as counting deer in the Juan de Fuca, that’s just absurd, it would be impossible.”

He said he could support a sub-regional service for the urban areas that need it, and some level of shared financial contributions.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait said such a fully regional service would not fit in her area either, where people accept living with and adjusting for wildlife, “those that wander through,” as part of life.

ALSO READ: Esquimalt likely two years from starting deer birth control efforts

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said while deer management was an issue in his 2014 election campaign, he doesn’t see a full regional approach as a good use of resources. He and Mersereau said municipalities can be more proactive in encouraging residents to better manage food source control, much in the way garbage and rotting produce are stored to avoid drawing rodents.

Rather than choosing the option of having staff canvas municipalities on what type of population reduction methods their communities support, and gauge interest in the CRD initiating a new deer management service, the committee chose to maintain the current level of support.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Capital Regional District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley writer Jennifer Manuel will headlining YakFest on March 1. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Cowichan Valley writer to headline next YakFest on March 1

YakFest is a B.C.-based monthly women’s event held online via Zoom

The North Island College campus in Port Alberni is located on Roger Street. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
North Island College plans tourism networking event

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on Vancouver Island’s tourism industry

Members of Alberni Valley Rescue Squad were at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020 to practice helicopter hover exit training with Ascent Helicopters out of Parksville. When executing a search in difficult terrain, it isn’t always possible to land a helicopter, so volunteer searchers must be certified in hover exits. (BILL MCLEOD/ Special to the AV News)
Alberni Valley Rescue Society receives much-needed $40K gaming grant

Bamfield volunteer fire department also funded

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

The current exhibit at the Rollin Art Centre features paintings from the Community Arts Council’s permanent collection. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
ARTS AROUND: Last chance to join Alberni Valley artist guide

The guide will include local artists and a map

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read