Early polls indicated that the NDP had a strong lead over the Liberals. But after Tuesday’s provincial election, everything changed in a matter of hours. The polls were wrong. The Liberals won the BC election with a majority.
Reports indicate that what may have caused the shift was that only 52 per cent of eligible voters actually cast their ballot. There was also lots of discussion about whether or not the vote was split. Did the NDP and Green split the vote to the left, and did the Liberal and Conservative vote split things to the right? Should more people have voted strategically, considering that the two parties that actually had a chance were the NDP and Liberals?
Also, it’s pretty sad that only 3 out of 4 leaders won their own riding (Dix won Vancouver-Kingsway). What does this say about British Columbian’s opinion of who is leading this province?
When you think about all of these things, this win wasn’t a clear victory at all. And the Liberals need to act with much care and humility moving forward.
What does this election mean for BC’s wildlife?
For the past 10 years, the BC Liberal government has done little to protect wildlife.
Examples are endless, including:
- Countless provincial wildlife culls continue to be approved.
- Aerial shooting is legal.
- Wolf killing contests go unregulated.
- Trophy hunting is legal.
- There are no limits for the number of wolves that can be killed in certain regions of BC (even nursing mother’s can be killed!)
- The number of BC conservation officers is abysmally low.
- Leg-hold, Conibear and snare traps remain legal.
- Under provincial law, you can set a trap a mere 200 metres from a dwelling.
- There is no legislation related to the treatment of animals on fur farms.
- There are no efforts to identify and protect habitat for species at risk.
- It remains legal in BC to trap/hunt the Western wolverine, even though their population is listed as ‘special concern’ and their Eastern counterparts are extinct.
- There has been no effort to protect grizzly bear populations.
- There is no provincial legislation to protect endangered species!
In addition to these facts, the BC Liberals are also open to the idea of having two massive oil pipelines run through our province. So, there’s that.
What can you do?
1. You must vote in every election. The animals can’t vote, but you can.
2. Get to know your Member of Parliament and make a point of visiting their office and discussing the issues that are important to you.
3. Speak out. If you are not happy with how animals are treated in the province of BC, shout it from the rooftops! Write emails, send letters to the editor, sign petitions, organize local initiatives, and take every opportunity you can to speak out and push for meaningful change.