It’s taught in journalism and public relations to make a headline both informative and catchy. In this case, we really, really tried. But every time we read the letter from BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, all we could say was, “seriously?”
In early 2013, we were told that the Minister, Steve Thomson, was in the process of reviewing trapping practices in British Columbia. We hoped for good news. We contacted the Minister and informed him of our willingness to participate in any discussions, roundtables or debates. We had resources that we could provide. We were ready.
Apparently, Minister Thomson was not.
In May 2014, we sent a follow up to his office. We were told:
“For your information, in 2013, I instructed ministry staff to review several trapping safety related issues such as trapping signage, trapping within municipal boundaries, accidental catch of domestic animals and so on. I anticipate that before the end of June 2014, ministry staff will develop safety related options for my consideration.”
Well, we could wait another month or two to see what came out of that. Right?
On July 28, 2014, we sent another letter, reminding the Minister and his staff of his ‘anticipation.’
This week (yup, nearly two months later), we received another response.
“Thank you for your email of July 28, 2014, regarding my previous correspondence about trapping issues and public safety. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to your email.
“As you are aware there are a number of trapping issues that the ministry is currently reviewing and it has taken longer than expected to properly review them all and ensure that the complexity of each is being taken into consideration. These issues continue to be a priority for ministry staff and I am expecting to receive a review in the near future.”
From our head office in Vancouver, the scream of “seriously” could be heard out of Hamilton. Likewise, 20 minutes later when the email was forwarded, the cry echoed back across the country.
Minister Thomson, just tell us the truth. You don’t care about the animals. Your Ministry doesn’t care about the animals. Consider it a time saver – we can stop bothering you with emails, asking for you – a democratically elected official – to work with us and the public. Instead, we can focus on ensuring you don’t win back your seat in the next election.
Feel our pain? Then send your own note to Minister Steve Thomson. And remind him: he works for us, and to us, the animals matter.