In the November 27th edition of the Oak Bay News’ article, “SPCA Wants Deer Cull Off the Table,” I am described as being “the lone dissenter” on the decision by Oak Bay Council to support staff Option 2, one of three options presented in a November 12, 2013 staff report. Options 2 and 3 recommend that Oak Bay signs on to the CRD’s Deer Management Pilot Project, which includes a deer cull among other steps and strategies related to animal control and public education. But the November 27th article does not provide context to explain my support of Option 3, that states: “Indicate to the CRD that the District is prepared to participate in the proposed Deer Management Pilot Project, subject to any additional requests or conditions that Council may ask the CRD to consider.”
I supported Option 3 as a preferred course of action because I believed it would give Oak Bay the opportunity to gather further public and professional input, enable us to continue to assess the impacts urban deer are having specific to Oak Bay and, if necessary, monitor and adjust the conditions and terms of reference of the pilot project so that it would more effectively target Oak Bay’s needs related to public health and safety. As we can see, further dialogue across the region is ongoing on the benefits and liabilities of a deer cull. It is important to track this information, gather new science and facts as they become available and always remain open to further dialogue with residents.
In the Oak Bay News article of November 19, 2013, titled “Bye-Bye Bambi,” the context for my position is provided, and I am quoted as saying, “I just felt (Option 3) would allow more flexibility, allow Oak Bay greater ongoing input,” adding that Green wanted that flexibility in writing. The quote goes on, “I think it (Option 3) would add a bit more strength for local input and local influence.” I also referenced my decision and my reasons for supporting Option 3 on my weekly blog following the November 18th Council meeting.
I hope that this will clarify for readers again why I believed Option 3 would better serve Oak Bay. If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you.