Canada geese take flight in the early morning

Saanich bylaw could take aim at non-migratory Canada geese

Saanich council to debate permission to cull non-migratory Canada geese damaging Saanich crops

A year ago Saanich Coun. Fred Haynes toured six farms that grow local fruit, grains, vegetables and greens and produce milk, eggs and meats. The resounding concern among the farmers was the unsustainable predation of their crops by the ever-increasing populations of Canada geese.

It’s making it increasingly difficult to earn a living for local farmers, he said.

Haynes is now looking to make life and economic certainty a little easier for Saanich farmers.

To this end he has prepared a report to Saanich council recommending an amendment to Bylaw No. 8092 to permit hunting during hunting season on the same farm lands with the same nominees previously permitted firearm licence by the Saanich police for the purpose of reducing the population of non-migratory geese.

Haynes said the problem with geese is they eat and damage the crops and when they defecate, the crops can’t be harvested.

“If we want local food, and we say we do, farmers on the peninsula need our clear and firm support on taking actions to resolve the unsustainable predation of their crops,” said Haynes in an informal report to council.

Haynes said the current farmers may be the last generation to farm the land and provide Vancouver Island with food. To attract new farmers, there needs to be a viable economic package. Land is expensive and with the damage done to crops by geese, deer and rabbits, it does not make farming a good business prospect.

“The problem right now is there are 6,000 non-migratory geese and by extension there could be 60,000 in 20 years,” said Haynes.

In a letter to Saanich council, Mike Hicks, Regional Director for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, said, “The most practical, humane and cost-effective method of maintaining or reducing the overall population is to allow limited and restricted hunting of geese.”

“I have to applaud Mike Hicks for bringing this forward,” said Haynes.

Hicks’ suggestion, endorsed by Haynes, states that the current Crop Damage Permits allow for the hunting of between five and 10 birds per week. Hunters are not allowed to use blinds or decoys and they cannot eat the geese. Hicks would like to see hunters permitted to “keep and eat these beautiful birds.”

The Capital Regional District (CRD) passed a motion on Jan. 13, requesting that the rural municipalities change their firearms bylaw to allow hunting to take place on farms that have obtained a Crop Damage Permit from the federal government’s Canadian Wildlife Service. In practical terms, farmers and their nominees would be allowed, in addition to their total of five geese per week, to hunt during these seasons with blinds and decoys to take 10 geese per day per hunter.

“If we want local food we have to look after things, we need to help the next generation of farmers,” said Haynes.

Haynes said local grocery stores are seeking locally grown foods and if farmers cannot deliver because of crop damage, then that opportunity for economic viability  suffers. It is also about the creation of sustainable jobs in targeted sectors – agriculture being one of those jobs.

“This increases the focus and we need to have the ability to stand up and deal with the problem,” said Haynes.

“I anticipate it will pass through council with a majority vote,” stated Haynes.

 

news@saanichnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Bates Motel recreated in Saanich for a haunting good time

Local artists, actors transform house into a free, ‘fun spooky’ Halloween attraction

Downtown Victoria Green Party office faces break-in

Racelle Kooy’s office saw thousands of dollars worth of equipment stolen

Delays expected on Interurban Road due to wastewater treatment project in Saanich

Traffic down to a single alternating lane until Sunday evening

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses stemming from a raid earlier this year at Island property

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to January

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

COLUMN: Halloween shouldn’t be a purity test

The holiday is a time of pretending and fun

Most Read