Parks Canada criticized for excessive spending on Sidney Island deer cull, says tax group

Tax group slams Parks Canada spending on Sidney Island deer cull

“Canadian Taxpayers Outraged by Skyrocketing Costs of Parks Canada’s Deer Cull Program

A recent access-to-information request has revealed some shocking news about Parks Canada’s efforts to eliminate invasive deer on Sidney Island. The initial estimated cost of the program was $5.9 million, but it has now skyrocketed to nearly $12 million, doubling the previous estimate. This revelation has sparked outrage among Canadian taxpayers, who are questioning the cost-effectiveness of the operation.

Questionable Spending Choices

Carson Binda of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation openly criticized Parks Canada’s approach to dealing with the deer population on Sidney Island, calling it the most expensive method imaginable. The decision to hire foreign hunters from New Zealand and the United States to shoot deer from a helicopter at a cost of $10,000 per animal has raised eyebrows. Many believe that local hunters could have easily performed the same task at a fraction of the cost, making the expenditure seem even more extravagant.

Debate Over the Necessity of the Cull

While the focus has mainly been on the exorbitant costs of the deer culling program, there is also a debate surrounding the necessity of the cull itself. Some question whether the cull is essential for the conservation efforts in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, while others argue that it is a vital step in protecting the endangered coastal Douglas fir ecosystem. The decision to bring in foreign marksmen has only added fuel to the fire, with critics suggesting that local expertise should have been utilized instead.

A Dramatic Waste of Money?

Carson Binda left it up to the environmental experts to determine the need for a cull, but ultimately labeled the entire program as a “dramatic waste of money.” Despite the successful culling of 84 deer in phase one of the operation, some native black-tailed deer were mistakenly targeted, raising concerns about the accuracy of the cull. However, the involvement of local First Nations in the project, along with the distribution of meat within WSANEC communities, has been highlighted as a positive outcome of the program.

Looking Forward

As phase two of the deer cull is set to commence in the near future, the debate over the cost and necessity of the program is likely to intensify. Whether Parks Canada will address the concerns raised by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and other critics remains to be seen. As the community engagement continues and the culling efforts progress, the fate of the invasive deer on Sidney Island hangs in the balance. Will this expensive program ultimately be worth the cost, or will it be remembered as a misguided attempt to protect the fragile ecosystem? Only time will tell.”



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