Council frustrated with lack of provincial aid on deer issue

Oak Bay councillors are frustrated that deer, though a provincial area of jurisdiction, continue to consume staff and council time.

A main sticking point, for all, but most vehemently argued by Coun. Michelle Kirby, at Monday night’s council meeting is that deer are a provincial problem that continues to consume staff and council time.

“I see this entirely as a provincial responsibility,” Kirby said, voicing a desire to move forward from deer. “We have much more pressing local issues. This is provincial responsibility.”

The Urban Wildlife Stewardship Society that grew in response to the regional plan, which included a cull, plans to build on the pilot by Oak Bay, whether the province pitches in or not.

“The reality is people are still talking about deer. It is still an issue,” said UWSS vice-president Kristy Kilpatrick. “We need to work together … With or without the province, public education is a community thing.”

An Oak Bay resolution calling for B.C. to take more of a co-ordinating role in deer management saw major support at spring’s Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities annual general meeting.

The resolution, to be considered at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting in September, requests the province provide increased support and expertise for deer management issues and help build partnerships with other levels of government.