Monthly Archives: April 2014


 Warm Buddy Spa Products come to          Country Club Centre to Help                     Bears Matter !                                                                         BCSurprise_egg_vignette                                                                      Country Club Centre, 3200 North Island Hwy, Nanaimo, B.C.  Monday to Wednesday 9:30am to 5:30pm Thursday-Friday 9:30am to 9:00pm Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm Sunday11:am to 5:00pm 

Warm-Up Bears with Heart Sweaters and Hoodies Helping Real Bears at Home and Around the World

Warm-Up Bears with Heart Sweaters and Hoodies Helping Real Bears at Home and Around the World

Bears Matter, a fundraising ‘non-profit’ company, helping eight bear groups since 2006  and Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, a long established Nanaimo business, are pleased to announce their exciting and unique partnership to help SAVE bears! 

Nanaimo’s Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Shop is now selling the full line of Warm Buddy therapeutic spa products. A visit to Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Shop in the Country Club Centre (Future Shop Centre) for their Canadian-made, high-quality, hand-made, fresh Belgium chocolates will now include a browse through an array of high-quality natural grain warm & cool therapy spa products(tax exempt) with an opportunity to help bear conservation.  A person can now satisty their physical, therapeutic and philanthropic cravings all at one place! 

Wooly-Group and and   


Free Certificate with Every Purchase of a Warm Buddy Product                         

Groups Seek Legal Remedies to Stop Government Decision to Re-introduce the Ontario Spring Bear Hunt


AnimalAllianceof Canada

Media Release

Groups seek legal remedies to stop government decision to re-introduce the Ontario Spring Bear Hunt. Organizations say – if the spring bear hunt is not stopped by the Wynne government before May 1, tiny bear cubs will be orphaned and die from starvation

Toronto, April 17, 2014: Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada are seeking legal remedies to stop the Ontario spring bear hunt and prevent tiny orphaned bear cubs from brutal death by starvation. On April 14, 2014 the Minister of Natural Resources and Attorney General of Ontario were served with a Notice of Application for Judicial Review and Notice of Constitutional Question on behalf of the two organizations. David Estrin, a certified environmental law specialist with Gowlings LLP in Toronto, Michael Watson, a Gowlings civil litigation partner and Brent Arnold, another Gowlings litigator, are the lawyers for the applicants. Three Justices of the Ontario Divisional Court are scheduled to hear the application April 29, 2014 in Toronto.

Mr. Estrin said that affidavits are being prepared to provide expert evidence about bear cub orphaning and death associated with spring bear hunting, as well as evidence from northern residents and former government staff who experienced previous bear hunts. He summarized the legal position to be advanced:“The Applicants contend that the Minister failed to comply with the MNR’s own Statement of Environmental Values and therefore failed to comply with section 11 of the Environmental Bill of Rights , that the Proposal violates the Criminal Code of Canada prohibition on causing cruelty to animals and is therefore illegal and unconstitutional, and the Minister did not apply for or receive approval for this Proposal under the Environmental Assessment Act.” “The spring bear hunt is cruel,” said Julie Woodyer, Campaign Director for Zoocheck Canada. “Bears come out of hibernation and are extremely hungry because they have not eaten all winter. They are attracted to garbage food (fryer oil, rotten meat, and stale donuts) set out in bait piles by hunters who want an assured kill. One third of these feeding bears are female, many with tiny cubs. Often the female bears hide the cubs before approaching the bait site or kill zone. Despite being illegal for hunters to kill female bears with cubs, inevitably it happens and orphaned cubs are left to starve to death.

“The cruelty is amplified by the fact that the spring hunt will not reduce human/bear conflicts, as Ontario bear researchers have shown” Woodyer continued. “Yes, cubs will be orphaned during this unnecessary hunt. Minister Orazietti knows that studies done by his own staff show that spring hunts do not reduce human/bear conflicts.”

The organizations also distributed a chart showing steadily declining numbers of bear complaints in the Minister’s home city of Sault Ste Marie. The numbers were obtained from the Sault police force through a Freedom of Information request. “We agree with the Minister that public safety for northern residents is crucial, we don’t agree that the spring bear hunt is the effective way to do it,” said Liz White, Director, Animal Alliance of Canada. Ms. White concluded,“That’s why we have asked the Minister to re-instate and recommit to the entire Bear Wise programme. In communities like Elliot Lake, where the Bear Wise programme was properly implemented, human bear conflicts dropped dramatically


To schedule interviews or obtain copies of the Sault Ste MarieDo bear occurrence data or legal filings, please contact Liz White at 416-809-4371 or  

Documents are also available on the web sites of Animal Alliance ( or Zoocheck Canada (



Wildlife Conservation and Animal Welfare: Two Sides of the Same Coin? PC Paquet and CT Darimont, Abstract

© 2010 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Animal Welfare 2010, 19: 177-190 ISSN 0962-7286 Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada,Raincoast Conservation Foundation, PO Box 77, Denny Island, British Columbia V0T 1B0, Canada, Environmental Studies Department, 405 ISB, 1156 High Street, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064, USA


Human activities deprive wild animals of their life requisites by destroying or impoverishing their surroundings, causing suffering of individuals. Yet, the notion that animal welfare applies to wildlife has escaped many animal welfarists and conservationists.

A well-accepted and applied ethical foundation for animal conservation that considers animal welfare is lacking. We address this by examining how worldviews of conservationists and animal welfarists are related. The clear conceptual link is that individuals within anthropogenically-disturbed populations often endure suffering caused by humans. Accordingly, our objectives are to provide an overview of wildlife conservation, integrate ethical aspects of wildlife conservation and animal welfare, and encourage a ‘wildlife welfare’ ethic among conservationists. We describe the relationship between contemporary socioeconomic and environmental conditions and the impoverished status of North American wildlife. We then describe the ecological plight of large mammalian carnivores in North America. Finally, as a case study, we focus on the tenuous lives of grey wolves (Canis lupus) living in the midst of human-dominated landscapes. We conclude that the suffering wildlife endures because of humans is a collective responsibility that presents a moral imperative for animal welfarists and conservationists alike. Habitat destruction and impoverishment deprives species of life requisites, causing trauma, prolonged suffering, and eventually death. We suggest that a shared doctrine of animal welfare principles is needed, such as a modified version of the internationally-recognised Five Freedoms. In essence, this would be an ethical affirmation for conservationists and animal welfarists.

For Full Article:



Why Does B.C. Government So Desperately Want Grizzly Bears Dead? by Chris Genovali

Mother & Cub on cliff edge
We want these bears dead. This is the message the B.C. government’s “reallocation policy” sends to Raincoast Conservation Foundation, British Columbians, and Canadians across the country. This policy is also preventing the implementation of an innovative solution to end the commercial trophy hunting of grizzlies and other large carnivores throughout B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest.

With the mismanaged, and some would say depraved, B.C. grizzly bear hunt having commenced this month, the ongoing controversy surrounding the recreational killing of these iconic animals is spiking once again.

In 2001, a hard-won, Raincoast-led moratorium on grizzly hunting in B.C. was overturned by Gordon Campbell’s newly elected Liberal government with no justification other than serving as an obvious sop to the trophy hunting lobby. So, what was supposed to be a three-year, province-wide ban was revoked after one spring hunting season. Raincoast, recognizing the then new premier’s mulish intractability on this issue, decided to take a different approach.

In 2005, Raincoast raised $1.3 million to purchase the commercial trophy hunting rights across 24,700 square kilometers of the Great Bear Rainforest. In 2012, Raincoast purchased an additional 3,500 square kilometers, including nearly all the habitat of the spirit bear. (Despite a restriction on killing spirit bears, trophy hunting of black bears that carry the recessive gene that causes the white coat is allowed).

The sellers of these hunting tenures received a fair price, bears and wolves were safeguarded, and ecotourism prospered, including within coastal First Nations communities.

The province has countered by instituting a so-called reallocation policy (a.k.a., “the Raincoast policy”), whereby unused (i.e., not killed) grizzly bear “quota” would be stripped from Raincoast’s commercial tenures and allocated to resident hunters (i.e., B.C. residents who do not require a licenced hunting guide by law).

Bereft of any legitimate argument to justify the recreational killing of grizzlies, provincial wildlife managers stand naked in front of an increasingly disgusted and disapproving public, their blatant cronyism on behalf of the trophy hunting lobby exposed for all to see.

The ecological argument is clear; killing bears for “management” purposes is unnecessary and scientifically unsound. Although ongoing attempts are made to dress up the province’s motivations in the trappings of their proverbial “sound science“, they are clearly driven by an anachronistic ideology that is disconcertingly fixated on killing as a legitimate and necessary tool of wildlife management.

Dr. Paul Paquet, senior scientist at Raincoast and co-author of a recently published peer-reviewed paper on B.C. bear management, states, “We analyzed only some of the uncertainty associated with grizzly management and found it was likely contributing to widespread overkills. I’m not sure how the government defines sound science, but an approach that carelessly leads to widespread overkills is less than scientifically credible.”

The ethical argument is clear; gratuitous killing for recreation and amusement is unacceptable and immoral. Polling shows that nine out of 10 British Columbians agree, from rural residents (including many hunters) to city dwellers. In their 2009 publication, “The Ethics of Hunting”, Drs. Michael Nelson and Kelly Millenbah state that if wildlife managers began “to take philosophy and ethics more seriously, both as a realm of expertise that can be acquired and as a critical dimension of wildlife conservation, many elements of wildlife conservation and management would look different.”

The economic argument is clear; recent research by Stanford University and the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) identifies that bear viewing supports 10 times more employment, tourist spending, and government revenue than trophy hunting within the Great Bear Rainforest.

Notably, the Stanford-CREST study suggests the revenue generated by fees and licences affiliated with the trophy killing of grizzlies fails to cover the cost of the province’s management of the hunt. As a result, B.C. taxpayers, most of whom oppose the hunt according to poll after poll, are in essence being forced to subsidize the trophy killing of grizzlies.

What remains unclear is why the B.C. government so desperately wants these bears dead.

Raincoast stands ready to raise the funds to acquire the remaining commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, a mutually beneficial solution that the guide outfitters have indicated they will not oppose. Although the province, at their own political peril, has failed to recognize it, Coastal First Nations have banned trophy hunting under their own laws throughout their unceded territories, and the public is overwhelmingly in support.

Buying out the remaining hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, coupled with the administrative closure of resident hunting in the region, would create the largest grizzly bear reserve in the world and a model for sustainable economic activity.

A version of this article previously ran in the Vancouver Sun.

Letter from Bears Matter to Assistant Deputy, Mr. Tom Ethier of FLNR re: Grizzly Bear Trophy Kill

From: Barb Murray Sent: April-16-14 9:35 AM
Subject: Posting my Reply on to FLNR Form Letter re: Trophy Killing of Grizzlies in BC

Hello Mr. Ethier,

As you know I have been a bear conservationist, advocate and enthusiast for many years, first starting out working with and advocating for black bears on the North Shore in 2001 and then advocating for black bear rehabilitation on  the Lower Mainland and then for Grizzly Bear rehabilitation in the North. I am happy to say we have made much progress in those areas since I began volunteering to help bears.

I have learned much about bears over the years and the more I have learned, the more abhorrent the killing for ‘the thrill’ of grizzly bears is to me.  It must end soon!   

There is no ethical, economic or scientific rationale  to kill our top predator species for ‘recreation,  pleasure, or for a trophy’.   We know that grizzlies will not overpopulate especially taking into account all the negative environmental factors and the ever increasing human development. There is only one way for the population of grizzlies to go in this province if the trophy hunt and negative attitude by wildlife authorities in this province persists.  The very least that we can do for the grizzlies is ‘view them from a safe distance’ and leave them alone in the last remaining wilderness spaces in the province.  Of course the biggest challenge of all is to protect grizzly bear habitat properly, now and into the future.  That should be the priority mandate of your office on this file, not the ‘lotto grizzly game played twice a year’ by your ministry.

Many things in life have a greater value than an economic one and I feel sorry for anyone who has to continually ignore public opinion, science, ethics and their own conscience to do their job.  I feel our society is heading down a very destructive path and it is our wildlife that is first being sacrificed and then we will be next?  If mankind does not wake up and start governing  and stewarding with some intelligence and foresight what will this planet look like for the next generation and the generation after that?  


Barb Murray                                                                                                                       Nanoose Bay, BC

Letter from Tom Ethier, Assistant Deputy Minister to Ministry which Administers the Trophy Killing of Grizzlies in BC

From: Executive Division Office, FLNR:EX []
Sent: April-15-14 12:50 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: RE: Grizzly Bear Hunt in British Columbia

NOTE:Bears Matter’s remarks are in Burgandy

Your letter regarding Grizzly Bear hunting (killing is a more appropriate term. hunting implies that you are hunting for food for your table..killing implies you are taking a life of a living being) in British Columbia has been referred to me for a response.

Grizzly Bear management in British Columbia incorporates a variety of objectives that reflect the interests of British Columbians, including ecological roles, conservation goals, recovery efforts in areas where Grizzly Bear populations are threatened, First Nations rights for food, social and ceremonial purposes, tourism and hunting (and trophy killing for pleasure).  Hunting (and trophy killing) opportunities are only provided where such activities are biologically sustainable.  Under no circumstances does the British Columbia government allow hunting (and trophy killing)that threatens the conservation of any species. (Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s recent peer-reviewed study says otherwise : killing grizzlies in the trophy kill twice a year has been going on for years and years )

The principles behind provincial Grizzly Bear harvest management ( to bring in licenses and fee revenues to government) are a population estimate and a policy choice regarding sustainable human-caused mortality rates based on published studies (selective studies that were not written for authorities to determine the ‘surplus harvest levels of grizzlies’ and have a large margin of error..very selective, not inclusive of all good population studies, road densitites, terrain etc..)  Because inherent uncertainty in these estimates are recognized, the total (i.e. known and estimated unknown) human-caused mortality rate is limited to between 4 and 6 percent, which recent scientific studies indicate to be below maximum sustainable mortality levels.  Other important sources of information, such as harvest sex/age structure and the spatial distribution of the harvest are included to ensure levels are sustainable (best guess on demographics of any population, no real research in the field going on with grizzlies or black bears because gov’t cutbacks and the assumption everything is fine with ‘surpluses of grizzlies’ hunting regions-never Ass- U- Me!)  Hunters have harvested (killed) an average of 272 bears annually over the past 5 years.(some years at high as 450-with the lottery system it is a crap shoot) This equates to an average of just ( “if it is so small a number then banning the recreational activity should not be a big deal?”) under 2 percent annually of the total estimated provincial Grizzly Bear population of 15,000.(no one knows how many grizzlies are in BC! Estimates range from 8,000 to 15,000 with best available ,or lack there of, of science/evidence)  Grizzly Bear population units classified as threatened are not hunted and the province’s objective for these units is population recovery.(these closed regions are along ‘open’ regions and unfortunately grizzlies don’t read road signs or know where the boundaries are to the trophy kill zones and the non trophy kill zones and poachers don’t obey the rules either or other nature or man-made threats etc…..err on the side of conservation should be the government’s guiding principle)

In the spring of 2009, the Government of British Columbia announced the establishment of three Grizzly Bear “no hunting” areas for the North Coast and Central Coast land-use planning areas.  This translates to 470,000 hectares on the North and Central Coast where licenced harvest of Grizzly Bears is prohibited, in addition to approximately 2.48 million hectares where the licenced harvest of Grizzly Bears was already prohibited.  This means that the licenced harvest of Grizzly Bears is prohibited on approximately 58 percent of the Central and North Coast areas.  ( this is a very good thing but as long as the trophy killing of grizzlies continues to be made legal by our government if and when these areas ever recover to approximately 200 individual grizzlies then I believe the trophy killing will start again.  Also the government in it’s wisdom just reopened a region against scientist’s better judgement in the S. Caribou bordering on one of these ‘no hunting areas’.  The recovery area was looking for surplus grizzlies to help repopulate the region but I guess that is less of a hope now? Maybe some grizzlies from the recoverying areas will wander across the boundary and be shot either this Spring or Fall? or maybe a ‘trophy killing’ will mis read his newspaper printed out maps of area and mistakenly kill a recoverying region bear?) Government announced the closing of specific areas to the hunting of Black Bears in the same region where there is a high frequency of the gene mutation that causes white coat colouration (the Kermode Bear).  Licenced Black Bear harvest is now prohibited in these areas and has been prohibited since the spring of 2009.  As well, the prohibition on licenced harvest of the white (Kermode) phase of the Black Bear has been expanded to ensure the prohibition applies to the white phase of Black Bears province-wide, not just on the coast.( thank you, that is very wise and I hope the region will not be over run with bears given what is written on your website about needing to ‘manage bear populations’ thru hunting.)

Wildlife viewing and tourism are recognized as important economic and social components of British Columbia’s resource-based industries.  It should also be noted; however, that in some cases, wildlife viewing could have adverse effects, such as the unnatural movement of bears from their preferred habitats and seasonal food sources.  The ministry manages game animals foremost for conservation and secondly with consideration for both wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities.( is it not a priority of the government to increase hunter numbers so that there is an increase of revenues coming into the Ministry? Would it not be fair to say that ‘hunting’ or ‘shooting’ at bears also has an adverse effect on them expecially if just fightened or wounded by a bullet? How many viewed bears have gone on to be a problem for the Ministry and Conservation Service Officers? Pls provide the numbers of injuries and deaths to humans by viewed bears) For more information on Grizzly Bear management in British Columbia, please visit the Grizzly Bear Hunting Frequently Asked Questions document, written in 2010, available online at:

Thank you for your interest in the management of Grizzly Bears in British Columbia.( my interest is in the conservation of Grizzly Bears in British Columbia and being as ethical and humane as we can be when acting as their stewards, now and into the future)


Tom Ethier
Assistant Deputy Minister
Resource Stewardship Division

pc:       Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations