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Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Peace Peace Arch Arch News News

Peace Arch News Published at South Surrey by Black Press Ltd.

editorial

Better informed, better protected

S

urrey RCMP’s release last week of a security video showing an acid attack on a woman in Newton is disturbing on a number of levels. First and foremost is the horrific nature of the attack itself, in which a man threw acid at Tammy Sinclair’s face after engaging her in casual conversation behind her ATV store. Sinclair’s neck and shoulder were burned by what is believed to have been muriatic acid, and she lost some of her eyesight. To watch the casual nature of the encounter – so mundane at the start – and then see the sudden viciousness is chilling indeed. One can feel nothing but sympathy for the victim of this appalling crime. But what is also disturbing is the more than fivemonth lag in releasing the security footage. It seems the video has jogged the memory of more than one person, and police have received a spate of tips since the clip was made public Friday. One wonders how many other tips would have been forthcoming if it had been released sooner. In a time of heightened awareness of crimes against women in Surrey – the apparently random beating death of Newton hockey mom Julie Paskall still in the forefront of people’s minds – would it not have been in the public interest to highlight this attack with greater urgency, before others could potentially be at risk? Perhaps officers were respecting a desire for privacy on the part of the victim. Perhaps they were following the time-honoured protocol of holding back information that only they and the perpetrator could know. Perhaps, too, police had every expectation that other leads would produce a suspect, but the release of the video suggests earlier lines of inquiry weren’t working. It’s likely true that the public, including the media, have an imperfect understanding of police methodology. But it seems – as in the recent incident in White Rock in which an RCMP emergency-response team descended on a quiet neighbourhood in search of a suspect, only to brush off questions with a ‘nothing-to-seehere’ approach – that police have an imperfect understanding of the public’s need, and right, to know, for their own peace of mind. More than a rubbernecking nuisance, an observant public ought to be considered a resource for our forces, particularly in an age of cellphone cameras and the potential for lightningquick exchange of information online. The latest call for information on a five-monthold crime seems a further acknowledgement that police could be more in step with the public they serve.

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question week of the

B.C.’s grizzly hunt isn’t going away

A

The Raincoast Conservation Society has bought up half a dozen guiding territories on the remote B.C. coast. Combined with government restrictions, more than half month. the coast is now off limits to bear Green Party MLA Andrew hunting. Naturally, activists want Weaver spoke, asking whether Tom Fletcher the whole province shut down. B.C. residents would tolerate Wildlife management is the trophy hunting of killer whales. responsibility of Forests, Lands That would be a federal and Natural Resource Operations matter, but the point is vividly Minister Steve Thomson. He’s made about the onset of B.C.’s heard plenty from all sides traditional spring grizzly bear and he maintains that bear hunt. watching and bear hunting will It’s bigger this year, with continue to coexist in B.C. Kootenay and Chilcotin Thomson has just introduced wildlife-management regions legislation to permit huntingreopened after closures were guide territories to be operated enacted to preserve grizzly by corporations as well as populations. In all, more than individuals. This is a long-sought 1,000 grizzly bears are up for change, allowing First Nations companies grabs. As with limited-entry hunts for deer and other animals, only about a third and others access to bank loans to expand of those hunts are successful in an average the industry. Non-resident hunters are required to year. hire a licensed guide-outfitter. Resident The rally was sponsored by the Coastal hunters pay $32 for a one-year hunting First Nations Great Bear Initiative, licence and $80 for a grizzly bear tag. the partnership with U.S.-directed Non-Canadians pay $180 for the licence environment groups Sierra Club, and $1,030 for a chance at a grizzly. Greenpeace and ForestEthics that has Hunting in general is making a become so influential in B.C. affairs. It comeback in B.C. Ministry data show produced a survey showing that 88 per hunting licenses had declined to 85,633 cent of B.C. residents oppose trophy in 2006, but recovered to reach 97,828 by hunting, and its California experts 2013. calculate a 10-fold increase in value when Thomson credits the work of the B.C. bear hunting gives way to bear watching. little-noticed protest tent sprouted up on the rain-soaked B.C. legislature grounds earlier this

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Wildlife Federation, which runs hunter training courses. Another program, Becoming an Outdoor Woman, has helped revive hunting and camping as a family activity, he said. Growing up hunting in northeastern B.C., I was taught not to shoot anything I’m not prepared to eat. I also remember the struggles to protect caribou and other endangered prey species that at one time had B.C. biologists resorting to shooting wolves from helicopters. The reopening of grizzly bear territories is marketed to urban residents as a horrible crime against nature. In fact, it’s a sign of increasing population. Problems in B.C. wildlife these days include the fragile mountain caribou herds of the Kootenays, which have been subject to intensive management including relocation of animals. The ministry has also begun a five-year study of declining moose populations across a vast area of the Interior subject to salvage logging in the wake of the pine beetle epidemic. Vancouver media recently highlighted a grizzly hunt by NHL journeyman Clayton Stoner. Typically, U.S. enviros promoted the deceased bear by name, “Cheeky,” and photos showed its carcass stripped to the skeleton by scavengers after Stoner left with the hide, paws and head. They don’t mention that the same fate awaits animals that die of starvation or other natural causes, which increase when animals overpopulate. As with many B.C. issues, there’s a cartoon version sold to impressionable city dwellers, and then there’s the truth. Tom Fletcher is legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press. tfletcher@blackpress.ca The Peace Arch News is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern,  with documentation, should be sent within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201  Selby Street, Nanaimo, B.C., V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org

Peace Arch News, February 25, 2014  

February 25, 2014 edition of the Peace Arch News

Peace Arch News, February 25, 2014  

February 25, 2014 edition of the Peace Arch News