DECEMBER 18, 2017.



The NDP government announced Monday (December 18) that the ban takes effect immediately.

The prohibition does not cover First Nations people, who will still be able to hunt grizzly bears for food, social, or ceremonial purposes, or treaty rights. “We can bearly believe it! This is tremendous news,” Joe Foy, campaigns director with the Wilderness Committee, said in a news release.

The Wilderness Committee has been calling for an end to the hunt for many years. “This means that around 300 grizzly bears each year won’t get killed,” Foy said. “We now want to see the government aggressively working to re-establish the populations where they are dangerously low or gone altogether, like the Cascades region in southwestern B.C.”

On August 14 this year, the B.C. NDP government announced that it is ending the trophy hunting of grizzly bears effective November 30, 2017.

The ban on trophy hunting fulfilled a campaign pledge made by New Democrats in the last election. The said announcement included a ban on the hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. 

While the trophy hunt was going to end, the province at that time indicated that hunting for meat will continue. The government also launched consultations in the fall, which showed that the public want grizzly bear hunting to be banned completely. “Through consultations this past fall, we have listened to what British Columbians have to say on this issue and it is abundantly clear that the grizzly hunt is not in line with their values,” Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said in a December 18 media release.

There are around 15,000 grizzly bears in the province, according to provincial figures. “Our government is committed to improving wildlife management in B.C., and today's announcement, along with a focused grizzly bear management plan, are the first steps in protecting one of our most iconic species,” George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said in the same media release.

The ban was welcomed by Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, and B.C. Green Party spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Ending the grizzly hunt is a momentous accomplishment, but there is still work to be done to protect this species,” Olsen said in a media release.  


“If we fail to also consider habitat and food supply – especially with climate change further threatening essential salmon and huckleberry stocks – conflicts with humans, roadkill rates, or poaching incidents, we will fail to  protect grizzlies in the long term,” Olsen added. 


Hunting Reform in Alberta

Prepared by Mike Donovan, Chair of Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd.



This brief will discuss hunting reform in Alberta and is divided into 4 parts as follows;

PART A will present a way for the Alberta taxpayer to realize an immediate costs savings of $19 million dollars a year.

PART B will address the current state of land use for hunting, recreation and eco tourism in Alberta

PART C will discuss the organizations opposed to progressive reform.

PART D will present recommendations.






Based on the numbers provided below [1], the Government of Alberta loses (subsidizes) approximately $19 million a year on supporting the hunting industry in the province based on the following figures.


Approximately $21 million a year is derived from hunting and fishing licenses and tags.


Approximately $2 million a year is spent on conducting aerial surveys and paying biologists to calculate how much wildlife can be sustainably hunted and fished. (This work is the “science “hunters refer to when justifying that hunting is conservation, and that their science trumps any contradictory science.)

Approximately $10 million is paid to the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) which is a organization primarily dedicated to hunting and fishing. 

Approximately $7 million a year is paid to allocate and administer hunting and fishing licences.

Approximately $0.4 million a year is paid to the Alberta Professional Outfitter’s Society (APOS) which primarily oversees the trophy hunting segment of the industry.

Approximately $21 million a year is paid on enforcing hunting and related regulations.





Wildlife management in North America came about through necessity. Several species of once prolific wildlife were almost killed to extinction by our European ancestors. The notions of unintended consequences and erring on the side of caution seems to elude hunters in general. 

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation [2] was created out of this mass killing legacy to maintain optimum population levels, and the principles were widely adopted across North America.

The founding principles of NAMWC include that wildlife is owned by all citizens, that sale of wildlife is prohibited, that wildlife should only be killed for legitimate reason, that science shall govern wildlife policy, and hunting shall be open to all citizens. It could be argued that the existence of trophy hunting in particular violates several of NAMWC’s founding principles. 



“Resident” hunters represent about 3 % of the Alberta population or about 120, 000 people [ 3].

In 2013, “non-resident” hunters were made up of 6824 Americans, 333 foreigners from elsewhere, and 333 were from other provinces [4]. Alberta is considered to be a mecca for trophy hunting. [5]

In a study [6] commissioned by the hunting industry in 2008, the study established that total expenditures on resident hunting activities in Alberta, including direct and capital costs, totalled $296 million; and that total expenditures on non-resident hunting activities in Alberta, including direct and capital costs, totalled $36 million.

A very large and disproportionate area is allocated to hunting. Alberta offers over 38,850 square km of Alberta terrain for hunting in the mountain, foothills, parklands and prairie regions [ 7].  Using those figures, hunting generates approximately $8,546 per square km per year [(296+36) x 106/38850]; and each square km serves 3.3 hunters per year on average (128000/ 38850).





For comparison, Kananaskis was used as typical area set aside for recreational use. In 2011, 1.1 million people visited Kananaskis Country (4257 sq km) [8] with a total economic impact of $202.5 million [9] meaning that each square kilometer generated $47,569 per square km (202.5 x 106 / 4257); and the park served 258 non-hunting visitors per square kilometer per year on average (1.1 million / 4257). Based on this one example, recreational use of land is 5.6 ($47,569 / $8,546) times more lucrative than hunting.



The eco-tourism business in Alberta is very underdeveloped in Alberta therefore this paper will use examples from elsewhere.

The first example will be of a study from British Columbia. Based on the study titled, Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Rainforest Of British Columbia [10], the overwhelming conclusion of the study is that eco-tourism in the form of bear viewing generated more than 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting, and that organized bear-viewing activities are generating over 11 times more in direct revenue for the BC government than bear hunting carried out by guide outfitters.  Further, bear-viewing companies are estimated to employ directly 510 persons per year while guide outfitters generate only 11 jobs per year. In addition, bear viewing is attracting many more visitors than is bear hunting.

The second example [11] is of Yellow Stone Park where wolves were re-introduced in 1992, imported ironically from Canada, and today eco-tours to observe the wolves generates some $USD 5 million per year for the wolf visiting outfitters alone not taking into account the extra money spent at local hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other tour services. Hunting operations have been hurt with the re-introduction of the wolves however to a much lessor extent than what has been gained from eco tourism. The other benefit of re-introducing the wolves In Yellowstone is that the health of the entire eco-system has been dramatically improved through a process known as trophic cascade [75].



Despite evidence that using land for hunting provides a comparatively lower return on the investment than using land for recreation and especially eco-tourism, eco-tourism in Alberta is woefully underdeveloped and under-supported [12]. 

In conversations with one prominent eco-tourism operator in Alberta, they lamented that the wildlife population had been reduced by half since they had opened their operation years prior due to trap lines and hunting, and off road vehicles being permitted in the immediate vicinity, as well as clear cutting and industrial development.  They also stated that some of their property had been vandalized after complaints had been made on hunters hunting on their property without permission. [13] [14] There are between 200-300 reported complaints each year in Alberta on hunters hunting on property without permission to do so. [1] 

Another example of where hunter’s rights trump other land users in Alberta is where hunting is permitted in the majority of so called Natural Areas in Alberta [15] where hikers, bird watchers, equestrian users, naturalists frequent, even those natural areas close to urban centers.

Other than $15,000 that has been earmarked for a scholarship grant for a student to attend an Eco-Tourism course at Mount Royal University in Calgary [16], there does not seem to be any serious efforts currently underway by the Alberta government to develop eco tourism in the province.



Based on an Intrawest poll conducted in February 2017 [17], 89 % of Albertans support a ban on trophy hunting in Alberta however 68 % are in favour of hunting for sustenance. No survey has yet been conducted on how many Albertans are aware that the Alberta taxpayer are in fact subsidizing the hunting industry, nor have they been asked how they feel about the hunting industry being subsidized by the taxpayer, or wolf culls being funded by the taxpayer .


When surveyed , many Albertans were surprised to learn that trophy hunting actually occurred in Alberta, and were very surprised to learn that Canada is the largest exporter of wildlife for trophy in the world surpassing all African countries [18].

Trophy hunting has become a very contentious topic in the recent BC election with the NDP including a ban on trophy hunting grizzly bear in its platform [19]. Politicians in Alberta may want to start paying more attention to this topic in Alberta and respecting the wishes of the vast majority of their constituents who oppose trophy hunting. At this point in time , no Alberta political party has aligned itself with the hunting reform movement.


Wildlife management in Alberta falls under the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks (AEP).

The Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) has been delegated by AEP to conserve, protect, and to enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitats for Albertans to enjoy, value and use. Almost every single executive and director on the ACA board is heavily involved in the hunting and trapping industry.

The Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APPOS) has been delegated to administer the outfitted hunting industry in Alberta, often involving trophy hunting.

Based on the aforementioned organizations that the AEP has delegated, it is no secret that this Hunting Is Conservation (HIC) approach dictates the AEP’s Wildlife Management policy.  



One negative consequence of HIC is that it makes predators such as wolves, mountain lions, cougars, coyotes etc.  competitors to  hunters and they are ruthlessly exterminated as such[20 ]  [ 21 ] [ 22 ]  which is the antithesis of true biodiversity and conservation .  Many conservation biologists consider the extermination of predators, merely to facilitate the hunting industry, to be unethical and immoral exacerbated by using such controversial killing practices such as shooting predators from helicopters, baiting, hunting with dogs, poisoning, and inhumane trapping methods. What the hunting establishment refuses to recognize is that hunting, even within set quotas, changes entire ecosystems detrimentally and sometimes that change is irreversible.

Another negative consequence of pandering to hunters is that trophy hunting causes serious wide ranging genetic damage to species [23]. One example is a study that has determined that the horns of Bighorn sheep in Alberta are diminishing in size due to trophy hunting [24].  Interestingly, one of the biologists with the AEP, who is also a member of Safari Club International, a trophy hunting organization, casts doubts on the finding of this study on Alberta Bighorn sheep. [25]

Another consequence of the HIC approach is that there is strong evidence that the trophy hunting of cougars leads to increases in cougar human conflict [26]

One extraneous and unintended negative consequence of allowing trophy hunting is the bad image of Alberta that would be portrayed internationally.   This could come about as innocently as during the Calgary bidding process for the winter Olympics, if one of the other bidding jurisdictions highlighted trophy hunting in Alberta in order to gain an advantage. Not only might Calgary lose the bid for the Olympics but there could also be fallout . Tourism is a very large contributor of revenue to the province [ 27]. There are approximately 1.1 million overnight person visits a year by non-Canadians to Alberta, primarily comprising visitors from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, followed by Asian countries [28). The vast majority of Americans [29] and British [30] oppose trophy hunting and if a spot light were shone on the trophy hunting industry in Alberta, tourists may opt to pass on visiting Alberta which would have repercussions on Alberta tourism.



There is technology that AEP has that reports the live location of certain wildlife which could find itself in the hands of hunters with disastrous results. Similar technology is already in the hands of guides in Africa with disastrous results [31] [32]. Cecil the lion was wearing a location collar when he was killed.

In Alberta there is the iHunter app [ 33] already in common use and there is now another app [34] that has been developed by a biologist retained with AEP, who is also a member of SCI , for tracking the endangered grizzly bear .



Saskatchewan has canned high fence hunting which involves shooting wildlife within a fenced enclose [35] and it has been contemplated for Alberta [36].  Canned hunting is reviled by most in the conservation biologist community.



From April of 2012 to March of 2017, there were 13,250 wildlife infractions that went through the court system [1].

Despite Alberta having an extremely accommodative hunting regime, poaching is rampant in Alberta [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]   

What is most disturbing in this context, is the number of professional outfitters who have been charged with poaching. [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]   




Hunting is grandfathered practice and there are a number of organizations, as follows, that wish to maintain the status quo.



Despite changes in elected officials, the HIC approach is firmly entrenched in the AEP bureaucracy. The following excerpt from the AEP website [53] clearly shows that wildlife management plans are based on facilitating hunting.

Wildlife Management Plans

Wildlife management plans guide Alberta’s conservation and management activities. The department’s Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch develops, reviews and updates these plans for several species of game animals that live in the province.

These plans outline:

  •   biology of each species

  •   historic population changes for each species

  •   status, use and management at the time the report was written

  •   management strategies on how to implement the plans in each region of the province where the species occurs


Regional wildlife biologists use the plans to develop their specific strategies for their regions, which may include population inventories and the establishment of hunting regimes.



Where hunters go, the oil industry will follow [54] [55]. The oil industry in particular has been very supportive of funding and enabling hunting organizations as a tactic to further their own interests. Investments in hunting organizations is one way for the oil industry to influence decisions on land use and management including wildlife management. Where oil and forestry go in Alberta, wildlife has suffered. Vast areas of the boreal forest have been clear cut, and/or cut lines criss-cross through the forest in the name of industrial development. This has not only caused severe habitat loss for all wildlife but has allowed predators such as the wolf to readily access and decimate the caribou herds for example. Rather than forcing industry to re-forest at significant cost, the Alberta government is spending a fraction of the cost to cull the wolves instead using tax payer dollars. Many conservation biologist’s world wide have condemned this atrocity  [56] [57] [58] [59]. It also begs the question as to why the Alberta tax payer is footing the bill in this regards estimated to be over $1 million per year .




There are a number of U.S. headquartered hunting organizations that operate in Alberta that like things just as they are, listed as follows;


Safari Club International [60]

Wild Sheep Foundation [61]                                             

Ducks Unlimited [62]                                                          

Pheasants Forever [63]                                                       

Delta Waterfowl Foundation [64]                                      

Foundation for North American Wild Sheep [65]              

National Wild Turkey Federation [66]                          


These hunting organizations wield extraordinary influence on AEP policy and a number of representatives from these US headquartered hunting organizations sit on the board of the ACA.


Recently Safari Club International (SCI), donated $60 000 to influence the outcome of the BC provincial election [67]. SCI also has an office in Ottawa to lobby the government at the federal level.   


Some of these US headquartered hunting organizations in Alberta also offer bounties on predators such as wolves, coyotes and cougars who kill the animals they wish to hunt for themselves. This practice again is considered to be highly unethical and immoral [68].




There are a number of circumstances that individually would not suggest Main Stream Media support of the hunting industry status quo, but in their entirety, would strongly suggest so, discussed as follows;

For instance, Bill McFarlane with CTV Calgary has impartially defended trophy hunting using his privilege as a journalist to do so. [69]

CTV Calgary may also have been involved in presenting “fake news” when it reported that sales were up at the most recent African trophy hunting trade show just as the trade show had started [70]. How can numbers be up when the trade show had just started, and what was the benchmark??

In another case of “fake news”, despite an interview clarifying the situation, Rob Drinkwater with the Canadian Press based in Edmonton wrote an article, that was published nation wide, implying that the plaintiffs SCI and the African Trophy Hunting Trade Show had won its court case against demonstrations ostensibly preventing them from being allowed to demonstrate at its upcoming trade shows when in fact the complete opposite was true. [71] [72]

In another case of “fake news “, Michelle Jarvie writes an article published on Christmas day ,2016 reporting that poaching declined in Alberta in 2016[73].  Not only is this article issued before the end of the reporting year, it is published on a day when the article would least be read. Furthermore these poaching numbers historically would not be released until a couple of months into the following year [ 74] . It appears that the AEP actually did not report the 2016 poaching numbers this spring as is customary, and poaching numbers were actually removed from the AEP website in the spring of 2017 including the number of grizzly bears poached.  Thus far, the AEP has failed to provide that number of poached grizzlies despite a FOIP request. Another example where the Alberta mainstream media is not reporting wildlife poaching properly is that many of the articles reporting poaching in Alberta actually originate from outside of Alberta and/or outside the main centers of Calgary and Edmonton. [39] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]. This pattern of not reporting poaching by the Alberta main stream media would suggest a cover up of poaching in Alberta.





  • An immediate way for hunting to pay its own way under the current regime would be to at least double the cost of all hunting and fishing licences and tags.



The hunting industry in 1994 predicted its own demise [76]. Its now 2017, and the time has come to reign hunting in as follows;

  • Ban Trophy hunting and trapping in Alberta

  • Ban trophy hunting trade shows in Alberta

  • Ban the import and export of trophy parts

  • Stop funding hunting organizations and delegated hunting groups

  • The Alberta Minister’s Special Trophy Hunt be discontinued.

  • Poisoning of all rodents and wildlife, canned/high fence hunting, bounty hunting of wildlife, may not occur in Alberta.



  • Substantially Increase the fines and penalties for wildlife infractions.

  • Fines for outfitters, trappers, taxidermists should be doubled that of the general public

  • Poaching in Alberta should result in jail time.

  • Adopt “fair chase “hunting practices only, meaning a ban on practices such as  baiting , sniper technology ,location apps , hunting with dogs , trapping , shooting from helicopters , and canned hunting .

  • Pictures of kills may not be posted online

  • Kills must be covered up with a tarp while in transport .

  • Non-residents may not hunt in Alberta

  • Farmers and ranchers are to be trained on implementing measures on reducing conflicts with wildlife with fines for not complying.

  • All poaching and wildlife infractions are to be posted on the AEP website


  • Ban hunting in Natural Areas

  • Convert some hunting areas into recreation and eco-tourism areas

  • No hunting or trapping what so ever may occur in natural, recreation or eco-tourism areas.

  • Solicit proposals from private enterprise on eco-tourism projects .


  • The Oil, Gas and Forestry Industries are to immediately re-forest unused areas.

  • Forests that are deemed crucial for certain species to survive shall be designated as no go zones for development.



[ 1] Numbers provided were obtained from Alberta Government Freedom Of Information requests.











[12 ]


































































The end


Yours for Wildlife 

Mike Donovan , Chair 




 Non Profit calls on NDP government to drop "Report A Poacher" Program 

and maybe hunting altogether .  


 Mike Donovan of Ban Trophy Ltd , is calling on Minister Shannon Phillips to immediately cancel the " Report A Poacher Program " run by the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA)  as a gross conflict of interest , and replace the ACA program with the previous system of reporting abuses directly to the Ministry .


Donovan cites that all 4 ACA executive and at least 11 of 13 directors, are hunters and trappers , a situation which Donovan describes as the Fox Guarding The Hens .


Donovan says he would like to see the ACA board be more representative of the overall Alberta tourism economy suggesting that because tax revenues from hunting represents less than 0.5 % of the overall tax revenues from tourism , that the ACA should be made up with only 1 representative from the hunting industry and that the rest of the executive and directors should be other industry stakeholders who make a far greater contribution to tax revenues than do hunters .


Mr Donovan also pointed out that Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement’s operation budget for 2016 actually exceeded the 2016 tax revenues generated from hunting meaning that the Alberta taxpayer may actually be subsidizing hunting, including trophy hunting, in the province .  


Four-in-Five Canadians Support Legislation to Ban Trophy Hunting

The level of rejection to hunting animals for sport is higher among Aboriginal Canadians.


Vancouver, BC – Most Canadians believe it is time to end the practice of hunting animals for sport, a new nationwide Insights West poll conducted on behalf of Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd. has found.


In the online survey of a representative sample of Canadians, 80% of residents support enacting legislation that would ban trophy hunting in their province.


Support for legislation is high across all demographic groups, and reaches 90% among British Columbians (90%) as well as Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party (also 90%) and the Green Party (91%) in the 2015 federal election.


When asked about their views on hunting animals for sport, 88% of Canadians say they oppose the practice. Four-in-five (79%) oppose killing animals for their fur, but 68% are in favour of hunting animals for meat.


“It is clear that a large proportion of Canadians hold strongly negative views on trophy hunting,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Insights West. “The appetite for legislative action on this issue is exceptional in some regions.”


The survey included an oversample of Canadians who identified themselves as Aboriginal. Among this group, 84% support legislation that would ban trophy hunting in Canada, and 90% oppose hunting animals for sport.


Two-in-five Canadians (39%) say they would be more likely to vote for a federal political party that vowed to make trophy hunting illegal in Canada, including 45% of women, 44% of Canadians aged 35-to-54 and majorities of Atlantic Canadians (55%) and British Columbians (51%).

When asked which country they believe is the largest exporter of trophy animals in the world, 42% of Canadians mentioned African nations. Only 12% identified Canada as the largest exporter, including 15% of Canadians aged 18-to-34 and 18% of British Columbians.


About Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd.:

Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd (BTH Ltd.)  is a non-profit organization advocating for the complete ban of trophy hunting . The aim of BTH Ltd. is to make the public , the media and the politicians aware of the true extent and nature of trophy hunting , to let politicians know that their voters consider the banning of trophy hunting to be an important election issue , and to exert pressure on politicians to expeditiously enact legislation completely  banning trophy hunting. 


About Insights West:


Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.


About this Release:


Results are based on an online study conducted from February 5 to February 11, 2017, among a representative sample of 1,210 Canadian adults, including an oversample of 203 Aboriginal Canadians. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.2 percentage points.

For further information, please contact:


NAME: Mike Donovan

TITLE, Ban Trophy Hunting Ltd.



Mario Canseco

Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West