Andrew Robertson apologized last week in the back of the Question. Missed it? Me too; I don’t usually make it all the way to the classifieds. Sorry, I’ll try to do better.
Andy, if you don’t know, is the flaming arsehole who, anxious and depressed, perhaps because he didn’t get the chance to kill anything in Pemberton, whipped out a sawed-off shotgun and did battle, mano-a-.12 gauge with a puny year-old bear cub on the doorstep of Whistler Secondary last spring. Andy apparently figured his 24-year-old life would be a whole lot better and his day not entirely uneventful if he wasted some other living creature, any creature. Perhaps the thrill of playing Halo had worn off.
Provincial Court judge, Douglas Moss, a man who will never earn the moniker Hangin’ Judge, let the miscreant plead guilty to a couple of counts under the Wildlife Act, banned him from hunting — hunting? — or possessing firearms for three years, fined him a couple of thousand bucks and ordered him to write a letter of apology and have it published in one or both of the local papers at his own expense. I can only hope Steph charged him about $100,000 for the ad. At least it’s nice no one corrected his spelling.
His apology is as lame as his cowardly action was inexcusable. Since he made no statement in court and didn’t bother to address it in his apology, we’ll never know what, if anything, was rattling around in his apparently empty head when he decided shooting a tiny bear in an urban setting seemed like a good idea. I guess we’re lucky it was just a bear.
Coupled with the municipal election race, this incident got me thinking about my own election platform. Oh, I know, I forgot to register as a candidate again. So what? Doesn’t mean I don’t have a platform; just means I don’t have a campaign.
I’d build my platform on my own solution to Whistler’s problem bear problem. For starters, I’d like to ban the use of the damning epithet, “problem bear.” I’d like to politically correct it, make it as socially unconscionable as referring to Native Canadian First Nations Aboriginal Peoples as “savages.” It’s “our home and Native land,” Dick, not home and savage land. Jeesh, what kind of drugs were you taking?
Problem bears would, henceforth, be called forage-challenged bears, garbage-eating bears or, simply, hungry bears. And we’d stop shooting them. First, we’d tackle the problem at its source — the people feeding forage-challenged bears. While it’s nice we’re going to start assessing larger fines against people who feed garbage-eating bears, I’d like to go one step further. Let the Conservation Officers, or Bylaw for that matter, trank the folks who just can’t seem to get their garbage where it belongs and relocate them. Imagine their surprise waking up dazed and naked in the middle of, say, Surrey. Repeat offenders might find themselves coming to in the bush outside Bralorne, wrapped tightly in a cloak of Snickers bars, sort of a eat-or-be-eaten brave new world.