Council fails to address geese

Then Mayor Chris Burger and then Coun. Peter Morrison were concerned about public reaction

Re: the domestic Canada Goose population that creates a health hazard in our parks, destroys the estuaries along our coast, and costs a great deal in cleaning up after them whether in remediating their destruction of the aquatic habitat, or just cleaning up their goose poop.

This situation has been going on for years without any action by council, even though the issue has been raised many times that there was and is a problem.

One of the problems has been the lack of political will to confront an issue which could be potentially divisive.

The fact that Neil Dawe and others have highlighted the problem in the media about the destruction to the Englishman River estuary is of little concern to the politicians — their concern is the public’s reaction.

On the evening of June18, 2014, a two-hour meeting was held in Parksville council chambers during which there were a number presentations by organizations which three council members (the mayor and two councillors) attended.

The Canadian Wildlife Service, the Guardians of the Estuary, RDN Parks, the Arrowsmith Naturalists and representatives from Victoria all engaged in a discussion until finally the politicians were asked for their comments.

Before I get to the politician’s comments, let me briefly state that the issues were considered and defined, the alternatives were enumerated (doing nothing was just not on), the application of various alternatives were considered (i.e. the how), and a resolution was put forward including use of equipment, rendering plant in Whiskey Creek, “product” of the process etc.

From my vantage point there was full agreement on pressing forward to relieve the goose population and presence, as this was not a once and done process, but would require applications over several years.

Mayor Chris Burger, Coun. Peter Morrison and I were present that evening — perhaps it is interesting to note that none of us is on council this term.

Be that as it may, Burger and Morrison were concerned about public reaction.

When I was asked my opinion, I went back over the discussion, ticking off that there was a problem, that alternatives had been enumerated, that ways of going forward had been addressed and that several applications would be required, with the final agreement that a cull is absolutely required, so let us get on with the process of doing so and demonstrating some leadership.

Parksville is still looking for some leadership.

Bill Neufeld


Parksville Qualicum Beach News