A deer pokes through the gardens at Beacon Hill Park. The Royal BC Museum. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

A deer pokes through the gardens at Beacon Hill Park. The Royal BC Museum. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Esquimalt mayor repeats call for regional approach to urban deer management

Province waiting on Oak Bay results, Desjardins says cost of duplicating process ‘considerable’

With deer-human conflicts on the rise, at least anecdotally, around Greater Victoria, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins reiterated a request for a regional deer management strategy.

Only Oak Bay has received provincial funding to help address its urban deer issue. With the Township of Esquimalt still trying to gain provincial support for its own deer management study, which would enhance work being done in Oak Bay, the mayor restated her desire for local municipalities to work together as a cost-saving measure.

“Deer know no boundaries as we’ve found out; urban deer are increasing,” Desjardins said during a Nov. 18 meeting of the Capital Regional District’s planning, transportation and protective services committee. “The cost to each municipality to duplicate the process over and over, particularly for the core municipalities, is considerable.”

RELATED: Oak Bay deer project working despite new fawns appearing

RELATED: Province tracks potential deadly deer virus outbreak on Gulf Islands

This piecemeal approach does not get to the root of the problem, she added.

“Victoria has deer, Saanich has deer as well. A regional or subregional strategy may be better suited to dealing with this significant and growing concern.”

In 2019, Esquimalt, Saanich, Victoria, North Saanich, Sidney, View Royal, Oak Bay and Colwood requested a meeting with the minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Developments to discuss a regional approach. The province has stated it is waiting for results from Oak Bay’s latest work before determining whether to expand the program.

At the Nov. 18 meeting, Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes said his residents are reporting increased interactions with deer. The Saanich police chief even reported encountered deer coming toward his vehicle from both sides of the road.

Reducing physical conflicts is just one element of deer management, Haynes said, pointing to the potential spread of Lyme disease and other issues. “The way to address this is at the sub-regional or regional basis.”

Saanich Coun. Rebecca Mersereau, later elected vice-chair of the CRD board, said she felt conflicted about pursuing a regional strategy due to the amount of resources it could eat up, but supported further discussion, given the issue is one affecting multiple jurisdictions.

The topic was forwarded for discussion at the January 2021 committee meeting.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Wildlife

Just Posted

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

An independent review is underway at the Royal BC Museum after employees called out systemic, individual racism at the institution. (Twitter/RBCM)
Royal BC Museum faces allegations of systemic racism, toxic work environment

Formal investigation, survey and training launched at museum

Brad Windsor has been an advocate for years to get sidewalks installed along Milburn Drive in Colwood, but to no avail. He wants city council to commit to making Milburn a priority lane for sidewalk construction in the future. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Dramatic crash highlights need for sidewalks in Island neighbourhood

‘The residents have gone from frustrated to angry’

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Cowichan Tribes chief Squtxulenhuw (William Seymour) confirmed the first death in the First Nations community from COVID-19. (File photo)
Cowichan Tribes confirms first death from COVID-19

Shelter-in-place order has been extended to Feb. 5

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read