Territory mulls roadside hunting ban

The Yukon government may ban roadside hunting. Currently hunters are free to shoot animals along the roadside as long as they do not shoot across the road.

The Yukon government may ban roadside hunting.

Currently hunters are free to shoot animals along the roadside as long as they do not shoot across the road. By comparison, both British Columbia and Alberta prohibit hunters from shooting near the road.

The territory may adopt similar limits in response to a public outcry in September, when a grizzly bear was found to have been shot near the ditch of the Atlin Road. The bear, which was foraging for roots near the road, had become a regular attraction for area residents.

Ken Gabb, a retired RCMP officer who lives along the Atlin Road, denounced the shooting at the time as “not really hunting,” and warned that the practice of shooting animals along the road would tarnish the territory’s tourism image.

It appears the government is listening.

When the legislature reconvened Thursday, Steve Nordick, MLA for the Klondike, announced

the government would strike a special committee to look into banning roadside hunting.

The committee, to consist of government, opposition and independent members, will hold public consultations and table its recommendations by the autumn of 2010.

A similar committee will consider a cellphone driving ban, Nordick announced. Several provinces have already introduced such bans in the past year.

The Liberals’ Darius Elias also urged the territory to consider such a ban that day.

A third committee will consider how to improve the safety of off-road vehicles. This may be an overture to the NDP’s Steve Cardiff, who called on the territory earlier this year to require ATV and snowmobile operators to wear helmets.

As well, it appears two NDP initiatives have won government support.

One is to strike a committee to revamp the antiquated Landlord and Tenant Act.

The other is to give another look at the NDP’s stalled Legislative Renewal Act, which called for a re-examination of the rules governing the legislature and to consider, among other things, a code of ethics for MLAs.

The government will support both of these motions, Premier Dennis Fentie told CHON FM on Friday afternoon.

Contact John Thompson at johnt@yukon-news.com.

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