So Cranbrook is thrown into the spotlight once more over a deer cull. This is somewhat ironic in light of the ‘destination marketing’ that has become the latest buzz phrase being used for the town. Regardless of individual support or opposition to a cull, this publicity does not enhance Cranbrook’s reputation in the rest of Canada.
Much of the foofaraw might have been avoided if the decision to hold a cull in the same year as experimental relocation for Mule deer was being tried, had been relayed to the public. Time and place did not have be published. In the near past another council got itself into an unfavourable position, not because of the decision to cull but because a decision was made in-camera. It seems this council has not learned from past history. If the reason was to avoid interference with the process – well, it didn’t work did it? On the surface it appears as though the taxpayers were deliberately being misled by much being made of translocation but nothing being openly made public about a cull. It has been shown in the past that 70% of those who cast votes in a survey wanted to see a deer cull. With apparent support for the City in this matter, there should not have been too much to be afraid of. Indeed, an informed public might have alerted the authorities to any potential problems with the process.
There is a common thread of secrecy in the matter of a deer cull and the reluctance of city administration to be forthcoming about the ups and downs of the Idlewild Reservoir. Taxpayers were informed in 2015 that due to potential danger of the dam giving way, the lake needed to be drained. Since that time however, the level of the lake has fluctuated considerably from being almost empty to full and overflowing down the spillway. A locally based non-profit society with the well-being of our water ways, riparian zones, urban wildlife and citizens as their mandate had to go to a Ministry for explanation as to why and what was happening.
When the majority of citizens only want the best for their city, it is to the detriment of Council if taxpayers are treated as less than intelligent enough to understand basic situations in their own community. Many items that used to be on the public council agenda no longer appear as such. One can only assume they are dealt with in-camera.
If Council has confidence in its decision making, there should be no need to withhold information about issues, which closely affect its citizens.