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  • Sea to Sky Law

To Feed the bears?


You might have heard about the well-reasoned court decision R. v. Stevikova, 2021 BCPC 235 (CanLII). The accused pled guilty to two criminal charges as a result of her breaching the Wildlife Act by leaving food out for bears. As a consequence, a mother bear and her two cubs had to be shot to protect the community residents.


The court rejected the joint submissions by Crown and Defence counsel which asked for a total penalty of only $10,500; the Court imposed a financial penalty of $60,000. As the Court states at paragraph 92: "Motive is not the same as intention". Regardless of our personal motivations, likes and dislikes, political views and other individual preferences, when we live in a community then we must respect the community rules. Unlike most of the world, we live in a democracy which means generally that each of us can think and speak and do as we wish - so long as we do not hurt others. Laws exist to create safe communities.


Being human we sometimes make choices that cause a risk to ourselves let alone others. Traffic laws are a good example where lives are at risk if each of us could drive any speed anywhere anytime rather than stop at red lights etc. Each of us is responsible for what we do regardless of our personal motivations. Being members of a community, each of us is responsible to contribute to the safe improvement of our society.


Be considerate. Allow for the needs of others to live safely. Making choices that endanger others is being selfish.


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