The operator of a guide outfitting company has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the British Columbia government over the ban on grizzly bear hunting.

Ron Fleming, owner of Love Bros. & Lee, is seeking compensation for all B.C. guide outfitting businesses allegedly harmed by the hunting ban.

The lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court names the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and the minister, Doug Donaldson, alleging the province inappropriately closed the hunt over public opinion and for political or social reasons.

The statement of claim alleges the government knew its decision would harm the 2,000 people directly employed by 245 guide outfitting businesses, especially those with licences to hunt grizzlies or who lost business when the ban was announced in 2017.

The lawsuit says prior to the ban, fewer than two per cent of the bears in B.C. were hunted each year and the number of grizzlies has been increasing across the province.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defence has not been filed.

Donaldson said in a statement the government began a process to end the grizzly trophy hunt two years ago.

"The vast majority of British Columbians feel that the grizzly bear hunt is no longer socially acceptable," he said, and last year the government decided to ban the hunt.

"As part of the announcement, the government committed to work with businesses to assist in their transition away from dependence on the grizzly hunts," he said. "At this time it would not be appropriate to comment on the legal claim."

First Nations who hunt for treaty rights or for food, social and ceremonial reasons were exempted from the ban.

The statement of claim says there was no government consultation about shutting down the hunt with guides, resident hunters or First Nations. It asks for financial compensation for damages.

Chad Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government, which represents the Tahltan and Iskut First Nations, says in a news release they support the legal action.

"It has hurt our people culturally, economically and put many of British Columbia's communities and dwindling ungulate and salmon populations at further risk," Day says.

The court must first approve the class-action before it would be allowed to continue.

The statement of claim says hunters pay as much as US$25,000 for a guided grizzly bear hunt and when the ban was announced, many outfitters had to cancel bookings already confirmed by deposit for dates into 2021.

The court document says there are approximately 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia, about 25 per cent of the entire grizzly population in North America, and that the number of the bears has remained stable for the last two decades.

It says government data shows hunting of up to nine per cent of some grizzly populations is sustainable and that the Ministry of Forests does not have the authority under the Wildlife Act to regulate grizzly hunts "outside the scope of proper wildlife management."

The statement of claim seeks a court order certifying a class-action lawsuit, requests damages for negligent representation and for "knowingly acting when they had no lawful reason to stop the grizzly bear hunt on wildlife management or First Nations grounds."

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Perhaps the Big Game Hunting Guides ought to consider their operations in the light of world wide global forces. World wide, top predators are in steep decline as is wild life in general, and undisturbed wild lands/oceans. Undisturbed natural areas are increasingly recognized as the reserve biospheres that serve as nurseries and refuges for the diversity of life forms we are losing so precipitously - to the impoverishment of the finally honed and balanced ecosystems evolution has gifted us.

Trophy hunters are the pirates of nature. Recklessly robbing the world of its evolutionary crown jewels. For what? Bragging rights? Spurious "medicinal" remedies?. Big Game hunting outfitters are essentially, high priced enablers of legalized poaching. Nobody in their right mind could call this "sport", nor by any estimation can it be labelled "subsistance" In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde - "the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible!"

I know those of us who are not supportive of the so-called `sport' of hunting down and killing wildlife are often told to mind our own business but, unless the animal is ill and suffering, there is no reason to kill. Nuisance animals can be dealt with in other ways. In my own case, I keep an eye on my visiting fauna and behave accordingly.
I have a great deal of sympathy for those who work in the recreational hunting field. Unfortunately, change is hard. Why can't hunters hunt with cameras instead? It's even less messy.