The fine report by the Vancouver Park Commission is taking some heat. Something was printed this morning from Stephen Quinn, the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One. Obviously the paper felt the entire airwaves wasn’t space enough for him in which to broadcast his petulant opinions, and granted him a full page to write whatever he liked. In my head I hear the voice of Niles Crane writing this over an expresso, see if you don’t agree.
I have read with interest the so-called draft Biodiversity Strategy you released earlier this week and I have to tell you, it’s not sitting well with me. Frankly, it scares me, particularly the sections outlining measures that could lead to more wildlife running around our city. I urge you to take a more cautious and measured approach.
Let’s begin with beavers. While the Park Board apparently sees the increase in the city’s beaver population as a positive signal, I assure you it is no such thing.
I had never seen an actual beaver until a few weeks ago. Have you seen one? It was huge, like a giant flat-tailed rat with hideous teeth and beady black eyes. It was swimming upstream in Still Creek right beside the Superstore parking lot. I can tell you that just a short distance away there were mothers walking with their children! No one should have to face this sort of threat at eight o’clock on a Saturday morning in a place that is supposed to be nature-free.
Day-lighting the creek was a huge mistake! Your own report says salmon have returned and are spawning and then dying and if I may quote, “provide food for otters and mink.” So attracting more wild animals?Where does it stop? Bears? Wolves?!
It goes on at some length, because word restrictions are only necessary for us persona non grata peons, not for celebrities like Mr. Quinn who’s afraid of beavers, wolves and bears. It all reads like those paragraphs so you can get the idea. For my money the best line is, why would anyone want to daylight a creek anyway?
My hair was on fire this morning when I read through this tripe and burned out my response, but now I can see the humor of it. It’s almost offers the best argument against itself by very quickly becoming absurd. If he didn’t have a national radio platform to beat his drum every day I could laugh this off. Hmm.
Your report also celebrates the “healthy populations” of other mammals like raccoons and skunks. Have you seen what
the mammals you love so much have done to my lawn – which already looked pretty terrible thanks to your ban on cosmetic pesticides? They have reduced it to mud, I tell you!
And then you say that 674 racoons have been killed by cars since 2001? Does that not tell you that animals like raccoons don’t belong in our city? I find it interesting that your staff can keep such an accurate count of dead raccoons but still not know how many coywolves are out there.
I had no idea that this golf course mentality existed in Canada. I thought it was uniquely American – a product of places with green lawns and clipped hedges. Thank you, Mr. Quinn for opening my eyes.
Of course I sent my letter to the editor. You should too.