B.C. NDP refusal to compensate hunting guides sends a chilling message

Vaughn Palmer: In refusing promised compensation, NDP likely acted our of a fear of setting precedents for its secretive plans for Crown land.

VICTORIA — While B.C. marked the 10th anniversary of the Tsilhqot’in Aboriginal title case this week, there was grim news for guide outfitters whose livelihoods were put at risk by the landmark court decision.

A group of five outfitters lost access to key hunting grounds when the Supreme Court of Canada recognized Tsilhqot’in title over substantial tracts of Crown land in the Chilcotin plateau.

The five have waited for years to be compensated for the effective loss of their provincially granted guide outfitting tenures. But in the past week they learned that the provincial government had turned down a recommended compensation package for the second time.

Doug McMann, owner of Skinner Creek Hunts with his wife Julie, got the devastating news in a phone call from a provincial official.

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