Grizzly bear hunting ban class action is successfully certified
In March 2023 Justice McDonald certified the grizzly bear class action lawsuit in the matter of guide outfitter Ron Fleming versus the Province of British Columbia.
All grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia was banned by the New Democratic Party (NDP) on December 18, 2017. The civil claim, filed on December 18, 2018, and lead by Ron Fleming, is intended to hold the government accountable for how it makes decisions that affect the livelihoods of British Columbians.
Certification means that all outfitters who had grizzly bear quota at the time of the hunt closure (except those who have previously accepted the settlement offer) can be tried as a group (a class). The judge’s decision means that the case can move forward.
Prior to certification, the government put forward $5.4 Million in transition funds to help outfitters adjust their businesses to the loss of revenue. Of the 118 potential outfitters in the class action, approximately 20 percent accepted the settlement offer. Yet, for most outfitters, the offer was woefully inadequate.
The closure of the grizzly bear hunt was a decision that could not go unchallenged. We have seen several similar decisions made around the world and it is critical that hunters stand united in their collective fight for the hunt. Wildlife management in BC must be science based, not emotion based.
The class action itself is about compensation. Winning the lawsuit will result in damages (compensation) being paid to the members of the class. A legal win will not reopen the hunt.
The GOABC fully supports Ron Fleming and the certified class of outfitters who are holding the Province accountable.
Information from the court documents can be found below, including the court-approved Notice of Certification and the opt-out date for anyone who does not want to participate in the class proceedings.