The new wrinkle here, we've discovered, is that the Wildlife Branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks has refused to refund hunters the cost of their licenses. According to Dale Drown of the Outfitter and Guides Association of British Columbia (OGABC), his members have reported at least $6,000 in license fees that the Ministry has refused to refund to their clients. Indeed, subscriber Ed Bowles tells us he is out of $540 in licenses and can't even get a response from the licensing office. Drown had better luck getting acknowledged by the Ministry, but says their answer was simply that the hunting season was not closed by them, so they are not responsible for the closure and thus are not obligated to issue any refunds.
Drown and his members are as outraged by the response as the hunters affected. "Clients were denied the opportunity to exercise a privilege they paid for, and the solution is very simple" says Drown. "There should be refunds, and it is our mission right now to convince the Ministry of that."
We placed a phone call ourselves to the licensing office at the Ministry and spoke to someone who confirmed what Drown told us. When we indicated disagreement with the decision, the person we spoke with admitted not understanding the logic behind it. "I don't agree with the decision myself, but I'm not in charge," the individual told us. So we asked who was in charge and placed a call to a gentleman by........(continued)