Hunters vehemently deplore the presence in the region of hunters of Aboriginal origin whose hunting rules are completely different.
A hunter contacted VIVA MÉDIA to report the situation. Subsequently, all appeals made by the author of this have the same conclusion. For more than 6 weeks, a considerable number of white-tailed deer have been killed from the bullets of three indigenous hunters in the Beauharnois-Salaberry RCM.
“They are wandering between Beauharnois and Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, said the man who contacted the Southwest Voice, but whose identity remains confidential. They don’t respect anything. Deer have been slaughtered on the bike path, others on hiking trails, day and night. As they are indigenous hunters, they are entitled to hunt at night. It is in their custom. They have the right. They have every right when it comes to hunting. On November 19th, they were caught in the act of shooting along the highway.”
The man who claims about 50 animals were slaughtered goes further with his statement. “It’s dangerous. If they were residents of the area, it would be sorted out in a matter of minutes. They would have been arrested and charged. Statements of offense would have been given on the spot. However, since they are people of aboriginal nationality, that complicates the matter. They wreck everything in their path. The other night they fired at a deer that was in a soybean field. They went to look for the dead animal with their truck. The field hadn’t been harvested yet so they damaged the crop. Farmers no longer know what to do.”
The Chateauguay police, the Sûreté du Québec and the Hydro-Quebec patrol and even the Beauharnois-Salaberry RCM are well aware of the matter. In a press release sent to the media, Hydro-Quebec ensures that a prevention and awareness campaign for the 2021 hunting season took place on November 13th and 14th. That the operation was in collaboration with Hydro-Quebec and Wildlife as part of the hunting season on the territory of the Regional Park of the Beauharnois-Salaberry RCM.
On the Hydro-Quebec side, the Crown Corporation assures us that hunting is not permitted on its land. “They don’t respect anything, said the visibly angry man. The worst part is that night after night they come back. This is not hunting for food, it is obvious that they trade for wild meat.”
A partnership between Hydro-Quebec, agents of the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, the police department of the city of Châteauguay as well as the Sûreté du Québec of the Beauharnois-Salaberry RCM has existed for years in order to counter the problems of local hunting.
“As soon as it concerns the Aboriginals, the officers become cautious. It is not when there is nothing left that will be the time to act. I have pictures of the offenses, there have been calls to Wildlife and the police. Nothing is happening.”
Different hunting rights
In 2012, the judges of the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the indigenous who claimed the right to hunt at night, under their ancestral rights. Following the judgment in a case in British Columbia, indigenous people now have the right to hunt at night anywhere in Canada, as long as it does not endanger the safety of other forest users.
“I respect the rights of the indigenous people, but now they use the same means as all the other hunters. The danger is very real. Is it going to take an accident to realize that this makes no sense? Seriously, it’s poaching.”