Celebrity endorsements

Recently, the wolf cull in the peace region of BC has caught the attention of two celebrities, who have used their status to share the cause with their fans through social media.

Miley Cyrus recently made a secret trip to Klemtu, BC to visit with locals after she learned of the five-year plan and Pacific Wild’s petition to kill wolves in order to preserve the caribou population. Cyrus planned the trip after posting a photo of a wolf and caribou to her Instagram feed calling on her 29 million followers to sign the petition, “Don’t let squares play the role of the circle of life!”

Subsequently, Cyrus received harsh criticism from our Premier at the end of September after the visit. Christy Clark went on the record, responding jokingly to questions on the new celebrity interest to the cull: “Tell Miley I’m willing to twerk it out,” taking aim at the singer’s infamous dance move rather than her potential to change perspective on this issue.

During this, BC native Pamela Anderson wrote an open letter to Clark on her website, sharing it with her Twitter followers. “Rather than spending millions in taxpayer dollars to kill more animals, we need to invest in a plan to protect Canada’s forestland,” Anderson wrote.

Clark then continued to poke fun at Anderson and Cyrus: “They both love animals; they both live in California.”

Cyrus, 22, is known for her wild clothing choices and avant-garde lyrics, but no one seems to believe her when she uses her voice to call on issues.

What does it say about me if I support a millennial post-Disney star over my provincial leader? Clark, you have been covered in this paper a few times before, and, unfortunately, never positively. While we look to the federal election, I can’t help but wonder when we will see a change in our own province. Currently, the disdain for our premier is ever-present in youth and students.

Chris Brown covered the story for CBC’s The National in February, visiting Shelley and Casey Black near Chetwynd BC who have raised two wolves, Dave and Mya, in captivity.

“The way that they’re doing it is barbaric,” Shelley Black said. 

“[T]o go and shoot a wolf from a helicopter, are you going to get a kill shot every time? I doubt it,” Casey Black added.

Brown found that the BC caribou recovery strategy says that wolves are responsible for 40 per cent of caribou deaths.

In Alberta, almost 900 wolves have been shot, poisoned, or hunted down in the last eight years. It has been successful in reducing the population of the animal. However, support for Alberta’s cull has changed since the government’s involvement in protecting the ecosystems has stopped.

BC intends to follow Alberta’s cull with their own five-year plan, killing around 180 wolves.  Tom Ethier told CBC that, “[a]t the end of those five years, we’re going to do that analysis as to whether this effort was worth it.”

Cyrus and Anderson, along with The Green Party of Canada, have endorsed Pacific Wild’s campaign to “Save BC Wolves,” along with over 205 thousand others. Pacific Wild stands behind the idea that Canadian wolves are scapegoats, taking blame for the habitat destruction, allowing for their population to flourish.

This issue continues to have two sides, but what it should come down to is whether Canada is willing to preserve its natural habitats and help every animal, or to take the easy way out and rid the areas of a predator. You can sign the petition at pacificwild.org.