A rally against the deer cull in Oak Bay on Saturday ended in Mayor Nils Jensen’s front yard. However, he wasn’t home.
The rally, organized by DeerSafe Victoria, was meant to draw attention and opposition to the district’s decision to allow the culling of up to 25 deer as part of a deer management pilot project being managed by the Capital Regional District.
However, Jensen said there is a time and place for dialogue and his home is not one them.
“They have been provided with an appropriate public forum for them to express their concerns,” Jensen said. “I have met with them numerously as a group and individually. It’s not appropriate to come to my home and disturb my neighbours.”
The mayor said he understands the deer cull is a sensitive issue and as an elected public official, he accepts that he will be confronted by residents on how he votes and runs the district. But a line was crossed on Saturday that should not be repeated, he said.
“My neighbours and family did not sign up for that,” Jensen said. “One of the protesters had to be shooed off my neighbour’s property.”
The original itinerary for the DeerSafe rally, according to a press release, was for protesters to meet at noon on the grass of the “Welcome to Oak Bay” sign. The group then planned to walk along Oak Bay Avenue to municipal hall.
The release also stated Oak Bay residents have come forward to offer their property for the clover traps to be used to capture deer, something Jensen has heard but can’t confirm.
“Throughout the CRD, private property owners have volunteered their property for the deer cull,” Jensen said, adding this has been happening over the past two years. “I have not been told where, just in general that the CRD has properties where they may be able to conduct the capture.”