Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 32: "Beaten but Unbowed"

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 32 – “Beaten but Unbowed”

(Vancouver Sun picture – caption: Beaten but unbowed – Anthony Marr says he is undeterred in his campaign despite beating.)

Bear Hunting Foe Attacked in City

The Vancouver Sun
by Stephen Hume

BC environmentalist Anthony Marr is recovering after being beaten by a burly man who said, “Let this be a lesson to you.”

An environmentalist known for his opposition to bear hunting and the black market for animal parts was recovering Tuesday after being attacked in Vancouver’s West End.

Anthony Marr said he was waylaid about 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 1600 block of Haro Street as he made his way to his car after a dinner with his parents at their home.

Environmental groups have been complaining about a sharp increase in threats of physical violence directed at their members…

“I was parked in the lane”, Marr said. “There was this guy waiting for me by my car. He advanced a few steps and said, ‘Are you Anthony Marr?’ I said yes and he immediately launched his attack.”

Marr… said his assailant was “over six feet and around 200 pounds” and rained blows upon his head and face, fracturing facial bones and damaging his eye socket.

“Then he said, ‘Let this be a lesson to you,’ and walked off,” Marr said.

The University of British Columbia Hospital confirmed that Marr was admitted and treated in the emergency ward shortly after 7:30 p.m.. Vancouver city police confirmed receiving his report of the attack about 8:40 p.m..

Marr recently led a controversial and widely publicized Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaign to have bear hunting banned in BC.

He has also been active in successfully pressuring government for controls in the black market on endangered species parts in the Asian community…

Marr’s silver 1993 Mazda sports car and its license plate became well known during the anti-hunting campaign, he says.

Marr drove 12,000 kilometers and visited almost every significant community in BC during the summer of 1996, holding public and private meetings that laid the groundwork for a province-wide initiative petition towards driving a referendum vote on banning bear hunting.

Campaigners obtained 93,000 signatures in a 90-day blitz that mobilized 1,800 volunteers, but fell well short of the 250,000 or 10 percent of the electorate – needed to force government action under recall and initiative legislation.

The petition campaign, however, gave Marr a high media profile.

He said he was constantly harassed by pro-hunting (forces). Pickup trucks tailgated his car and he received anonymous threats of violence by phone.

“My reaction is that it merely strengthens my resolve to continue with this campaign…”

Paul George, a director of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, described the attack on Marr as “deplorable” and said it was time for police and government to take seriously the “threats of violence and all the rhetoric that our people are subjected to.”

“I think this [violent rhetoric] unleashes hate against environmentalists just as much as it does against Jews or people of a different sexual persuasion or anything like that,” George said.


Ma Seeu-Sung assaulted

Ming Pao Daily News (Chinese), global

… Around 7:30 yesterday evening, when Marr was returning to his car after a dinner with his parents, a man approached him and asked if he was Anthony Marr. When Marr said ‘Yes’, the man launched his fist attack…

“It was so fast and sudden I didn’t even have time to turn the other cheek,” Marr added with a wry grin…


Protector of bears mauled by attacker

The WestEnder, Vancouver

… Anthony Marr received a flurry of blows to the face and head, resulting in a fractured cheekbone and buckled eye-socket floor…


Subject: Anthony Marr

Canadian Firearms Digest
From: H. Roy Stephens

As it was reported here, he suffered broken facial bones including damage to the orbit of one of his eyes. That is hardly a “bloody nose”. Furthermore, in light of the fact he WAS the target of verbal threats regarding bodily harm from some of the more brain dead and irresponsible alleged members of the hunting fraternity, it becomes quite obviously newsworthy.

Emotional issue + verbal threats + serious assault = the news. Simple.

Not so simple I’m afraid. His injuries when reported in medical terminology sound impressive indeed. However, they weren’t. Moreover he makes it his business to command attention by whatever means to promote his cause. Further more, regardless of who made the threats, (assuming they were in fact made – I’m more of a skeptic each day) there is not a shred of evidence to connect anyone or any group with his misfortune. To convict the hunting fraternity in absentia & by implication is only newsworthy if you don’t have a critical bone in your body, and I stand by my assessment of the CBC Afternoon Show interviewer in that regard.

Now that he has been beaten up – whether by a hunter or by somebody involved in the illicit animal parts trade – the yapping of the idiots will come back to haunt hunters. A very tiny minority threatened to physically harm him, and now he has indeed been seriously beaten. How does this make us look as hunters to the non-committed citizen out there – most of whom get their view of the world from the mainstream media?

Whoever is responsible did hunters a major disservice.

Just to put it in perspective he was not seriously beaten. As he stated he was punched in the face a couple times and was fine from the neck down. He walked away after the incident. I agree that the yapping will come back to haunt hunters. If you were in his shoes that is exactly what you would want! Again, we do not know if a hunter or poacher was involved. Don’t fall into their trap. For all we know he has other enemies. He says he has none, but are you willing to take his word for it? This is a man who deliberately tells lies to further his agenda.

That the CBC unwittingly has been aiding Mr. Marr is very much to its discredit. Where is the balanced coverage?

I don’t think covering a serious criminal assault after the man was publically threatened is exactly unbalanced coverage. He claims the assailant said it was for his stand on bear hunting – should CBC feel obligated to not report what a victim says his assailants said?

I listened to the CBC interview and Marr clearly stated that the only thing his assailant said was, “Are you Anthony Marr?” Serious criminal assault? I guess it’s all relative. I don’t see it that way.

It is necessary in my view to rigorously question everything people like Marr say and do. They are masters of manipulation, and worse, believe that it is morally acceptable to lie in order to gain their objective(s).


Subject: Anthony Marr


From: Rick Lowe

Re.: “I have watched this thread develop and I am a cynic. I do not think it is beyond the realm of possibility that this was a staged beating to garner sympathy from the public.”

Well, perhaps the doubters are right and I am wrong. Perhaps Marr did arrange to have himself beaten to the point where he suffered facial fractures which had the potential to damage his eyesight, threaten his life, or even kill him.

Maybe there is something for us to learn here – we have much in common. Marr has been fighting a losing battle to have legislation allowing bear hunting thrown out. We have been fighting a losing battle to have legislation which bans and prohibits firearms thrown out. I guess the only question that remains is if we can meet the dedication that Marr has apparently demonstrated in arranging the beating he took.

So… we need a few volunteers willing to undergo a beating severe enough to inflict some skull fractures in hopes of getting a sound byte on the news some night. Hands up please, volunteers… line forms to the right.

Come, come, surely some of us can meet the same level of dedication as that shown by a contemptible, lying anti hunter like Marr. If he can “take the bullet” to the extent he did to further his cause, then it seems that hunters and shooters as dedicated as we are would be willing to just as eagerly step forward for a similar beating. The chances are reasonably good that these injuries will heal with no permanent effects – Marr apparently lucked out, and our volunteers probably will as well…

For myself, I reluctantly admit that I’ll stick to letter writing, informing others, legally monkey-wrenching the system, and bugging my MP. I don’t have the courage that Marr and our volunteers have, to willingly submit to those kind of injuries in hopes of getting a one day sound byte in the news.


Subject: Re: Anthony Marr

1 Feb 1998
From: Roger Walker

Rick Lowe writes:

“Well, perhaps the doubters are right and I am wrong. Perhaps Marr did arrange to have himself beaten to the point where he suffered facial fractures which had the potential to damage his eyesight, threaten his life, or even kill him. Maybe there is something for us to learn here…

“I guess the only question that remains is if we can meet the dedication that Marr has apparently demonstrated in arranging the beating he took…”

“For myself, I reluctantly admit that I’ll stick to letter writing, informing others, legally monkeywrenching the system, and bugging my MP. I don’t have the courage that Marr and our volunteers have, to willingly submit to those kind of injuries in hopes of getting a one day soundbyte in the news.”

One major difference between “us” and “them” is that we are coming from a position that is both morally and (through various items such as common-law, bills of rights, constitutions, etc.) legally strong, whereas our opponents do not. Generally, those with the moral/legal high ground do not stoop to deceit, whereas with our opponents, without a logical leg to stand on, can rely on nothing but.

Unfortunately, there sometimes comes a time when we feel that we MUST stoop to the same level as our opponent, as that is all they will understand. If it were not so, there would be no reason to carry a firearm for self defence. Again, the difference is that we are more likely to keep things “civilized” for as long as possible.


Beating no bar to bear pal
Marr back on the road in defence of grizzlies

The Vancouver Courier
by Gudrun Will

Animal conservationist Anthony Marr is anything but intimidated after getting a fist in the face in a West End alley, delivered with the not-so-cryptic message: “Let this be a lesson to you.”

The January attack by an unknown assailant broke his nose, cracked his cheekbone and damaged his right eye socket. Rather than shutting him up, it inspired him to undertake another road trip to stop the grizzly bear hunt in BC…


And so, Anthony’s anti-hunting campaign rolls on, while he also went to India three times (1997, 1998, 1999) to conduct on-the-ground campaigns at the Bandhavgarh, Kanha and Ramthambhore tiger reserves, as well as perform urban educational outreach and undercover operations towards saving the Bengal tiger from extinction. His third Indian expedition being detailed in his first book [OMNI-SCIENCE and the Human Destiny] (2008).

In 1999, the British Columbia provincial government imposed a 3-year moratorium on Grizzly bear hunting in the province.

In 2003, Anthony conceived of the concept of a global anti-hunting coalition. In 2009, the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition was formed.

The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


End of Part II.


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)


Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 31: 1997 Media Coverage

Part II – Bear referendum
Chapter 31 – 1997 Media Coverage

Hunting presentation called off in latest enviro-hunting clash

The Review, Richmond, BC
by David DaSilva

… Students in an environmental club at Palmer Secondary School arranged to have Anthony Marr… speak… But when Doug Walker of the BC Wildlife Federation heard about it, and (told the school to either cancel out on Marr or give them equal time), the event was (suspended)…


Vanderhorst misled with numbers

Daily News, Nanaimo, BC
by Anthony Marr

… WCWC’s stand on the anti-hunting campaign is to start and end with the bear, but for once, Vanderhorst is right about me. I am against recreational and trophy hunting… of any species… Ultimately, everything has to do with one species – our own, regarding how civilized we truly are.

(Bad Medicine cover pic)

Bad Medicine
Bad Medicine
Ross Crockford tells the story of a man who has stepped on toes from Campbell River to Hong Kong to stop a pernicious trade…

New Internationalist magazine
by Ross Crockford

Anthony Marr knows what it feels like to be endangered. Last summer the Vancouver environmentalist was touring small towns in British Columbia… Often the reception he got was downright hostile. Many people in the countryside claimed he was trying to destroy their livelihood and their heritage…

Now, Marr is taking his campaign around the world… He knows there will be some risk; organized crime is directly involved in the endangered species trade… But after tangling with British Columbia’s hunters, he should be ready.


Making BC’s Referendum Act Workable

Common Ground Magazine
by Anthony Marr

BC’s Recall and Initiative Act for citizen initiated referendums does not work.

Anthony Marr found that out the hard way, working for six months on a Bear Referendum that failed. Compared to California and Washington state, our act is designed to fail and does not serve the public. Here is a proposal to make the act workable.

In June 1989, thousands of Chinese students died in Tienanmen Square for democracy, some shot, others crushed in their tents by tanks. Had my family never escaped from China, I would likely have been in their midst. Living instead in Canada, I do not take my freedom for granted. I safeguard it with my life, and make sure I use it to its fullest extent towards making the maximum difference for as long as possible.

This is why, seeing that BC is the only Canadian province with the provision for citizens to launch referendums through the Recall and Initiative Act, I expended six full months of my life on Western Canada Wilderness Committee’s (WCWC) Bear Referendum campaign last year. This is why, after the exercise in futility, I have come to abhor the true lack of full and real democracy in BC, and therefore in Canada.

What we have here is at best semi-democracy, if not downright pseudo-democracy. We have the right to vote for politicians who are usually little more than the least of several evils, who then behave more like dictators than democrats. Most of all, the Recall and Initiative Act is all semblance but no substance.

On July 13, 1996, the Editor-in-Chief of the Kamloops Daily News, Mel Rothenburger, wrote: “Nobody ever promised democracy would be easy. Anthony Marr, who grew up in Hong Kong, is learning all about that in Canada. Marr was in town this week as part of a tour of BC cities setting the stage for what he hopes will be a provincial referendum on bear hunting. Aside from the cogency of his argument, what struck me most about his objective is the near-impossibility of success . . .”

Having traveled 20,000 km from city to city debating trophy hunters by the hundreds face to face and on various media, generating some 200 newspaper articles around the province, working hard with some 2,000 volunteers in the Initiative Petition phase of the Referendum campaign in sleet and snow, and still ending up short of the impossible goal set by BC’s Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh, I declare the process unworkable-by-design, and the government’s purported wish to share legislative power with the people totally insincere.

How our Act compares to those of California and Washington State

The fact that no other Canadian province has even BC’s pretence of a citizen-launchable initiative makes Canada a less-than-first-class democracy. First, let me recap the current rules and regulations in Election BC’s Recall and Initiative Act, and compare and contrast it against other proven, workable systems around the democratic world whenever possible:

To force a province-wide referendum, the Proponent must first collect signatures from at least 10% of the registered voters in each and every one of the 75 electoral districts in the province, which should total about 220,000 province-wide. If only one electoral district falls short by even 1%, all is for nought. In contrast, California and Washington state, for example, require only 5% of the number of voters who actually voted in the previous election, which given a 60% turnout is equivalent only to 3% of the registered voters, and at that from anywhere in the state.

The BC signatures must be collected by government approved and registered “volunteer canvassers”, who must themselves be registered voters. To register a canvasser according to Elections BC protocol requires five stages of mailing, spanning about three weeks. California and Washington state, on the other hand, have no such requirement; petition forms can be displayed, distributed and circulated by anyone.

75 different sets of petition forms are issued by Elections BC, one for each electoral district. This means that canvassers have to carry around multi-sets of forms, in case some of the people they approach in a certain electoral district, or who approach them, have come from another district. This also means that many people from other districts would have to be turned away if the canvasser happens not to have the right petition form.

In Vancouver and Victoria in particular, canvassers have to carry all 75 sets of forms, which makes the exercise extremely tedious, awkward, expensive and time consuming. California and Washington state, on the other hand, issue only one set of petition forms, applicable to every corner of the state.

BC’s Proponent has only 90 days to collect the signatures of 10% of all registered voters, whereas California’s and Washington’s proponents have 150 days to collect the signatures of 5% of those who voted in the last election.

In BC, there can be only one Proponent, and at that it must be an individual instead of an organization, whereas there can be any number of Opponents, who can be organizations as well as individuals. In the Bear Referendum’s case, there were 107 registered Opponents, comprising 38 individuals and 69 organizations headed by the 35,000-members-strong BC Wildlife Federation (a misleading title which should be more truthfully renamed BC Hunting Association).

This obviously is biased in favour of the Opponents in terms of fund raising and networking potential.

The disparity is made even more pronounced by that whereas the Proponent needs to work on all 75 electoral districts to ensure that they all succeed, the Opponents need concentrate on only two or three to ensure that at least one fails (see point #1).

While debating hunters, one of their arguments is:

“Who are you, from Vancouver, to tell us up here what to do?”

First, if the referendum succeeds, it would be the entire BC electorate’s decision, not just the people of Vancouver. I can understand that some measure of regional representation is fair, but if hypothetically 74 districts get enough signatures, who is the one dissenting district to derail all the rest?

It would be fair, in my opinion, that the electoral districts also follow the democratic principle of a simple majority, namely that 38 out of the 75 should suffice.

In BC, unlike in California and Washington state, the success of the Initiative Petition does not automatically guarantee a referendum vote. In fact, the legislature still has the power to trash the petition as it sees fit.

When it comes to the referendum vote, California and Washington state requires the usual simple majority of those who turn out to vote, whereas in BC, a majority of the registered voters is required. In other words, if 50% of the registered voters turned out to vote, and 100% of them voted for the proposal, the Referendum would not pass. It would fail by one vote.

Even if the referendum vote is won, it still goes back to debate in legislature which still has the power to trash the vote, whereas in California and Washington state, legislative change is automatic.

Although there is a provision to prohibit direct interference by the Opponents in the Initiative Petition process, such as intimidating those who came to sign, which some Opponents did violate, there is no provision to prohibit indirect interference, such as the Opponents threatening to picket and boycott those malls that allow the Proponent to set up booths, which the Opponents took full advantage of.

Since the Recall and Initiative Act originated as a provision for citizens to recall politicians in whom they have lost confidence, the government sees itself being naturally in the Opponent camp, which in part explains the above anti-Proponent bias.

When Mr. Dosanjh was challenged by provincial Liberal leader Gordon Campbell on the unworkability of the rules, he cited the $18 million cost for a referendum vote as justification for the difficulties imposed to rule out wanton launches of referendums on “trivial issues”, which the bear-hunting issue certainly was not.

Indeed, as a lone-standing event, an Initiative Vote would be exceedingly expensive -cranking up the entire voting machinery throughout the province in terms of voter registration, setting up and manning polling stations, publicizing the event, counting of votes, etc.,

But this is circular argument in his own favour. It was Mr. Dosanjh himself who caused the process to be expensive by making the Initiative Vote a lone-standing event in the first place. In contrast, referendums in California and Washington state are appended to political elections at minimal cost, and there is no disadvantage to it.

Coinciding with BC’s bear referendum, there was a bear referendum in Washington state in their last political election on banning the use of bait and dogs in bear hunting, and their referendum was won.

I congratulate them, especially considering that they would have lost had Washington state’s rules been the same as BC’s.

Conversely, had BC’s rules been the same as Washington state’s, we would have succeeded.

If the comparison is still found unconvincing, I can cite the case of Switzerland, where for the last 130 years, the signatures of only 1% of the registered voters are required to force a referendum vote to challenge any existing policy or law, and only 2% for the proposal of new laws.

Citizen-generated referendums are tools for truly democratic governments to place the power with the people. It is the way public servants live up to their true calling in a truly democratic society, however much remuneration and prestige they deem fit to reward themselves. If this province’s Attorney General is truly sincere in elected government sharing legislative power with the people, he will change the referendum rules to be more democratic.

We need to change the Act. To this effect, WCWC has prepared a petition to the BC government outlining 12 realistic points to make BC’s referendum act workable. We encourage you to obtain a copy, sign it, gather more signatures, and take part in the democratic process of changing our referendum act.

Petition to Change the BC Referendum Act:

We, the people of British Columbia, wish to amend the current Recall and Initiative Act as follows:

* The Initiative Petition to call a referendum shall require signatures from at least 3% of the registered voters province wide.

* The provincial total shall include signatures from at least 3% of the registered voters in at least 38 of BC’s 75 electoral districts.

* The time frame provided for the gathering of these signatures shall be 150 days, which will begin on a date jointly decided upon by the Proponent(s) and Elections BC.

* There can be any number of Proponents and Opponents.

* Both Proponents and Opponents can be individuals as well as organizations.

* There shall be only one set of Initiative Petition forms instead of the current 75 different sets.

* Signatures can be collected by anyone regardless of his/her being a registered voter.

* Opponents shall not use intimidation tactics to directly or indirectly interfere with the signature collection process.

* A successful Initiative Petition shall automatically bring about an Initiative Vote.

* The Initiative Vote shall be appended to the first provincial election after the conclusion of the Initiative Petition.

* The Initiative Vote shall be won by the Proponent(s) with a simple 50%-plus-one-vote majority of popular votes province-wide, and simple 50%-plus-one-vote majorities of the popular votes in at least 38 of the 75 electoral districts.

* The proposed amendment or removal of an existing law or policy, and/or introduction of a new law or policy as stated in the Initiative Petition, shall automatically take effect in legislature upon the winning of the Initiative Vote by the Proponent(s).


Korea Leads Illegal Trade in Bear Parts


In a report released this week, an international coalition of wildlife organizations, including the London-based World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), expose South Korea92s leading role in the illegal trade in bear parts. The report , “Killed for Korea” concludes that “South Korea and Korean people abroad represent the bear92s worst enemy after habitat loss.”

Undercover film recently taken by animal campaigners shows Korean-sponsored bear poaching and gallbladder smuggling on an international scale as well as the killing of endangered bears for South Korean restaurant-goers.

The bears are desired for bear paw soup, a highly prized delicacy in South Korea. Diners will pay in excess of US$1,000 for a bowl of bear paw soup.

WSPA, together with the Korean Federation for the Environment Movement (KFEM), Humane Society of the US/Humane Society International (HSUS/HSI) and the Global Survival Network (GSN), is lobbying the US government to sanction South Korea over the illegal trade in bear parts. The organizations, with a total membership of over four million people worldwide, are considering an international boycott campaign of Korean goods, if their current approaches to Korean authorities are unsuccessful.

Anthony Dickson, WSPA chief executive, said, “Consumption of bear parts is a national disgrace for South Korea. We are trying to persuade the Korean authorities to stop this illegal trade which is pushing Asian bears towards extinction.”

WSPA92s campaign is being backed by the Korean Federation for the Environment Movement (KFEM). Kwon Heanyol, spokesperson for KFEM said, “This outdated practice is a slur on our national reputation. It makes us look cruel and barbaric. Herbal, synthetic and Western alternatives exist for bear gallbladder. Why can92t all Koreans use these instead of continuing to torture and slaughter bears?”

Anthony Marr, organizer of Bears, Elephants, Tigers, Rhinos (BETR), a conservation group based in Vancouver, British Columbia, confirms that South Korea is the world’s leading consumer of bear parts. Marr says, “South Koreans sometimes import black bears on the pretext of using them for zoo exhibits, then they have them killed in front of restaurant customers to prove authenticity and freshness.”

Marr says he has read reports of caged bears lowered live onto hot coals to have their paws cooked. This procedure is supposed to guarantee freshness, authenticity and entertainment for the customer.

Marr has a video showing a 1989 restaurant menu from the posh Hilton hotel in Seoul offering “bear palm soup. Price – current.”

Bear paws are considered a delicacy, not a medicinal, but bear gall bladders are prized for their medicinal effect.

The powdered bile taken from the bear galls has a whole range of uses, primarily for digestive healing and intestinal illnesses including parasites and bacterial infections. The powdered bile is used as an anti-spasmodic, a pain-killer, tranquillizer, an anti-allergenic, and a cough remedy. It is also considered to be a general purpose body tuning tonic. Bear bile is even said to restore a liver damaged by overdrinking.

Unlike tiger bones and rhino horns which have no real medicinal value, bear galls do contain ursodeoxycolic acid which does have a medicinal effect. This acid was patented as a synthetic in Japan in the 1930s. Today, 150 tons are used annually worldwide.

There are seven species of bears in the world, excluding the panda and koala, which are not considered to be true bears. Three bear species are endangered, particularly the Asiatic black bear, which used to be the main source of galls. The Asiatic black bear is now almost completely wiped out in China and Korea.

To meet the demand from Korea and other Asian countries, poachers have been taking bears from Russia and North America. Marr says poaching is “huge” in North America. Poachers have been caught in British Columbia recently, but provincial laws have no teeth, as the indigenous bears are not yet listed as endangered.

The penalty is very light when poachers are caught in B.C. Marr says, “Someone recently caught with 90 galls, which would easily sell for US$250,000 thousand in Korea, was fined $3,500 bucks, not even the price of one gall in Korea. For every batch of poached bear parts discovered by law enforcement officers, 49 get away. Customs officials estimate they can check only 2-3% of what goes out of Canada.”

Marr estimates that between 20,000 and 40,000 bears are poached in Canada yearly. Legal trophy hunting kills 22,000 more.

In London, the WSPA is offering broadcast quality undercover footage showing the killing of endangered bears for South Korean diners and the farming of bears in China, some of which are destined for the Korean market.

(From the Environment News Service:


Poaching for gall-bladders

The Free Press, Price George, BC
by David Plug

Poaching for gall-bladders – Asian demand pushes up numbers, says conservationists

Animal advocates and wildlife officials agree that most poachers of bear parts are never caught, but differ wildly on the scale of the problem in the north. To Anthony Marr… last week’s laying of 67 charges for unlawful possession of bear parts against a Prince George resident is just the tip of the iceberg…


Unbearable bear facts

The Vancouver Sun
by Anthony Marr

Recent radio ads (by the BC Wildlife Federation) portray deliberate misrepresentations of truth…

“96% of BC’s residents rejected” last year’s Bear Referendum objective, citing that only 4% of BC’s residents signed the petition…

… the ad itself is a demonstration of the usual illogic and dishonesty of the trophy hunters, and shows that the BC Wildlife Federation is worried. If they really believe that 96% of BC’s residents support trophy hunting, what do they have to worry about?


on Anthony Marr’s BET’R Campaign

1997- 09
Video production
by Terry Brooks

“UNBEARABLE” – Winner of: Global Vision Award / 1997 Cascadia Festival of Moving Images, Award of Excellence (3rd) / 20th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival (2nd) / International Film & Video Festival, Silver Seal Award, Merit Award for Conservation Message.


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)

Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 30: December Media Coverage

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 30 – December Media Coverage


Bear Caravan stops in Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm Shoppers’ Guide

…according to (WCWC volunteer) Jon French… a small percentage of people exhibited very childish behaviour, swearing, and even shouting racial epithets as they passed by. These racial slurs were directed at Anthony Marr, who is Chinese Canadian. He has led the drive to prevent bear hunting…


Anti-bear hunt backers get cool local reception

The Courier Islander, Campbell River
by Dan MacLennan

Supporters of a total ban on bear hunting collected signatures in Campbell River Monday despite some less than friendly responses.

“We got kicked out of the Tyee Plaza around 11:30 even though we had permission,” (WCWC Bear-Care-a-Van member) Steve Quattrocchi said…


Protesters, hunters clash

The Mirror, Campbell River, BC
by Matthew Plumtree

Chilly temperatures (-15C) and a posse of hunters… made life difficult for those seeking signatures… “I was trying to be a dink, but after all these years, it sure feels good,” said (local hunting guide David) Fyfe…


Bear petition on the hunt for names

The Times, Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, BC
by Corinne Jackson

… There are about 20 people gathering names locally… Mike Gildersleeve said he’s collected about 400 himself… The response has been “really positive”, he added. “People that have seen me come marching up and ask ‘Where can I sign?’”…


Who cares about bears? Quite a few readers.

The Vancouver Sun
by Herb Gilbert

… I hope more people will come to see the big picture of what is happening to planet Earth. And when the light goes on in their minds, they will turn green, like the Paul Georges and Anthony Marrs of this world.


Bear-hunting petition falls short

The Vancouver Sun
by Larry Pynn

… (WCWC founder Paul) George said efforts to collect signatures were hampered on a number of fronts – canvassers were frequently denied permission to operate in rural shopping malls, hunters shadowed canvassers and intimidated citizens who might have otherwise signed…


Anti-hunting effort falls short

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

BC’s referendum law needs to be rewritten, otherwise the public will never have a chance to vote on any initiative… Anthony Marr acknowledges Friday the group’s bid to force a referendum on the hunting issue will fall short… In Washington state, where voters last month approved an initiative to ban hunting of bears using dogs and bait… The Washington referendum system has more relaxed rules…


Drive for bear-hunting referendum falls short

The Province, Vancouver, BC
by Charlie Anderson

Supporters of a ballot on bear hunting are bloody but unbowed… “The law itself is an ass,” said (WCWC founder Paul) George, who favours referendums based on the U.S. model. “No issue, no group could ever get that amount of signatures all sorted by electoral district.”…


Law “designed to fail”

The Province, Vancouver, BC
by Michael Smyth

… Critics then and now have attacked the Recall and Initiative Act as unworkable, phony legislation.

And now we have proof… The group had an emotional issue, apparently broad public support, hundreds of volunteers and one of the environmental movement’s best-organized, well-financed public relations machine at its disposal.

Despite these resources, the group’s BC-wide petition drive fell far short…


Bear protest claims victory in defeat

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

… They gained about half the names they needed, but says they raised the profile of their fight…


The fight to help bears through the tool of law

Positive Action News, Victoria, BC
by Nicholas Ford

… Anthony Marr is October’s hero… He has bravely faced up to repeated intimidation from hunters and debates them on lecture tours. He is a man with a vision… (His) activism in BC on bears is based on excellent foresight…


Bear hunters come under fire

News Leader, Burnaby, BC
by Rob Gerein

… The majority of the population doesn’t like guns, doesn’t like trophy hunting and, increasingly, they don’t like hunters…


Three Chinese-Canadian eco-warriors

Sing Tao Daily News (Chinese), global

… Anthony Marr’s prime motivation is to ensure a healthy and beautiful world for our children… He plans to go straight into the tigers’ homelands – India, China… to save them where they live…


Bear Referendum Road Tour ’96

1996 – The Western Canada Wilderness Committee

“Anthony Marr is on almost every hunter’s hit list for trying to get trophy hunting of Black and Grizzly bears banned in B.C…” Vancouver Sun, August 2, 1996, page B4.

“They are organized and hostile (the hunting lobby), and when they show up, it’s ten to one – hunters to environmentalists…” Georgia Straight, August 1-8, 1996, page 7.

“It was barely civil and sometimes downright ugly… Anthony Marr was interrupted, shouted down and generally abused by hunters in an audience of more than 100 that spilled out of a conference room…” Prince George Citizen, July 5, 1996, page A1.

“With calm and respect, Anthony Marr faced rapid fire questioning from hunters…” Kamloops Daily News, July 9, 1996, page A3.

These are just a few of the many highlights in the more than 100 newspaper articles generated during the eight-week-long province-wide road tour by Anthony Marr this summer. The purpose: to educate people about endangered animals especially the BET’R species (Bear, Elephant, Tiger and Rhinos) as well as explain the Initiative to prohibit the sport and trophy hunting of bears in British Columbia to prevent B.C. bears from becoming endangered and imperiled with extinction.

Despite the many stormy meetings, Marr returned to Vancouver in good spirits. One big reason was the great care and support provided by environmentalists along his 12,000 kilometers journey. Marr never had to camp out alone or stay at motels even once. Many of those who billeted him and attended his presentations generously donated funds, food and even long-distance phone calls to the project, as well as took him on hiking, kayaking, 4-wheeling, bear watching and even horseback riding expeditions.

Marr wholeheartedly thanks everyone involved for making this tour a fruitful and enjoyable one and invites everyone he contacted and their friends to actively participate in Initiative I96001 to bring about an end to the sport and trophy hunting of bears in B.C. and greatly increase the penalties for poaching and trafficking.

He also thanks Erica Denison, Bonita Charette and Lisa Moffatt, Bear Referendum campaigners, and the staff at WCWC for their very capable assistance in making this road tour a success. By the end of the campaign, some 1,800 volunteer canvassers had applied to collect signatures on the Bear Protection petition.


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)


Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 29: November Media Coverage

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 29 – November Media Coverage


Petition booth axed after threats to mall

The Trail Times
by Lana Rodlie

… The problem stemmed from a visit to Trail several weeks ago by Anthony Marr… Although Marr said he was scorned, yelled at, intimidated, threatened and slandered in other parts of the province, no one thought such tactics would be used here.

Unfortunately, for John and Rachel Kratky, intimidation raised its ugly head after Marr left.

The Kratkys volunteered to help Marr’s cause by locally obtaining signatures. They approached Waneta Plaza and asked if they could set up a table in the mall.

The mall manager saw no problem and said it was alright. However, the decision was quickly reversed.

“We were told that we couldn’t set up because the mall had received a bunch of phone calls from people threatening to picket,” said Rachel Kratky… Waneta Plaza manager Linda MacDermid confirms… MacDermid said this is the first time anyone has ever called with threats over a proposed petition campaign or anything else.

“We’ve always had all sorts of groups with petitions. Even when we had Pro-Choice people, we’ve never had any calls. Yet…”…


Bear hunt opponents bring the campaign here

The Citizen, Prince George, BC
by Gordon Hoekstra

The WCWC is sending a swat team to Prince George in a last ditch effort… Expected to arrive this Friday for a three-day stay, the team is to roll into town with a caravan of two or three vehicles – at least one of them highly decorated with banners – and set up shop, said bear protection campaign manager Anthony Marr from Vancouver… This summer, prior to the launch of the 90-day petition campaign, Marr received a less than warm reception from hunters at an information session here.

Marr said he expects it will get even hotter this time. “We’re in the home stretch, and we’re fighting.”…

The WCWC would be better off directing its attention to curtailing the Asian market that deal in bear parts, says groups like the BC Wildlife Federation…


Malls turn away bear hunt opponents

The Citizen, Prince George, BC
by Gordon Hoekstra

Unable to get permission to set up their ban-bear-hunting petition drive at any of the malls here, a Lower Mainland preservation group will try to gather signatures near the Civic Centre starting Friday.

In general, the malls told him that they didn’t want to alienate anyone, Anthony Marr said Tuesday… Marr believes many more people would have become bear petition canvassers in rural areas, but they’ve been intimidated by a strong counter-action to the ban-bear-hunting campaign, especially in the Central Interior…

But he added, “We’ve got a job to do, and we’re giving it our best shot.”…


Bear-hunt ban sought

The Globe and Mail (national)

The WCWC is sending a team of environmentalists to Prince George in a last ditch effort to gather signatures to ban bear hunting in BC. The group will set up near polling stations during the civic elections on Saturday, said campaign direct Anthony Marr… Only 20,000 signatures have been turned in to the Committee to date.


City won’t block bear banners from polling stations

The Free Press, Prince George, BC
by David Plug

… A mobile campaign by the WCWC sets up shop in downtown Prince George tonight, and organizer Anthony Marr says local polling stations will be key sites for their petition for a referendum on bear hunting.

While municipal campaigners won’t be allowed within 100 meters of the polls, no such restriction applies to the WCWC canvassers.

“… There’s nothing in the Municipal Act that prohibits it as long as they’re not interfering with the election process or campaigning for a candidate,” says Joni Heinrich, Prince George’s deputy city clerk.

Of some concern is how heated encounters between canvassers and hunters will become… When asked if he expected some sort of fireworks when canvassers and hunters meet face-to-face, Marr replied, “No doubt, but we are willing to deal with it when it happens. We would like people to know that this is a totally legal process and totally democratic. We are playing by the book and hope the opponents do the same.”…

Their mobile campaign will travel to the Peace River region next week and could return here again on their way to Prince Rupert… (Marr) has arranged radio interviews for tomorrow morning on CBC-AM and CIRX/CJCI but not with CKPG’s Ben Meisner. “I’ve had two encounters with him and neither one was enjoyable,” said Marr…


Bear Care on election day – first citizen initiative

Island Tides, Victoria, BC
by Serena van Bakel

… Paul George, Founding Director of WCWC, is the first person (by law, a proponents must be a person, not an organization) to seriously attempt to use BC’s new Recall and Initiative Act to bring forward citizen-generated legislation…


Organizers of ban on bear hunting face another hurdle

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

… Organizers of the Ban Bear Hunting Initiative planned to collect signatures… outside more than 50 polling stations in the Capital Region on Saturday, municipal election day.

However, BC law bans canvassing within 100 meters of any polling station…


Bear activists piggyback on polls

Victoria New, Weekend Edition
by Brian Dryden

… To hit the target in the Capital Region, (WCWC’s Victoria campaign coordinator Liora Freedman says the blitz of municipal election polling stations will involve more than 80 canvassers who are registered to collect signatures.

John Marshall, deputy chief electoral officer for Victoria’s municipal election, says…, “As long as they are not connected to any candidates then they can do that…”…


Bear ‘ban-wagon’ gets cool reception

The Citizen, Prince George, BC
by Gordon Hoekstra

… Battling the wind and -10C temperatures, WCWC canvassers from Vancouver set up tables Friday at the intersection of Victoria Street and Seventh Avenue to gather signatures… Hunter Brad Davis stopped to protest the bear skin propped on top of the 24-foot, banner-decorated motor home, which he thought was in bad taste…

“It takes a lot of guts to be out here, and they need all the support they can get,” said Chris Leischner, an avowed environmentalist who signs the petition…

The 11-person caravan came to the North because the petition has struggled here…


Bear canvassers will go ahead

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

… Victoria’s chief electoral officer John Marshall said this week that the bear referendum advocates cannot collect signatures within 100 meters of any polling station… Municipal Affairs spokeswoman Karin Harris said it will be up to electoral officers to interpret provincial legislation that regulates permitted activity outside polling stations.

But Greg McDade, lawyer for the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, said there is nothing wrong with people collecting signatures for a petition outside a polling place.

The Municipal Act prevents people from soliciting votes or other activities designed to influence a municipal election (wearing signs, carrying flags or leafleting) with 100 meters of a polling station.

Terry Kirk, chief electoral officers for Saanich, said his municipality will not be preventing bear referendum supporters from gathering signatures…


Hunting foes target voters in bid to force referendum

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

Organizers of the Ban Bear Hunting Initiative say they will have canvassers outside 53 of 57 polling stations in Greater Victoria on voting day, in a bid to gather more than 20,000 signatures.

“We are quite shy of our goal,” says Liora Freedman of WCWC… As of Tuesday, the group said it had collected fewer than 3,000 signatures from the 7 provincial ridings around Victoria.

“That’s misleading,” said Freedman, noting that many canvassers have collected more signatures, but have not yet mailed them in…


Act needs revision to deal with referendum problems

The Free Press, Prince George, BC
by David Plug

…supporters of a ban on bear hunting were allowed to (collect signatures) outside polling stations in some cities and not others…

“There’s nothing that prohibits them from being there. The petition has standing under the Recall and Initiative Act…,” says city clerk Allan Chabot. “As long as their campaign doesn’t take on local flavour or begins to implicate one candidate or another, and it remains peaceful, we don’t have the authority to do anything.”

In Vancouver, they took a different track and told canvassers to stay away from polling stations…


Physician takes up cause of wild bears in valley

Alberni Valley Times, Port Alberni, BC
by Diane Morrison

Mike Barrett would rather see Black bears used as a natural resource to attract tourists than to see them used as an attraction for hunters to kill… Dr. Barrett is one of the volunteers collecting signatures…

“Eco-tourism, and soft adventure tourism, is the biggest growth area in the economy on the West Coast…,” he said…


Bear-hunt foe threatens to sue

The Vancouver Sun
Canadian Press

Prince George – … Barney Kern of the WCWC was collecting signatures in the Civic Centre on Saturday while voting took place.

He said he was ordered to leave by chief electoral officer Allan Chabot and city manager George Paul. “We do not need permission to collect signatures in a public place,” said Kern…


Bear hunting protestors cry foul

The Mirror, Sooke, BC
by Mitch Moore

… Kerry Fedosenko, the returning officer at the Saseenos school polling station, said she was instructed by the chief electoral officer Thomas Moore to ask a lone canvasser to move from the school… The canvasser, Jefferson Bray, complied.

Later, however, Bray and two other supporters moved back closer to the entrance and Moore contacted the Sooke RCMP.

Bray said he reluctantly complied until he was told by other ‘Bear Day’ volunteers that Fedosenko had no authority to ask him to move.

“I was told that I was well within my rights to be there. I wasn’t blocking people’s access and I was not representing any of the candidates… He refused to move when asked by RCMP officers. They eventually let him stay…


Bear campaign confrontation

The Tribune, Williams Lake, BC
by Jonathan Desbarats

A group campaigning to ban bear hunting in BC was turfed out of Boltanio Mall yesterday after a confrontation with the president of the Williams Lake Sportsman’s Association…


Bear Care-A-Van parked for petition

The Daily News, Kamloops, BC

… while (Anthony Marr) was in Prince George, one man threatened to punch him in the face and another deliberately bumped his shoulder while walking past… hard enough to spin Marr around.

But in two days, 1,700 signatures were gathered in Prince George…


Hunting protest in homestretch

Kamloops This Week
by Jennifer Muir

WCWC volunteers Barney Kern and Jon French do their best to stay warm while collecting signatures on the ban the bear hunt petition at the corner of Third and Victoria Thursday… WCWC spokesman Anthony Marr says at present the organization has up to 40,000 signatures, while others are in the mail…


Bear-ban campaign passes through city, collects 450 more signatures on petition

The Daily News, Kamloops, BC

… You couldn’t miss Gloria Fraser, decked out in a hot pink snowsuit as she asked passersby if they wanted to put their names to a petition to stop bear hunting in the province.

“I have watched the demise of our wildlife for over 50 years,” she said….


Ma Shiu-Sang incites Chinese Canadians to sign anti-bear-hunt petition

Ming Pao, global (Chinese)
by Eric Chan

… Ma Seeu-Sang and his volunteers gathered several hundred signatures at the Aberdeen Centre yesterday…


Shoot surplus bears and cougars

The Trail Times
by David Wilford

To the Editor: … The next enemy we have is a guy called Marr…


Sights set on saving bears

The Penticton Herald

… Barney Kern… At his own expense, he took time off work and rented a motor home to collect signatures for the Ban Bear Hunting Initiative…


Bear hunting ban signers should be proud

The Free Press, Prince George, BC
by B. Elliott

I was not surprised by the intimidating, dirty behaviour of some wildlife killers during Western Canada Wilderness Committee’s visit… Some wildlife killers and their supporters carried over their violent actions from defenseless animals to non-violent animal supporters, going so far as to tear up a petition sheet with signatures…


Who cares about bears?

The Vancouver Sun
by Ian Graysom

… Marr says while Kenya and India had outlawed lion and tiger hunting respectively, “Canada is still quagmired in the ‘Great White Hunter’ tradition.”…


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)

Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 28: October Media Coverage

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 28 – October Media Coverage


Bear poaching on increase locally

Daily Free Press, Nanaimo, BC
by Mark Brett

… Conservation officer Ron Heusen…said,… “We’ve had four kills in the last month right in the Nanaimo District area. In six years I’ve heard of maybe four carcasses poached for parts, and in one month, we’ve had four go down. There is no doubt it’s increasing.”… Meanwhile, Anthony Marr… is on his second road tour of BC…


Hunted down by the law

Macleans Magazine, national

It was a case of ready, fire, aim for the BC Wildlife Federation, a group representing hunters in BC. With 25,000 copies of the September/October issue of its magazine, Outdoor Edge, already delivered to their BC members, the BC group had to abruptly cancel the remainder of its distribution, pull 60 copies from store shelves, and print a public apology in Vancouver newspapers last week. At issue were remarks that the cancelled edition contained about the WCWC…


Peace River Regional District takes a stand against ban on bear hunting

The Northerner, Fort St. John, BC
by Richards

… The BC Wildlife Federation is mounting its own campaign to counter WCWC’s. Doug Walker, executive director of BCWF, rallied members in his column in Outdoor Edge magazine. The Federation is hoping to raise $500,000 for radio and TV air time and newspaper space in order to overshadow the petition. Walker is asking members to donate about $25 each to help with the cause. ‘I think we can all give up one box of shells or a tank of gas to preserve our hunting heritage,” he wrote……

Marr is stuck in a very hard place. If he only demands higher penalties and more protection for animals against poachers, he has hunters on his side, but as soon as he turns around and addresses the other side, he is met with complete opposition.

“Hunters go for the head and hide and poachers go for the gall and paws; they are all after bear parts…” Marr said…


Bear Crusader takes man on the speaking tour from hell

The News, Parksville, BC
by Bruce Whitehead

No matter how open-minded you are, you likely wouldn’t pick Anthony Marr out to be an environmental activist – let alone one that some have called “the most hated man in BC”.

But the…Chinese-Canadian physicist has almost single-handedly managed to fire up emotions in every corner of the province…


Anti-hunting campaign rolls into valley

The Saturday Okanagan, Kelowna, BC

Anthony Marr is in the Okanagan this weekend organizing supporters to gather signatures against bear hunting… At least 20 local volunteers have applied with Elections BC to be registered canvassers. But so far, the necessary paperwork has not come through, Marr said…


Apathy ‘greatest opponent’ to bear referendum

Prince George This Week

… WCWC’s ambitious attempt… “Our biggest problem isn’t the law, it isn’t the hunters – it’s the apathy of the silent majority,” said Anthony Marr. “Apathy is our greatest opponent.”…


Anti-hunt activists face uphill battle for vote

Times Colonist, Victoria, BC
by Malcolm Curtis

In areas where hunting is as common as walking the dog, canvassing for signatures is not for the weak-hearted.. In a 12,000-km road trip to promote the referendum last summer, Marr often found himself confronting hallsful of angry hunters… The volunteers – 50 are already signed up in the Capital Region – have to be registered with the provincial government in a time-consuming process that involves 5 mailings…


The Ban Bear Hunting Initiative, an exercise in democracy

Mainstreet, Crawford Bay, BC
by Susan Hulland

… This initiative is part of a larger global process called the BET’R Campaign. Launched in 1995 and founded by an Asian named Anthony Marr…

The really interesting thing about this initiative is that there’s more at stake here than first meets the eye. Some hunters believe this is the first step in the total ban on all hunting…

Understandably… the big guns will be coming out of the bushes representing all sides of the issue. Also, the gallery is filling up quickly with interested parties who stand to lose or gain in some way depending on the final result.

Hunters and hunting support groups such as guides, outfitters and taxidermists are lining up on one side with lots of ranchers and pro-gun lobbyists. Supporters of the hunting ban are being joined by numerous scientists concerned for species diversity, animal rights proponents, and pacifists of all kinds.

You can be darned sure the bad guys are watching, too. Irrespective of the final outcome…, heightened public awareness about bear hunting issues will affect their way of doing business. This will reverberate throughout the community of those who prosper from both the legal and illegal killing of bears, from our local community poachers to the sophisticated international criminals who deal in the animals parts commodities market.

You can also be sure the politicians are watching this process. And… also lots of other public advocacy groups…


Bear hunting ban under the gun

The Morning Sun, Vernon, BC
by Richard Rolke

… Marr said that while only one proponent – the WCWC – can push for the referendum, and unlimited number of opponents – in this case 107 hunting groups – can fight the petition campaign. “Further, the single proponent must work all 75 districts to ensure all succeed, whereas the 107 opponents need concentrate on one district. If we fail in just one district, the whole project fails. The rules are stacked against us.”


Victim of bear attack back campaign to end hunting

The Vancouver Sun

by Larry Pynn

Chilliwack – Just two months after he was mauled while camping, Jackson Brown would seem an unlikely person to sign a petition against bear hunting. But Brown says he holds no grudge against bears…


Campaign to ban bear hunt seeks help

The Penticton Herald

… Anthony Marr said he has about 15 people in the Penticton area so far to collect 3,200 signatures… Marr said about two-thirds of some 2,000 volunteers have so far been approved…


Bear hunt protestors seek petition support

The Beachcomber, Saanich, BC

… The group says that, on a global scale, bears are in decline. Four of the world’s seven bear species are endangered, and Grizzly and Polar bears are in decline. The America Black bear is the only species still doing relatively well… “We must act now to save BC bear from endangerment. Our BC bears are faced with the same threats as the Asiatic Black and Russian Brown bears,” said the bear initiative co-ordinator for Greater Victoria, Liora Freedman.


Bid to ban bear hunting spreading

The Sun, Vernon, BC

Despite the odds, Anthony Marr is bearing down… “Even though we may not succeed in the petition, we’ll have launched a powerful educational campaign,” he said…


Shooting to ban bear hunting

The Trail Times
by Lana Rodlie

Anthony Marr knows his chances of getting a provincial referendum on banning bear hunting is about as probable as a snowflake’s chance on a hotplate, but he’s trudging along getting signatures anyway… “Every observer says we can’t do it,” Marr said… While touring the province… he has been scorned, yelled at, intimidated, threatened and slandered.

In Penticton, 50 hunters showed up to disrupt a meeting… More hunters overran a similar meeting in Prince George and in Kamloops.

In Campbell River, he was told by one hunter that he saw Marr on TV, and the price on Marr’s head “just went up $10,000”, and another cited Marr’s Chinese Canadian heritage as “doing damage to our culture”. In Port Alberni, 60 hunters…

Marr doesn’t care if he is up against insurmountable odds, he still hopes to get his message out… One of the most frequently asked questions by hunters is why they are being persecuted when the real culprits are poachers. Marr said that they are both culprits, and the difference between a hunter and a poacher is irrelevant if you’re a bear.

When told that hunters could help by watching for poachers, Marr said that was like “wolves keeping coyotes from sheep.”…


Anthony Marr targeted by angry hunters in the north

Victoria News
by Wendy Cook

… Marr says BC hunters seem to be short-sighted in their vision of the potential crisis. “They don’t accept the global scene. They say ‘This is BC, don’t talk about Asia’ but the world is getting pretty small. What happens over here has an effect over there and vice versa,” he says.

BCWF’s Doug Walker does not agree. “To say expansion in China will increase the use of bear parts here is unfair…,” he says…


Hunting opponents struggle

Nelson Daily News
by Bob Hall

Anthony Marr admits it is a daunting task, but has vowed to go the distance in the effort to ban bear hunting in BC… “Pessimists say it is possible but very difficult and optimists say it is very difficult but possible,” said Marr, who was in Nelson over the weekend to rally support of volunteers who are collecting signatures. “We’re saying the latter and have to work on that premise to just keep going…”


Bear opponents hunting for Peninsula support

Peninsula News Review, Saanich, BC
by Brian Dryden

… One of the canvassers in Sidney set up tables in front of local grocery stores to give the campaign higher visibility…


Group bears legislative flaws

Summerland Review, Summerland, BC

… numerous legal obstacles… In each riding a different set of petition is used… If signatures in even one riding are less than 10% of eligible voters, the whole petition becomes invalid. / Another obstacle is that the petition must be completed by Dec. 9, or 90 days after it was started…


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)

Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 27: September Media Coverage

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 27 – September Media Coverage


September 1996
Common Ground monthly magazine
by Sue Fox
WCWC’s Communications and Publications Director

BET’R vote yes in Bear Referendum

The BET’R Campaign was launched by Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaigner Anthony Marr last fall to save the world’s endangered and threatened bears, elephants, tigers and rhinos. Anthony, being a Chinese Canadian, chose these four groups to protect because they are the ones most devastated by the Chinese tradition of using their body parts for medicinal and other purposes.
Of these species, 3 sub-species of tigers are extinct, while both species of elephants, all 5 species of rhino, the remaining 5 sub-species of tigers and 5 out of 8 bear species are classified CITES I – endangered. Of the remaining 3 species of bears, the Grizzly (Brown) bear – classified as endangered in several countries, and threatened in the rest, including Canada – is the next in line, followed by the Polar bear and the American Black bear. . . .
One June 5, 1996, WCWC’s founder Paul George hosted a media conference to announce the launching of the initiative to ban bear hunting in BC, and to kick off an 8-week road tour throughout BC by Anthony Marr. . . .
“I feel deep down inside that all hunting, whether for pleasure (recreational hunting), for ego (trophy hunting), or for profit (poaching), is morally wrong,” says Anthony. It is especially abominable for adults to teach children under age 10 to kill for fun ‘to hook them for life’, when these same children are too young to drive or vote.
“More over, BC has the potential to become the ecotourism capital of the world, if we stop squandering our wildlife and wilderness right now.”
Though Anthony’s road tour drew numerous highly dedicated volunteers and widespread media coverage, it also encountered hallfuls of hostile hunters . . .


September 4, 1996, Sun.
Sing Tao Sunday Magazine
(translated from Chinese)

The great bear-hunt debate

As of September 9, the WCWC will begin its 90-day Initiative Petition to try to force a province-wide referendum on the issue of banning bear hunting in BC.
On June 14, 1996, a 54 year old hunter was killed by a large Black bear at Tatlayoko Lake Valley, leaving behind his wife and 4 children.
In November, 1995, a Burnaby merchant was charged with possession of 33 bear gall bladders for the purpose of trafficking.
On February 1, 1993, the BC legislature passed a law to ban the possession and sale of bear parts. . . .
Since 1994, conservation officers have killed about 1,500 “nuisance” Black bears.
Of the 34 Black bears studied in a 3-year research project on Vancouver Island, 3 were killed by legal hunters, 3 by poachers, 4 by vehicles and 9 (3 females and 6 cubs) by other bears. . . .
Chinese Canadian bear hunter Wong Wing-Sing reported that over the several years he hunted bears, he’d been approached by a number of hunters and poachers who tried to sell him bear gall bladders. Most of these were Caucasians, and some were Aboriginals.
Hunter Med Crotteau said that groups like Bear Watch has no sincere wish to protect bears, but instead to wipe out bear hunters. He said that such groups are criminals and terrorists. . . .
Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaigner Anthony Marr, who is a Chinese Canadian, says that the government’s bear information – to overestimate total population and underestimate poaching extent – is slanted in favour of hunting, and is often quoted by hunters.
Regarding bear attacks, Marr says that it’s been overblown. “Bears are generally not aggressive against humans,” Marr said. “Their diet constitutes 70% vegetation, and the other 30% is largely scavenging. As for the attack incident in June, the bear was eventually shot and autopsy revealed that it has suffered brain damage due to a previous shooting; its behaviour was not typical of Black bears.”
Finally, he asks people who live in rural areas to manage their garbage disposal accordingly. Once a bear has become garbage habituated, it will be shot.


Bear-hunt opponents seek referendum

The Province, Vancouver, BC
by John Bermingham

… “The deadliest enemy is not the hunters, but the apathy of the ‘silent majority’,” said Marr…


All in favour of saving bear, vote yes – BC tests referendum law

The Globe and Mail, national
by Craig McInnes

… the critics say the hurdles set by the law render hollow the promise that people will be able to take matters into their own hands if politicians refuse to act as citizens believe they should…


Poaching won’t be tolerated – Ramsey

The Province, Vancouver, BC
by John Colbourn

“I respect the people who have brought this (petition) forwards,” said (Environment Minister Paul) Ramsey. “Whether or not banning hunting is a part of preserving the bear population is something the public is going to have to decide.”…


Anti-bear hunt petition launched

Sing Tao Daily (Chinese), international

… Ma Seeu Sung urges the Chinese community to stand up and speak out…


Battle for the bear commences

Ming Pao (Chinese), international
… Hunter Med Crotteau rebukes Ma’s campaign as being insulting to the Chinese community…


Bear crusader says pro-hunting side well organized

The Daily News, Kamloops, BC
by Michelle Young

An anti-bear-hunt crusader says he wasn’t surprised by the response of callers to his appearance on a Kamloops radio talk-show Monday morning.

Anthony Marr of the WCWC said the 1.5 hour show, hosted by Daily News editor Met Rothenburger on JC-55, drew 19 callers in favour of hunting, five against. The pro-hunting side is well organized and plugged up phone lines, he said about his appearance against BC Wildlife Federation president John Holdstock… “The 5 versus 19 call-ins illustrates that the silent majority is still silent,” he said…


Bear-hunt ban campaign strains ties between wilderness allies

The Daily News, Kamloops, BC
by Michelle Young

… BC Wildlife Federation president… John Holdstock said the WCWC’s effort …has already upset his group’s members.

“I’ve never seen our membership so angry,” he said. “An initiative like this goes to the core of what we do and what we believe in.”… “Anthony Marr has been trying to sell it as an anti-poaching issue. It’s a pro-poaching issue.”…


WCWC on its own bear hunt

Victoria News, Weekend Edition
by Anthony van der Guglen

…Behind the campaign is the premise that the province’s bear population is threatened by hunting, poaching and habitat loss…


BC Wildlife Federation forced to apologize for accusing WCWC of terror tactics

The Vancouver Sun
by Larry Pynn

The BC Wildlife Federation … has pulled the fall issue of its magazine off newsstand shelves because it contains defamatory statements against the WCWC.

As well, in ads appearing in The Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers, the federation makes a public apology for describing the environmental group, which prides itself on adopting legal tactics, as terrorists… In his editorial, (BCWF executive director Doug) Walker likened the WCWC to ‘terrorists groups who threaten human lives, burn houses, send razor blades in the mail or kill family pets to get attention…’

…Wilderness Committee director Paul George said in an interview the recall of the magazines and the apology in the Vancouver dailies is only a first step. The Federation must also apologize in smaller papers throughout the province and agree to pay all the Committee’s legal costs in launching the BC Supreme Court libel suit against the Federation, Walker and president John Holdstock…


Ban bear hunting

Terminal City, Vancouver, BC
by Paul Johnson

… One of BC’s foremost environmental organizations has discovered just how difficult the process surrounding citizens’ referendum can be. The WCWC is seeking to…

“The rules are just about unworkable,” says WCWC’s Anthony Marr. Their first problem is that referendum rules stipulate that there can be only one proponent for a referendum, but an unlimited number of opponents. In this case, Marr says, it’s WCWC against 107 parties: 69 organizations and 38 individuals… WCWC is also bogged down in the mechanics of the process… Marr points out that while referendums are common in many American states, “in BC things are so tough that no one has been successful in organizing a referendum.”


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)

Part II: Bear Referendum – Ch. 26: August Media Coverage

Part II – Bear Referendum
Chapter 26 – August Media Coverage


August 1, 1996, Thur.
The Georgia Straight
by Charlie Smith

Hunters target Marr

During a recent province-wide tour, Western Canada wilderness Committee wildlife campaigner Anthony Marr discovered how difficult it will be to achieve a ban on bear hunting. He told the Straight that in public meetings to promote holding a vote on the issue, he was usually hounded by dozens of angry hunters who tried to intimidate him. “In Port Alberni, 60 of them showed up, and there were only five environmentalists,” Marr said. “They are organized and they are hostile, and when they show up, it’s 10 to one – 10 of them to one of us.”
Elections BC reported as of July 26 that 87 groups and individuals had registered themselves as opponents to WCWC’s proposed initiative on prohibiting bear hunting. “Our association will certainly be opposing the initiative drive in various ways, because I don’t think that the Western Canada Wilderness Committee should be allowed to get away with spreading misleading information about this particular issue,” Guide-Outfitters of BC general manger Dale Drown told the Straight. . . .
Marr will speak about this issue on Thursday, August 8, at the H.R. MacMillan Planetarium at 7:30 p.m. – and he expects to see angry hunters in the audience. “I’m beginning to enjoy confronting them,” he chuckled.


August 1, 1996, Thur.
The Shuswap Sun
Salmon Arm
by Dan Odenbach

Just another meeting Marred by Anthony

Compared to most of his other meetings around the province, Anthony Marr’s last stop in Salmon Arm was a tame one.
Marr, wildlife campaigners of Western Canada Wilderness Committee, held an information meeting in the Salmon Arm Community Center last week to generate support for WCWC’s end-the-bear-hunt initiative.
Organizers wouldn’t release the place and time of the meeting because they feared bear hunters would show up to disrupt the meeting.
“There is no point in holding a public meeting if it’s going to be destroyed by all the interruptions,” said local WCWC member Alan Bangay. . . .
Marr has been on a province-wide tour since June 5. . . .
. . . . “Some of the hunters have been stalking me around the province, showing up more than once,” recalls Marr. . . .


August 2, 1996, Fri.
Pique News magazine
by Michael Allen
Black bear researcher

Bear update: Hunting bears increases bears’ value

. . . In August, Anthony Marr, an environmentalist who has been campaigning for the last several years against the illegal trade in bear parts, will be arriving in Whistler to campaign for the banning of legal bear hunting in BC. When I first heard of Mr. Marr and his battle against the illegal trade of bear parts, I thought it was great that someone was taking a strong hold on this issue. But when I learned of his new campaign with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee on legal bear hunting in BC, I was shocked.
His argument against the poaching of bears and the illegal trade of their parts is strong and I am in support, but I seriously question if he has the scientific data to support the argument for the campaign . . . With respect to Mr. Marr, I do not think he even has the background to attempt an assessment of Black bear management in BC. . . .
In order to increase the Black bear’s value and thus be managed more critically it must continue to be hunted as a big game animal. Black bears must . . . have some use to be valued . . .
. . . . If we banned bear hunting in BC, the bears would be the first to suffer. Their value would drop and they would be subject to increased poaching because Black bear value would rise on the illegal trade market. It would be very difficult to manage (than now) because the information generated from hunter harvest statistics would not be available to indicate trends in population levels. . . .
Revenue generated from hunting in BC helps to fund many habitat conservation projects and wildlife research. Hunters also provide input to bear numbers and incidents of poaching. . . .


August 6, 1996, Tue.
The Shoppers’ Guide
Salmon Arm
by Ruth Keskinen

Bears possibly endangered in BC in the future

Anthony Marr, who grew up in Hong Kong, has a message for Canadians. . . .
Marr, a wildlife campaigner for Western Canada Wilderness Committee, estimates that the trade in exotic and endangered animals, in whole or part, dead or alive, gross $6 billion a year worldwide.
“If only 0.1% of the Asian population use these animals parts, it would be a huge market,” said Marr . . .
Marr said if bear-hunting is banned, then it would be a clear-cut case that anyone caught killing a bear is a poacher. . . .
Marr said his meetings throughout the province have met with a great deal of opposition from hunters. “They pride themselves as the eyes and ears in the field against poachers, but it’s like coyotes watching over sheep against wolves,” said Marr. . . .


August 8, 1996, Thur.
The Valley Voice
New Denver

Bear Protection Act campaign gets under way

Anthony Marr, biodiversity campaigner for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee and lead campaigner of WCWC’s BET’R (bear, elephant, tiger & rhino) Campaign, has received approval for $75,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for work aimed at preserving the Bengal tiger against poaching and habitat loss in India.
On the anti-bear-hunt campaign, Marr said, “In Quebec, it is legal to possess and sell indigenous bear parts. In BC, both are illegal. This allows for a legal loop-hole big enough to shove a few thousand dead bears through, where poachers can ‘launder’ illegal BC bear gall bladders into legal Quebec gall bladders. Not only would the Quebec government legalize them for you, it would give each gall a tag number, and allow you to export them out of the country to places like South Korea. There is an increase in demand in Asian countries, which has already driven the Asiatic Black bear to the brink of extinction. Now, it’s our bears over here taking over the load.”
. . . . If you would like to volunteer to collect petition signatures for this campaign, please call Erica Mallam at the Valhalla Wilderness Preservation Society office.


August 11, 1996
Kee-Two Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
2061 70th Street S.E.
Salmon Arm

Attention: Paul George, Adriane Carr, Joe Foy

I thought that you might be interested in my perception of Anthony Marr’s presentation, which I attended in Salmon Arm.
I was informed of this meeting approximately an hour before it was due to start, and thus had no preconception of what to expect.
However, I was totally mesmerized by Anthony’s presentation, which I found to be very powerful and emotional. Anthony is a very quiet-spoken person – no histrionics, but nevertheless a lot of drama. I really listened to what he was saying, and every word hit home like an arrow, and stayed with me long after he had finished.
Theoretically I have been aware of the atrocities perpetrated on bears due to poaching, and I have always been anti-sport-and-trophy-hunting, but Anthony’s way of presenting had a huge effect on me, and actually galvanized me on the spot into helping with this campaign.
I personally can’t recommend this presentation enough, and the friends that I attended with are in total agreement with me.
The very best of luck with this campaign.


Karen Beggs


August 12, 1996
Pique News magazine
by David Gowmon
North Vancouver

It was with some interest, and concern, that I read Michael Allen’s recent article “Hunting bears increase bears’ value” in response to Anthony Marr’s campaign . . .
There may be an argument in favour of some form of bear control, from time to time . . . And closely regulated legal hunting may be the most effective way of doing this. But I feel that Anthony Marr’s campaign carries a much deeper and troubling message for us all, which cannot be addressed in narrow scientific terms. . . .
The extreme position taken by environmentalists such as Anthony Marr are telling us all to wake up and smell the coffee before the pot boils over . . .


August 17, 1996, Sat.
The Vancouver Sun
“Westcoast People”
by Mia Stainsby

Caught at a Cultural Crossroads
A Chinese-Canadian environmentalist takes on both the Chinese and Canadian traditions

Anthony Marr, the man who’s threatening to take all the fun out of bear hunting, is in a show down with hunters, is sitting in a Gastown cafe. “Mind if I order breakfast?” he asks.
He orders scrambled eggs and sausages.
He’s working on becoming a vegetarian. “It’s little tough right now. Most Chinese people eat a little meat and vegetable with the rice. My parents do, and I have dinner with them quite often.”
Marr, 52, is in a show-down against hunters, who aren’t taking too kindly to his quest to put an end to bear hunting in BC. The winding path that brought him to this juncture appeared before him unexpectedly.
In truth, Marr would rather be with his “baby”, a book over 800 pages long called OMNI-SCIENCE, A New Theory of Cosmology, which he began writing in 1979.
So what is he doing in conflict over bear hunting, after spending decades writing about cosmic harmony? On a recent tour of 50 rural BC communities, he faced rooms of angry hunters and has a fistful of press clippings about the dust ups. On the other hand, he also found supporters in those communities.
Being a Chinese-Canadian has almost everything to do with the genesis of his environmental activism. The more he heard about the Chinese use of animal parts, especially those from endangered species like the tiger and rhino, the more he felt compelled to speak up.
“Something’s got to be done about this,” he said to his friends. “And I think a Chinese person should do it, and I think you’re looking at him.” That was three and a half years ago. . . .
On the subject of hunting, Marr has killed animals before and understand the hunters’ mind set. “When you own a hunting rifle, you really want to shoot it at something alive. The gun almost demands it,” he says.
Which explains how, in 1965 and 1976, while working as a geophysics surveyor, he joined in two “yahoo” killings. He remembers the dates because the incidents were etched in his mind. . . .
Back at camp, on the last occasion, the wife of the helicopter pilot took a look at the mountain goat carcass in the sling and broke into tears. “Several minutes ago, this was a majestic creatures. See what you’ve done!” she cried.
It was a turning point for Marr, and the beginning of a new respect for wildlife. “I was deeply moved by her. I’ve never fired my gun since.” . . .
“I was going to concentrating on finishing my book, but all of a sudden, when I found out that the tiger had no more than a decade left in the wild, my time was usurped. It was more urgent. But the book will remain the crowning achievement of my life.”. . .
Nearly completed, it is more than the boasting of a bloated ego. In talks with academics up and down the West Coast, he’s drawn raving reviews.
About the manuscript and Marr’s presentation, Donald Savage, a UC Berkeley professor of paleontology wrote: “Professors and scientists at the universities of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, to date, have each spent two hours or more listening to the powerful presentation of Anthony Marr of his erudite synthesis of scientific, philosophical and sociological theory. I can add nothing to the praise that has been heaped upon Mr. Marr and his ideas by these women and men, and I endorse their statement without reservation.”
Marr has 30 such letters of support for the publication of his work.
The other issue in which Marr has become embroiled is that of cutting trees on private property in Vancouver.
The perception that recent Chinese immigrants do cut down trees is well founded, he believes. “Some new Oriental property owners think that it would enhance the property value, especially if they want to sell to another Oriental,” Marr says. “Superstitious systems like Feng Shui also has a lot to do about it.”
It is talked about among community residents privately, but not publicly because no one wants to be seen as a racists, “but the sentiment is very much there,” he says.
Love may have something to do with Marr’s critical stance on Chinese culture.
“I think my first true love was a Chinese woman whose family forced her to break up with me on grounds of social disparity between our two families, at pain of being disowned. To my great disappointment, she bowed to the pressure. That was back in 1967, and I became very disenchanted with the Chinese culture in specific and old traditions in general. Whether by intent or coincidence, I’ve never dated a Chinese woman eversince.
“But in retrospect, it was a bless in disguise, because if that didn’t happen, I might still be deeply entrenched in the Chinese community like so many other Chinese immigrants,” he says.
The Chinese reaction to Marr is mixed. At schools, he received enthusiastic support from students. “But when I appear on Chinese radio talk shows, I catch quite a bit of flack. The two main questions were: ‘Why are you trying to blacken the Chinese reputation?’ and ‘Why are you working against humans in favour of animals?’” . . .
Angela Kwan, executive director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Vancouver, doesn’t for a moment believe everything about the Chinese culture is good. “But I hope he can be open to the process of gradual change,” she says. “I hope he goes and talks to different groups and looks at both points of view and map out a process for change, rather than going from A to Z right away.”
“There is no time for gradual change where the tiger is concerned,” Marr says. . ..
Kwan said the Chinese group that opposed the tree-cutting bylaw in Vancouver was making a point about over-regulation of private property, and “unfortunately, it was focused on trees.”
Marr considers such arguments hypocritical. “Why are they focused on trees, and why are they the only group opposing the new bylaw?” he asks.
Joseph Lin, executive director of the Taiwan Canadian Cultural Society, supports Marr’s work, but emphasizes the diversity of options among Chinese-Canadians.
Lin said Taiwanese people immigrate to Canada for two reasons: better education for their children and the quality of the environment, including trees on their properties.
Marr summed up his unique position in the environmental movement by saying, “Other than for the trees and animals, I want to make it known to society in general by my own example that not all Chinese people are tree cutters or animal parts users. And I believe that I speak for a significant sector of the Chinese-Canadian community.”


August 20, 1996, Tue.

May Adams

Dear Anthony:
I am a first generation Chinese Canadian, and very disturbed and perturbed with what is happening in Vancouver and environs. Like you, I am against the wanton destruction of trees and the use of animals parts for self-indulgence . . .
Also, I am upset that our mayor and city councilors choosing to succumb to the minority pressure of the so called Homeowners Association . . .
With what has been happening to this once-beautiful city, I do not feel proud being Chinese.
I am so glad that you came along (and just barely in time, Anthony) to represent those like myself . . .
Good luck to you in your outstanding work . . . You are OUR man! Go for it!

With much admiration

May Adams and family


August 21, 1996, Wed.
The Express
by Ethan Baron

Group seeks bear hunting ban

. . . “We’re focusing on bears and bears alone because of the recent huge escalation of poaching . . .,” said Anthony Marr, who is spearheading the referendum drive for Western Canada Wilderness Committee.
Ministry of Environment officials estimate that 850 Grizzlies and 7,350 Black bears live in the West Kootenay, said Bob Forbes, the ministry’s regional wildlife section head. . . .
But the ministry’s number are “highly inflated and don’t reflect the true number of bears,” said bear biologist Wayne McCrory, a Valhalla Society member who has performed extensive studies on bears for BC Parks and the Canadian Warden Service.
“They just use crude ways of estimating populations.”
In the West Kootenay last year, 646 hunters took to the woods, killing 25 Grizzlies (19 male and 6 female) and 197 Black bears (159 male and 38 female), said Bill Macpherson, environment ministry spokesman. . . .
Not everybody agrees that bears are in decline in BC.
“Bears are very, very difficult to inventory,” said John Holdstock, president of the BC Wildlife Federation, the province’s largest hunting lobby group. “All the empirical evidence indicates stable populations. If they’re trying to sell this as a conservation issue, they’re giving false information.”
Should the people of BC decide to ban bear hunting, the animals will be more vulnerable to poachers, Holdstock said. Hunters act as “eyes and ears” to prevent poaching, he said. . . .
He believes numbers of both Grizzlies and Black bears are “stable”. He acknowledged that “bear populations are affected by hunting,” but said, “the actual hunting mortality, the hunting level is well down on the list of problems for bears.” . . .


The Fortunate and The Called Upon
at your service


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC) (AM’s 3rd-book-in-the-making)