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Politics

Manitoba Premier says night hunting creating ‘race war’

Premier Brian Pallister says indigenous people shouldn't be night hunting and the practice is creating what he calls "race war.".
Premier Brian Pallister says indigenous people shouldn't be night hunting and the practice is creating what he calls "race war.". The Canadian Press/John Woods

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s premier said indigenous people shouldn’t be night hunting and the practice is creating what he calls a “race war.”

Brian Pallister made the comment during a speech to fellow Progressive Conservatives earlier this week in Virden, Man.

“This is a poor practice, a dumb practice, an unfair practice,” Pallister is heard saying in audio recorded by CJ103 Radio. “It’s just not right. It should stop. So what are we doing? Well we’re organizing. We’re bringing indigenous people together to say the same thing I just said to you. Because it’s becoming a race war and I don’t want that.”

“Young indigenous guys going out and shooting a bunch of moose because they can, because it’s their right. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”

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Listen: Premier Brian Pallister speaking about night hunting in Virden, Manitoba

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RELATED: Manitoba group calls for ban on spotlighting while hunting at night

Indigenous people have the right to hunt at night in Manitoba, but it is illegal for others.

“I think it’s very irresponsible. He’s supposed to be the leader of our province and yet instead of bringing people together, he’s trying to divide,” NDP spokesperson for reconciliation, Wab Kinew said.

“The premier should make amends, he should apologize and the apology should be made in person and not from his porch in Costa Rica.”

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The premier’s office confirmed Friday afternoon that he is at his home in Costa Rica. It is unclear when he plans to be back in the province.

Kinew said he raised the issue of night hunting with Pallister “a few months back” and nothing came from it.

“Reports of dangerous hunting practices have increased and the number of charges associated with night hunting – which is illegal for all Manitobans when it occurs on private property without permission or from a provincial road – have grown dramatically,” Pallister said in a statement Friday afternoon.

RELATED: 8 people charged for illegally hunting moose in Manitoba

The statement continued to say that the number of charges associated with night hunting have “grown dramatically”.

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“Our government is pursuing a consultative process which will include all parties to this issue in order to ensure that public safety and wildlife conservation are at the center of any enhanced enforcement initiatives intended to curtail this dangerous practice,” Pallister’s statement said.

With files from The Canadian Press