Friday, July 3, 2015

trafficking in wildlife

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Ayn Rand

It was not so long ago that Canada was nothing but wilderness from coast to coast.  The pioneering experience of our ancestors is one of the reasons why we are still such a free society. The struggle to transform temperate forests into arable land instilled within our forefathers a great respect for property rights. But agriculture isn't the only way to extract a living from the land. Ever since the first settlers walked across the Bering strait men have been feeding themselves and their families by pitting their own ingenuity against that of the savage beast. Unfortunately, like too many other aspects of peaceful behaviour, the ancient tradition of hunting too has been criminalized.

Enter the L’Hirondelles. After being ratted out by an anonymous complainant (isn't there anything more pathetic than the now ubiquitous snitch lines promoted by the state?  hasn't anyone read 1984?) the Province of Alberta decided to waste taxpayer's money on an undercover investigation into black market elk trafficking. While each and every one of Edmonton's 11 homicides this year have gone unsolved, police resources are being directed towards a crack down on unauthorized hunting. There was a time in this country when people actually valued work. Where trafficking in wildlife would have been considered a valuable service to the community, not a crime. Where the L’Hirondelles would enjoy some tasty meals for their efforts instead of the confiscation of their meat and what meager funds they had acquired by fascist authorities and $42,500 in fines. Unfortunately we live in Canada, where the rights of deer trump those of people.

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