|Rajko Dodic <[email protected]>||Received Oct 6, 10:51 AM|
Fish & Game Association Survey Responses (in the order they were posed):
- In the interests of full disclosure, your members may be aware that ten or so years or ago, I supported an initiative that would have the current shooting sports facility moved out of Lethbridge and into the County. The idea was to have the City assist in such a move over a period of time to ensure the least amount of disruption to those using the facility. The Resolution was not successful and the shooting range continues at its’ current location to this date. When City Council votes on an issue and the majority support whatever the initiative may be, it then becomes a Council decision. What that means is that all Council members, irrespective of how they voted on an issue, are to support the decision because that was what the majority decided. That’s the essence of democracy. My practice has always been to accept whatever decision may be and then move forward and not attempt to revisit an issue even though one may do so after the expiration of six months. An example where Council did not do that is in the case of the blue bin recycling program that was defeated a number of times, revisited a number of times and finally was approved. The point I am trying to make is that once Council had made the decision to retain the current site, I adopted that decision and never made efforts to have it revisited. My stance today is that Council has decided and I support the current location.
- Frankly, I doubt the Federal Government would place the ‘banning of handguns’ in the hands of Municipal Councils. It may be one of their ‘talking points’ but you can well imagine how unworkable such an attempt might be where you have thousands of various sized municipalities each potentially having their own version of handgun ‘control’. Thus, you can have handguns legal in one City and, if you went to another one, even with a proper transport permit, you might find yourself offside that particular municipality’s laws. I don’t support any law that would prohibit law abiding sportspeople from owning, transporting and using handguns in a safe and properly supervised location designed for shooting firearms.
- Our communities aren’t made safer by preventing law abiding people from owning legal weapons irrespective of what they may be. Making bans of anything retroactively is not an appropriate way to deal with any issue. I have to admit that I may not understand the need or desire to own an ‘assault-style’ weapon, neverthelkess, I am certainly not going to advocate that they be banned. The key phrase in your question is the reference to ‘law-abiding people’ and, by definition, such folks are responsible users of firearms…..that’s what you would want in a gun owner.
- I am not currently familiar with the process of becoming a licensed firearm owner in Canada today. Decades ago, when I went bird hunting with friends (pheasant, quail, grouse, ducks and geese) I was required to obtain a Firearms Acquisition Permit which has since lapsed. The sad reality was that, as a hunter, I really sucked. Luckily, I replaced my lack of hunting prowess, by going north of Prince Rupert, B.C. to fish for Salmon and Halibut at which endeavor I was more successful.
- My limited experiences with sport shooting are as noted in the response to the previous question. The few times I hunted, I made sure that the hunting was legal (not out of season or on private property without permission), that we removed our shell casings and any refuse, didn’t damage the area we were hunting in, only took as many birds that we could actually eat and generally made sure that we left the area where we were hunting in the same condition we found it. I could spout what GOOGLE defines as ethical hunting but I think my personal experiences should give you a sense of what I believe ethical hunting involves.
- Other than visiting the shooting sports facility years ago to see the safety upgrades that were made, I have not visited the site since.
- In terms of financial support, I could give you the answer that I am sure a number of candidates may give which would be that they would support further City financial support. My answer, however, is that there numerous community projects that would be great to have but if you are familiar with the Capital Improvement Program, you will know that only a small number of projects can actually be funded. Each project has to be compared to every other project and, at the end of the day, the theory is that the project that has the most community buy-in will likely be approved always bearing in mind that there are only limited monies available. A project has a better chance of success if there are targeted grants available from either or both of the Federal or Provincial Government. For example, the Province made a fair bit of money available for the Lethbridge and District Exhibition expansion which made it much more attractive for the City to contribute local tax payer money for the project. The short answer to the question is that, if a capital funding request is made, it will be considered having regard to the other projects being advocated for. In short, no promises….but a fair hearing.
- I do believe that the Shooting Sports facilities and related organization represents an important resource in our community. There are many organizations in Lethbridge that fit into this description which is important for a diverse community with a variety of interests when it comes to leisure and recreational activities.
- I don’t think the Shooting Sports Facility should be treated any differently from other sporting venues that are organized and operated by non-profits such as the Fish and Game Association.
- Clearly, conservation and preservation of habitat are worthy goals but my only involvement is financially donating, from time to time, to various organizations that are also involved in trying to achieve those goals.
City of Lethbridge Councillor Candidate
October 6, 2021