Deer damage and rent increases

Deer damage and rent increases

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Sounds like a new comedy starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. But these issues are far from funny and continue to take their toll on people’s lives.

The overpopulation of deer in the Okanagan is a growing problem for tree fruit growers and motorists alike.

Deer on BC highways cause countless accidents and injuries every year. According to BC government statistics, more than 10,000 wildlife vehicle collisions occur every year, resulting in approximately 570 personal injuries and three fatalities. Approximately 80 per cent of wildlife vehicle collisions involve deer.

In a typical year $700,000 is spent by the Ministry of Transportation for highway cleanup due to collisions with wildlife, and more than 6,000 animals are recorded as killed.

While there are no real statistics for deer damage in orchards, it continues to hit growers hard in the pocketbook. Eating the fruit is one thing, but stripping the leaves off young trees virtually stunts their growth and kills the tree as far as production goes.

While fencing every orchard is not practical, establishing perimeter fencing around the community is an option. The government does it along our highways, so why not our communities?

Culling deer is the other option, albeit an unpopular one with the general public. Visions of Bambi are conjured every time the word “cull” is mentioned. But there’s rarely a backlash when municipalities declare open season on Canada Geese. For example, the Town of Oliver approves geese hunting within town limits every fall. But nobody seems to care that these beautiful creatures are blown away by hunters in the Tucelnuit Lake area. Go figure.

The urban deer population in the Okanagan is out of control and something needs to be done about it. We can’t keep telling farmers that deer damage is the cost of doing business, and we can’t expect motorists to keep playing a deadly game of roulette with deer on our roads.

Rent increases

We understand that landlords want to make money. Stepping inside their shoes, we would want to make money too, especially market value on our rents.

Same goes for property managers; we would try to get the best return for our client. Just doing our job.

But come on, guys, a 48 per cent increase on the back of an old age pensioner? That seems rather harsh.

While $1,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment may be line with similar units in the area, one has to realize the impact such an increase will have on this pensioner. He won’t be able to afford it and will have to move out. Maybe this is what the landlord wants.

We know that compassion really has no place in business, but a little discretion and compromise go a long way in landlord/tenant relations.

Just saying.

Lyonel Doherty, editor

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