Bear Campaign

Bear News Articles 1995-11 to 1996-08
(see below)

Bear News Articles 1996-09 to 1996-12

Bear News Articles 1997

Bear News Articles 1998 to 1999


1995-11-22-3         The Vancouver Courier         by Kerry Gold

[China-born environmentalist says many Chinese immigrants to urbanized to care about conservation]

"…While his current campaign focus is the illegal trade in bear and tiger parts, he says he’ll get involved in any environmental issue…"

1995-12-06-3         Ming Pao Daily (Chinese), Vancouver         by Eric Chan

[Ma Seeu Sung spreads environmentalism into Chinese community]

"…’If we don’t change our ways and drive the tiger to extinction, our reputation will be forever mud,’ says Ma Seeu Sung…"

1996-01-28-7         The Vancouver Courier         by Mrs. V. Kennedy 

[Animal torture justifies anger]

"To the editor: Your article on Toney Mars was an eye-opener. Now I realize why those who struggle for the ethical treatment of animals are so vehemently angry…"

1996-04-09         Ming Pao Daily News, Vancouver         by Eric Chan

[Federal wildlife trade law soon in force]

"…Ma Seeu Sung hopes the new law will significantly empower Canadian law against the international illegal endangered species trade…"

1996-04-10-3         The Vancouver Echo         by Mike Bell

[Asian community takes on animal parts trade]

"It will take more than a little gall to stop the massive Chinese trade in animal parts, but Toney Mars has a feeling deep in his heart that he’s the one who can make a difference…"

1996-04-10-3         Associated Press

[Poaching surges for bear parts]

"… ‘Given a choice between a bottle of synthetic UDCA (Urso-deoxycholic Acid) and a real bear gall bladder, an old-timer will choose the latter every time; it’s half medicine and half mystique. It’s hard to fight superstition with a test tube,’ says Marr…

"… ‘If the Chinese really want to be modern, on par with the West, we have to do a lot of soul searching," he said…"

1996-04-12-5         Sing Tao Daily, Vancouver

[Grizzly-bear-poaching penalty increased to $25,000 max]

"…Toney Mars says that the new penalty, though raised, is still too lenient.  For a criminal who trade in millions of dollars, a penalty of $25,000 is ‘less than GST’…"

1996-04-14-7         The Richmond News         by Nevil Judd

[Anti-poaching activist disappointed with response from local schools]

"… ‘These areas are the epicentre of Chinese activity,’ said Marr… ‘Certainly, the demand side of the equation rests squarely on the shoulders of Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures…’…"

1996-05-07-2         The Vancouver Sun         by Nicholas Read

[Help our Grizzlies; stop hunting them]

"… Toney Mars says…all sport hunting should be abolished…"

1996-05-08-3         Ming Pao Daily News, Vancouver         by Eric Chan

[Chinese Canadian launching province-wide anti-bear-hurting referendum]

"… Marr considers killing of bears for entertainment or profit a ‘barbaric practice’."

1996-05-15-3         The Vancouver Sun         by Brian Morton

[Bear hunt wish not on list of foundation in Canada]

"… The local chapter of Canada’s Make-A-Wish Foundation has been swamped with calls protesting against a 17-year-old Minnesota boy’s being granted a wish by Make-A-Wish-America to hunt a Kodiak bear… Toney Mars, who is leading a WCWC campaign against bear hunting, said Make-A-Wish-Canada should try to persuade international chapters to ban hunting requests."

1996-05-16-4         The Province, Vancouver         by Charlie Anderson

[Canvassers out to stop bear hunts]

"…Toney Mars said…, ‘It’s going to require a massive effort, and we are counting on friends in other environmental groups to help out.’…"

1996-06-05-3         The Westerly News, Tofino, BC

[Referendum road tour aims to stop bear hunting]

"… ‘We are convinced that if something is not done now, the bears in BC will go the same way as the elephant’s and tiger’s and rhino’s paths towards extinction,’ said Marr. ‘The subject of this road tour is to halt this downward spiral.’…"

1996-06-07-5         The Vancouver Sun 

[Laws to curb wildlife trade]

"Ottawa -  Environment Minister Sergio Marchi has brought in stiff new regulations to curb the illegal trade in wildlife and plants. The regulation provides fines of up to $300,000 and jail terms of up to five years…Under previous legislation, it was illegal to import tiger parts into Canada, but once smuggled into the country such parts could be sold openly."

1996-06-08-6         Nanaimo Daily Free Press         by Paul Walton

[Wildlife group campaigns for referendum to ban bear hunting]

"… Marr believes that when poaching is included, about 10% of all bears in BC are killed annually… (he) said that the purpose of this wildlife road tour is to set up the infrastructure for a referendum vote on banning bear hunting…"

1996-06-12-3         Alberni Valley Times

[Wilderness group brings bear campaign to Port Alberni]

"The Western Canada Wilderness Committee is on the road to protect bears. The Bear Referendum Road Tour 1996 will be in Port Alberni on Thursday, June 13…"

1996-06-15-6         The News, Parksville/Qualicum         by Chris Beacom

[Bear Referendum meeting Friday]

"… Toney Mars and (campaign assistant) Erica Denison are visiting every town in the province to drum up support for a petition urging the government to hold a referendum on outlawing bear hunting… ‘We’ve had tremendous support on the island so far,’ Marr said, adding that 10% of all registered voters must sign the petition for a referendum to be held."

1996-06-18-2         Nanaimo Times         by Kim Goldberg

[Easy to bag – Let’s vote on bear hunting]

"… In the biggest and boldest campaign of its ecophilic history, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee has launched a referendum initiative which, if successful, could ban all sport and trophy hunting of bears in BC…"

1996-06-18-2         Times Colonist, Victoria, BC         by Malcolm Curtis

[Crusader wants everyone to vote on the future of bear-hunting]

"… ‘It’s going to be difficult up north and in places like the Chilcotin, but in the urban areas we see no problem,’ Marr said Monday…An Angus Reid poll last year showed that 78% of British Columbians oppose sport and trophy hunting of bears…Marr will give a presentation at the University of Victoria on Thursday night at the Begbie Building, Room 159, starting at 7 p.m.. Admission is free."

1996-06-19-3         The Paper, Parksville/Qualicum         by Valerie Baker

[Anti-hunting referendum proposal generates debate]

"… Marr was at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre… (He) is on an eight-week province-wide road tour of BC's 75 electoral districts…"

1996-06-20-4         Times Colonist, Victoria, BC         by Malcolm Curtis

[Bear hunters shoot back]

"Bear hunters are in a growlly mood over an environmental group’s bid to force a public vote on their sport… ‘That’s just garbage,’ Saanich hunter Terry Anderson said Wednesday, responding to a Times Colonist report about Marr’s referendum drive. ‘Your newspaper did not do justice to the cause of ethical hunters.’…Marr, meanwhile, is holding a meeting tonight at U.Vic.’s Begbie Building, Room 159, to promote his campaign."

1996-06-22-6         The News, Parksville/Qualicum, BC         by Chris Beacom

[Crusade to end bear hunting hits Qualicum Beach]

"The system. Difficult to change and more frustrating even to try. Toney Mars is finding out first-hand how far the provincial government needs to be pushed before change ensues… At the meeting the Chinese-born Marr was questioned by bear hunters for not cracking down on illegal Asian poaching instead of focusing on legal hunting… Denison expects battles ahead, especially in towns like Williams Lake. ‘They already know we’re coming. They have a front page headline saying ‘Bear hunting isn’t wrong’, and a hunter there just got killed by a bear near town. It could be tough,’ she said… Anyone interested in helping out with the cause can contact the WCWC at 1-800-661-WILD."

1996-07-03-3         The North Island Gazette, Port Hardy, BC         by Rob Giblak

[Group wants bear hunting banned]

"… Toney Mars visited the North Island recently to enlist volunteers…"

1996-07-03-3         The Northern Sentinel, Prince Rupert, BC         by Mary Vallis

[Bear hunt ban call]

"… ‘It is perverse for people to kill for fun,’ Marr maintained, ‘particularly if adults take their kids and teach them to kill.’…"

1996-07-03-3         The Daily News, Prince Rupert, BC         by Heather Colpitts

[Bear petition circulated]

"… ‘More than two decades ago, India banned tiger hunting and Kenya outlawed lion hunting. We have a moral obligation to lead the world, not straggle behind other countries," said Marr…"

1996-07-05-5         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Mike Cornell

[Environmentalist calls for bear-hunting ban]

"A controversial environmentalist will talk Monday at the PPWC hall, 427 Lansdowne St., at 7:30 p.m., about why he wants to see bear hunting banned in BC…"

1996-07-05-5         The Prince George Citizen         by Gordon Hoekstra

[Fur flies at meeting to ban bear hunts’]

"It was barely civil and sometimes downright ugly. In the end, it took a representative of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee close to two hours to deliver a plea for help to ban bear hunting in BC. Toney Mars was interrupted, shouted down, and generally abused by hunters in an audience of more than 100 that spilled out of the conference room at the Civic Centre Thursday evening…Marr had barely begun…before he was attacked…"

1996-07-08-1         Alaska Highway News, Fort St. John, BC         by Tania Wilson

[Banning bear hunting may help preserve the species: activist]

"… Toney Mars, a wildlife activist, was in Fort St. John last week to meet with local residents, and try to gain support for a referendum to ban bear hunting…"

1996-07-09-2         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Michelle Young

[Activist pleads for bear-hunt ban]

"With calm and respect, Toney Mars faced rapid-fire questioning from hunters and threw back a plea for them to stop hunting bears…"

1996-07-09-2         Echo/Pioneer, Chetwynd, BC         by Rick Davison

[WCWC wants bear hunting banned]

"It will be a tough fight, particularly in these parts, but Toney Mars of the WCWC is determined to stop the killing of bears in BC… His stand won him the admiration of some and the scorn of others…"

1996-07-10-3         The Terrace Standard         by Dave Taylor

[Crusader makes bid for bear hunting ban]

"… Marr says he has to go after legal hunting as well as illegal poaching…"

1996-07-10-3         The Mirror, Dawson Creek, BC         by Diana Stephenson

[Saving the bears]

"… Toney has been touring across the province for the last month, giving presentations and informing voters on just how much is at stake…"

1996-07-10-3         Kamloops This Week         by Michelle Daubney 

[Environmentalists and hunters lock horns]

"… Marr likened letting hunters manage wildlife to ‘giving our babies to a known child abuser’…"

1996-07-10-3         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Robert Koopmans

[Bear ban sets bad precedent]

"The thought of dead bears in the bush, minus their gallbladders and paws, makes me cringe. But there’s something in Toney Mars’s message that ripples my spine just as much… / It’s not the specifics of Marr’s anti-bear-hunting speech that are troubling, but what his campaign represents. Marr is the thin edge of a bigger wedge, an axe aimed at the heart of sport hunting in general…"

1996-07-11-4         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Mel Rothenburger

[Culture greatest threat to wildlife]

"Culture and the environment seem to be coming into conflict a lot lately… (Culture) can be a tremendous barrier to positive change… Earlier this week Toney Mars spoke to a few dozen people in Kamloops… / The prime reason is culture… Marr, who grew up in Hong Kong, understands the culture behind the insatiable appetite for rare animal parts, but devotes his life to fighting it… Lest Canadians get a little pious about the atrocities against wildlife committed in the name of culture in other countries, they should pay close attention to what’s happening in their own backyard."

1996-07-13-6         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Mel Rothenburger

[Impossible to get issue to a vote]

"Nobody ever promised democracy would be easy. Toney Mars, who grew up in Hong Kong, is learning all about that in Canada… Aside from the cogency of his argument, what struck me most about his objective is the near-impossibility of success. 

"The hurdles are staggering… Marr and WCWC simply won’t be able to get it to a provincial vote…"

1996-07-13-6         The Globe and Mail, Ontario

[Bid to end bear hunting to proceed]

"The WCWC has cleared another hurdle in its bid to end sport and trophy hunting of bears in BC. Chief Electoral Officer Robert Patterson has announced… that approval in principle has been given to the group’s initiative petition. The 90-day campaign is set to begin September 9…"

1996-07-13-6         Times Colonist, Victoria, BC         Canadian Press

[Ban bear-hunt petition set]

"… At least 10% of registered voters in each of BC’s 75 electoral districts must sign up during the period. / If successful, the anti-bear-hunting petition would be submitted to the BC legislature to consider a new law or call a province-wide referendum on the issue."

1996-07-16-2         Elk Valley Miner

[Group seeks to ban all BC bear hunting]

"… ‘…Although BC’s bears are not yet considered endangered, at today’s rate of hunting, poaching and habitat loss, they soon will be. We must exercise some foresight and keep them from this terrible fate," says Marr…"

1996-07-16-3         The Times, Terrace, BC         by Jennifer Lang

[A vote for the bears]

"… Marr says BC’s wildlife protection laws and policies haven’t caught up with a new phenomenon… commercial poaching… He says there aren’t enough conservation officers in BC to stop poaching, but he believes a hunting ban would make poachers easier to spot…"

1996-07-18-4         Alberni Valley Times         by Diane Morrison

[Environmentalists seek referendum to ban bear hunting]

"… People representing hunters and guides feel the campaign is more likely designed to raise funds than to protect bears. Wayne Wiebe, a local hunter and guide, said it is a ‘cutesy’ deal for WCWC to get in there and solicit funds by getting ‘nitwits’ to send money…"

1996-07-18-4         The Vancouver Sun

[Grin and bear it]

"… Paul George, an executive director of the WCWC, in his role as private citizen, has launched an initiative for An Act to Prohibit the Hunting of Bears… Mr. George’s worthy petition would have an uphill battle under the b est of circumstances, especially in many rural areas. BC’s absurd initiative legislation dooms it – and any other imaginable challenge to the legislature’s monopoly."

1996-07-19-5         Comox Valley Echo, Courtenay, BC         by Fireweed

[Ursine good fortune on Denman]

"… On the evening of June 16, WCWC campaign director Toney Mars shared an enlightening audio-visual presentation in the Denman Hall… In Port Alberni, just before his Denman engagement, a room full of hunting advocates showed up to disrupt Marr’s presentation…"

1996-07-18-4         Daily News, Nelson, BC         by Jolanda Waskito

[Stop bear hunt, says Marr]

"If wildlife crusader Toney Mars has his way… Marr, a Chinese-Canadian, said that both the Chinese and Canadian traditions to kill bears for parts or sport should be stopped…"

1996-07-19-5         Alberni Valley Times, Port Alberni, The Trail Times, BC        by Jolanda Waskito

[Crusader for bear-hunting ban has tough sell]

"… (Marr) is facing a tough task, especially as he tours the East Kootenay and comes up against local hunters…"

1996-07-19-5         Alberni Valley Times, Port Alberni, BC         by N.E. Hannaford

[Sportsmen should take bid to ban bear-hunting seriously]

"… One suspects that the urban perspective which predominates in the Wilderness Committee – another flaming irony if one thinks about it – just abhors hunting. Thus the successful passing of a law to ban bear hunting might well be followed by similar measures aimed at other species…"

1996-07-20-6         The Okanagan Saturday, Penticton, BC         by Maurice Smith

[Hunters bear down on meeting]

"The head organizer of a campaign to force a referendum on the province’s annual bear hunt was forced to change venues when a group of hunters crashed his meeting…"

1996-07-21-7         The Morning Star, Vernon, BC         by Richard Rolke

[Bear ban shot down]

"North Okanagan hunters are afraid that a ban on killing bears in BC could actually increase the slaughter of bruins and put more people at risk… ‘A misdirected idea.’…"

1996-07-24-3         Capital News, Kelowna, BC         by Jean Russell

[WCWC loaded for bear – Petition drive launched]

"… about 15 prohunters turned out at the meeting in Kelowna on Friday. / Don Guild, secretary-treasurer of the Okanagan branch of WCWC, said Monday the hunting supporters made it difficult to make progress. ‘They tried to dispute (Marr’s) figures before he even gave them…"

1996-07-24-3         The Morning Sun, Parksville/Qualicum, BC         by Valerie Baker

[Taking aim at the trade in illegal bear parts]

"… ‘During the next 60 days, we are scrambling to get as many official canvassers as we can,’ says Paul George, WCWC Founding Director… Toney Mars is currently on an eight week provincial tour garnering support… Since his presentation in Qualicum Beach on June 17, around 30 local people have volunteered to be canvassers… / Not all ridings welcome Marr’s crusade, particularly Port Alberni, Prince George and Kamloops, which he visited recently. Hunters there challenged him on…"

1996-07-31-3         The Morning Sun, Parksville/Qualicum, BC         by Valerie Baker

[Taking aim on the illegal trade in bear parts]

"Editor’s note: As many of you noticed – judging by your phone calls – our computer managed to muck up last week’s story on the initiative… Here then is the way the story was supposed to read…"

1996-07-31-3         The Salmon Arm Observer         by Gordon Priestman

[Seeks local support for bear referendum]

"Toney Mars brought his one-man crusade to Salmon Arm Thursday night… In what seems close to Mission Impossible, Marr has been touring the province since the beginning of June, hold at least one meeting a day and often more, seven days a week… Along the way he’s run into a lot of opposition from organized hunter groups but that doesn’t deter Marr… Marr believes in what he’s doing…"

1996-08-01-4         The Shuswap Sun, Salmon Arm, BC         by Dan Odenbach

[Just another meeting Marred by Toney]

"Compared to his other meetings around the province, Toney Mars’s last stop in Salmon Arm was a tame one. / Marr held an informational meeting, sponsored by the WCWC, in the Salmon Arm Community Centre last week… Organizers wouldn’t release the place and time of the meeting because they feared bear hunters would show up and be disruptive. / ‘There is no point holding a public meeting if it’s going to be destroyed by all the interruptions. If they have a beef, let them hold their own meeting,’ said local WCWC member Alan Bangay…"

1996-08         EcoNews, Victoria, BC by         Guy Dauncy

[BC referendum to stop bear killing for trophy and sport]

"This coming September, WCWC will be launching a 90 day campaign to collect signatures from 10% of the registered voters in every constituency in BC… WCWC is looking for 50 canvassers in each of BC’s 75 electoral districts, to collect signatures. To be a canvasser, you must be a registered BC voter, have lived in BC for the last 6 months, and must witness each signature collected. If you want to be a canvasser…"

1996-08         The Question, Whistler, BC         by Loreth Beswetherick

[Are our bears in danger?]

"Early August could see wildlife activist Toney Mars arriving in Whistler to drum up support for a controversial campaign… / If successful, the WCWC will be the organization in the province to use BC’s new Recall and Initiative Act to launch a referendum since it was passed two years ago…"

1996-08-01week         The Daily News, Kamloops, BC         by Eleanor Kohnert

[Save the bears]

"Editors: Toney Mars from the WCWC is not alone… Organizations and an ever-growing number of individuals are supporting his endeavour. However, a huge hunting guiding and gun lobby will use all the firepower in their possession to defeat the proposal… Even if WCWC’s efforts… fail… the issue will be moved into the political arena… The concession to First Nations of allowing Grizzly bears to be killed for ceremonial purposes (however) is ludicrous…"

1996-08-01week         The Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC         by Charlie Smith

[Hunters target Marr]

"During a recent provincewide tour, WCWC wildlife campaigner Toney Marr discovered how difficult it will be to achieve a ban on bear hunting… 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 – ten of them to one environmentalist.’… 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."

1996-08-02         Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler, BC         by Michael Allen

[Bear update: Hunting bears increases bears’ value]

"…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 WCWC on legal bear hunting in BC, I was shocked… With respect to Mr. Marr, I do not think he even has the background or data 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 be hunted as a big game animal…"

1996-08-06-2         Salmon Arm Shopper Guide         by Ruth Keskinen

[Bears possibly endangered in BC in the future]

"Toney Mars, who grew up in Hong Kong, has a message for Canadians. Our Grizzly bears may become endangered within a few years, and our Black bears may be under similar pressure very soon after that since the Chinese have nearly completely wiped out their own Asiatic Black bear population…"

1996-08-08         The Valley Voice, New Denver, BC

[Bear Protection Act campaign gets under way]

"Toney Mars, lead campaigner for the WCWC, has received approval for $75,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for his tiger conservation work…"

1996-08-09         Pique Newsmagazine, Whistler, BC         by David Gowman

[Letter to the Editor]

"… The extreme positions taken by environmentalists such as Toney Marr are telling us all to wake up and smell the coffee before the pot boils over…"

1996-08-21-3         The Express, Nelson, BC         by Ethan Baron

[Group seeks beat hunting ban]

"… ‘We’re focusing on bears and bears alone because of the recent huge escalation of poaching of them for gallbladders and other parts for the Asian market,’ said Toney Mars… ‘The only thing we can achieve in very short order is to eliminate that four percent legally hunted , to slacken the pressure on them, to buy some time…"

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