Starling control controversy takes flight

The City of Armstrong’s decision to continue funding the starling control program came with some opposition.

The City of Armstrong’s decision to continue funding the starling control program came with some opposition.

Council voted to spend its portion – $1,093 – of the B.C. Grapegrowers’ Association’s $25,000 request to continue funding support for the program.

But Coun. Ryan Nitchie was the only member opposed, especially after the City of Enderby voted to withdraw its financial support from the function.

“Starlings don’t know electoral areas very well in terms of boundaries,” deadpanned Nitchie. “Because we went into this as a group (Regional District of North Okanagan) recognizing the regional significance of this issue, we’ve all been participating.

“I don’t oppose the program, I don’t disagree with that. I just wish all of the partners would participate.”

Coun. John Trainor said the starlings don’t just bother grape growers, but can often be found around agricultural feed lots.

“It’s unfortunate Enderby dropped out but it’s a worthwhile program,” said Trainor. “For a small donation, I would hate to see it go by the wayside. And I don’t think I’ve seen as many starlings as I used to.

“Whether it’s the program or not, I don’t know, but it can’t hurt. They’re nasty little beasts.”

The Township of Spallumcheen voted to continue its funding support, and will pay $1,482.