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LETTER: Provincial Officials should allow rodeo events

Ray Jasper, Quesnel Rodeo President says rodeo can be conducted safely
QRC president Ray Jasper is calling on the provincial government to fast-track approval of their rodeo plans. (Quesnel Observer File Photo)

Good Day Dr. Bonnie Henry,

I am writing to you to ask if we can begin a conversation regarding the return of rodeo to B.C. in some form or other.

A group of rodeo folks from around B.C. had a round table zoom meeting with our MLAs a week ago expressing our concerns that the sport of rodeo in B.C. is in great peril. We feel that we may be witnessing the demise of a way of life that is very important to the ranching, First Nations and rural communities in our province.

Rodeo and the western way of life is a big part of rural B.C. Not only is a traditional rodeo a sport it becomes a place where families and communities gather to visit with folks they would not see otherwise. The economic impact of rodeo is vital to the First Nations and rural communities of our Province.

As a lot of us realize that the gathering of the community is probably not an option at present, we feel it is imperative that the cowboys and cowgirls from the high school level through to the pro level of the sport be able to maintain their abilities and maintain their equine partners as well. So as when gathering is permitted there is still a sport of rodeo in existence.

Rodeo is an outdoor sport where the participants are naturally socially distanced. We have developed a plan to host non-spectator, competitor-driven events. Limited in size on a 30-acre fair grounds.

We did some of these events last fall, our COVID plans were approved by our local health authority and found that we had no problems in regards to compliance of the rules or transmission of the virus. I realize you have many issues in your plate but we implore you or someone from your team to begin discussions on how we can move forward.

Thank you,

Ray Jasper, Quesnel Rodeo President

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