VICTORIA, B.C. - Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley, and Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, have issued the following statement in response to Squamish Nation calling on the provincial government to halt old-growth logging in their traditional territories.
“The Premier’s response to these demands by the Squamish Nation will show how committed this government truly is to their stated promises to work with First Nations in determining the future of their lands and resources,” said MLA Furstenau.
“Anything other than a positive response will show that this government is simply using the language of reconciliation when it suits them. We call on the government to respond urgently to this assertion of rights by the Squamish Nation, just as they did to the request by Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht. It shouldn't take an international outcry and protests by thousands of British Columbians to see action to protect old growth.”
The Squamish Nation has called on the B.C. government to take immediate and sustained action to defer all harvest and development activities within areas of concern, and to enable the nation to provide free, prior and informed consent respecting all commercial activity within their traditional territory. Squamish Nation asserts that the BC government is infringing on their rights by continuing to allow old growth logging in their territories without their consent.
“This is an opportunity for this government to fulfill their stated promises to re-imagine the forest sector and support meaningful reconciliation,” said MLA Olsen.
“If the Premier is sincere in his promises to grant deferrals when requested by First Nations, we will see an immediate positive response to Squamish Nation’s assertion of their rights, as well as to the many other nations who have been calling for an end to old growth logging in their territories and have so far been ignored.
“We will continue to hold the government to account to follow through on these promises.”
During question period earlier this session, MLA Furstenau and MLA Olsen shared the voices of other Indigenous leaders who have been calling for an end to old growth logging in their territories but have not seen a response from this government.
B.C. Green Caucus
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