VICTORIA, B.C. – One year after the B.C. government released the Old Growth Strategic Review report and promised transformational change in old growth management, arrests at Fairy Creek have surpassed arrests made at the Clayoquot Sound dispute in 1993. It is now the largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history.
“Responsibility for this milestone lays firmly at the feet of the Premier and this government,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “Thirty years ago British Columbians called for change and were heard around the world. Today, British Columbians are again calling for change. The Premier has refused to hear them.
“The Premier has a responsibility to step up and put solutions on the table. He has a responsibility to work with the Pacheedaht and the federal government to protect Fairy Creek and other forests like it.”
“Fairy Creek exemplifies the NDP government’s failures,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “It is an outcome of colonial-era benefit agreements that put First Nations on the frontlines. It is a symptom of BC NDP forest policy, wherein logging practices contribute to biodiversity loss and the intensifying wildfires and droughts experienced across the province. It demonstrates, day in and day out, the lack of accountability for RCMP aggression and violence against protestors and journalists.”
“We need a government with the vision and courage to recognize that we can't keep doing this. But the Premier and his Minister have refused to take the action required to defuse this crisis,” said MLA Furstenau. “The BC NDP have established a track record of abandoning the responsibility to lead when it’s needed most. They make significant promises, but fail to follow through. At a time of growing mistrust in governments and democracy, we need leaders to be true to their word.”
One year after the release of the Old Growth Strategic Review, and almost 18 months after the B.C. government received the report, the BC NDP has done little to follow through on their promises of transformational change in old growth management. Minister Conroy promised additional logging deferrals would be in place by the end of August; it is now September, and no further deferrals have been announced.
“Deferring logging of rare old growth is the bare minimum required, and yet the BC NDP is refusing to meet even this commitment. We need to see permanent protection for these rare ecosystems, backed by economic support for affected communities and workers.
“The civil disobedience occurring at Fairy Creek is the public response to a government that refuses to act. If they continue down this path, the BC NDP will land on the wrong side of history.”
B.C. Green Caucus
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