A demonstrator against old-growth logging remains in hospital with a “life-changing” injury following Monday morning’s Pat Bay Highway blockade, according to Save Old Growth.
The activist group says one of its members, Trevor “Red” Mckelvie, fell from a ladder erected along the highway’s northbound lane, near Tsehum Harbour Park in North Saanich, after a commuter snapped a support beam.
Video footage posted to Instagram captured the moments the beam broke and the ladder collapsed, as well as the aftermath as people rushed to Mckelvie’s aid.
A GoFundMe launched on Tuesday for Mckelvie claims he fell 20 feet and was sent to hospital, where it was discovered he shattered his pelvis, prompting an hours-long “high-risk surgery.”
BC RCMP Cpl. Alex Bérubé tells Victoria Buzz that police have watched the video, and the incident is being investigated for any possible criminality.
“We are saddened and heartbroken that our dear friend Red is suffering from this tragedy. His dedication and determination to environmentalism are incredibly admirable and stem from love and care,” states the GoFundMe.
Fundraiser organizers say Mckelvie joined Save Old Growth in April 2022, intending to help protect the last remaining old-growth trees in BC.
They say donated funds will go towards medical equipment to help him walk again and live at home, as well as transportation to and from medical appointments and physiotherapy.
“Besides the complex operation(s), prolonged recovery, and potential life-long health complications, financial difficulties are awaiting Red since it is impossible for him to go back to his previous physically demanding carpentry work,” according to the GoFundMe.
As of Wednesday morning, nearly $5,500 of a $15,000 goal has been raised.
“This is a devastating and life-changing injury. We do not want to risk our lives by inconveniencing people, but this is what it’s come to,” said Save Old Growth organizer Sophia Papp.
“Business as usual has placed us on a globally terminal trajectory, and it’s up to our government, the largest legislative force, to act in the best interest of people’s future; this includes protecting old-growth forests.”
Roadblocks to continue, group says
Save Old Growth says its members remain committed to “opening the eyes of the public to the crisis facing humanity,” vowing to continue blockading roads “until the BC NDP passes legislation to end the logging of old-growth forests in BC.”
Recent months have seen the group set up roadblocks along busy transportation arteries across Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
On Monday, its members in Vancouver also blocked off the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge and Massey Tunnel to commuters, which led to four arrests.
“As inconvenient as this is for people in their daily lives, we’re looking at a bigger picture, one that is about the future of our children and of our planet,” added supporter Tim Brazier.
“Old-growth forests are part of the solution in our dire climate situation. Governments and industries must do what’s right and stop the actions that are killing our planet.”