Canadian music icon Neil Young made an unannounced appearance on Saturday, February 25th at the old-growth protest outside the BC legislature.
While on stage, Young sang two songs: Comes A Time and Heart of Gold.
During his performance, Young spoke to a crowd of an estimated 1,500, sharing his thoughts on the state of old-growth forestry on Vancouver Island.
“Thank you Canada,” said Young. “You know I’m only here for those trees up there and it’s beautiful, and it’s a precious, sacred thing, these old trees because they show us the power of nature when we are being threatened. They show us the past and they show us our future.”
“That’s something I hope our Canadian government and business section will recognize that this has to do with Canada,” he said. “It has to do with the ages, if we are lucky enough to have ages. These trees have lasted so long they deserve Canada’s respect,” said Young.
Spotted in Victoria: @Neilyoung made a surprise appearance at today’s Old Growth protest.
Video by Colin Smith Takes Pics pic.twitter.com/zA5RkCEXc4
— Victoria Buzz (@victoriabuzzes) February 26, 2023
Among the speakers at the rally were environmentalist David Suzuki, Pacheedaht First Nation elder Bill Jones, and ecologist Karen Price, who is a member of the provincial Old Growth Technical Advisory Panel.
According to the declaration, Eby’s BC NDP government is accused of failing to implement the 14 recommendations in the Old Growth Strategic Review despite having promised to do so during the past election campaign.
“Old growth forests are vital for the health our lands and waters, our salmon and our culture, and the days of cutting them down need to end,” said walas ‘Namugwis, David Knox, a Kwakwaka’wakw Hereditary Chief and member of the Kwakiutl Nation, in a statement from organizers.
“Too much land in our territory has been destroyed, and this continues without the free, prior and informed consent of our chiefs and people.”