Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Activists plan gatherings at BC MLA offices to advocate for old-growth forests

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BC is renowned for its beauty and a big part of that are the gargantuan trees that can be found in abundance on Vancouver Island. 

These trees are often part of old-growth groves, meaning the trees are between 250 and over 1,000-years-old. 

The BC government has promised to vastly expand the protection of old-growth groves, but some activist groups don’t think they are doing enough.

This Thursday, September 28th, the Sierra Club is organizing a widespread protest to demand BC Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) stick to their word and expand old-growth protection. 

This action will not be one that disrupts traffic, as old-growth protests have come to be known for in Victoria, but rather protesters will be encouraged to show up at their MLA’s office. 

September 28th was chosen because it marks the three year anniversary of the BC NDP’s announcement that they would commit to implement all of the 14 recommendations from the Old Growth Strategic Review (OGSR).

The OGSR was a government appointed, two-person panel of former foresters, one of whom was a representative of the Tahltan Nation.

They came up with the 14 recommendations for government after going over 300 written submissions, 400 published articles and papers, 9,000 emails, 18,500 surveys and completing over 200 meetings in 45 communities. 

To date, the Sierra Club says none of these 14 recommendations have been implemented.


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To draw attention to this, the Sierra Club has gotten help from other organizations such as Wildsight, Wilderness Committee, Stand.earth and Elders for Ancient Trees to organize 20 events from Vancouver Island to the East Kootenays. 

The Vancouver Island protests will be at the following MLA’s offices:

  • Campbell River – Michele Babchuk’s constituency office, 908 Island Highway from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Courtenay-Comox – Courthouse lawn, 6th Street and England Avenue at 3 p.m.
  • Esquimalt–Metchosin and Langford–Juan de Fuca – Metchosin Old School, 4495 Happy Valley Road from 4 p.m. to  8 p.m. with a performance at 5:30 p.m.
  • Langford–Juan de Fuca – Ravi Parmar’s Constituency Office, 2806 Jacklin Road #122 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Nanaimo – Sheila Malcolmson’s Constituency Office, 495 Dunsmuir Street from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Nanaimo–North Cowichan – Doug Routley’s Constituency Office, 16 High Street in Ladysmith from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Oak Bay–Gordon Head – Murray Rankin’s Constituency Office, 3930 Shelbourne Street from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Saanich South – Flash mob dance at a surprise location in Saanich at noon
  • Victoria–Beacon Hill – Grace Lore’s Constituency Office, 1084 Fort Street from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Victoria–Swan Lake – Rob Fleming’s Constituency Office, 1020 Hillside Avenue from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Protesters want to see BC’s beloved trees protected against logging and have been loud in their pursuit of raising awareness. 

Meanwhile forestry is a massive industry that provides numerous jobs and brings money into rural areas throughout the province. 

Do you think BC should ramp up the protection of old-growth forests in BC? Would you be willing to show up and advocate for that at one of these events? Let us know in the comments.

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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