People dress as stumps protested old-growth logging at B.C. MLA Mitzi Dean’s constituency office on March 19. (Photo courtesy of Joan Rosenberg)

People dress as stumps protested old-growth logging at B.C. MLA Mitzi Dean’s constituency office on March 19. (Photo courtesy of Joan Rosenberg)

Protesters in View Royal stumped by MLA

Group calls for immediate halt to old-growth logging

People protesting old-growth logging are stumped by the provincial government’s refusal to impose a complete ban on the practice.

About 20 people, many dressed as tree stumps, staged a protest on Friday, March 19 outside of the office of B.C. MLA Mitzi Dean on Admiral’s Road in View Royal. Dean, the B.C. Minister of Children and Family Development, is the MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin.

They are calling on the B.C. government to stop all logging of old-growth forests and to implement the recommendations of an independent panel on old-growth forests in the province.

Joan Rosenberg, part of a group involved in the protection of the Fairy Creek Watershed, said they have reached out to Dean numerous times without a response. Dean campaigned in 2017 in part on a promise to protect old-growth forests, and that was part of the NDP platform as well, Rosenberg noted.

RELATED: Blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

The province has jurisdiction over old-growth logging and the allowable cut, Rosenberg said. “They campaigned in April 2020 on a promise to follow the recommendations in the old-growth strategic review.”

A New Future for Old Forests – A Strategic Review of How British Columbia manages for Old Forests Within its Ancient Ecosystems was submitted to Doug Donaldson, B.C. Minister of Forests, Land, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development, on April 30, 2020 by co-chairs Al Gorley and Garry Merkels.

Gorley is a professional forester with 45 years of experience in government and consulting work. Merkel is a member of the Tahltan First Nation and a registered professional forester with more than 45 years in the field, academic research and community aspects of forest and land management. Find the review online at engage.gov.bc.ca/Strategic-Review.

Although it would be difficult to implement all 14 recommendations in short order, the review provided short, medium and long-term goals, Rosenberg explained, including the immediate cessation of cutting trees more than 500 years old. “Instead the government is doing log and talk,” she said. “They are logging every day while they continue to talk, and the old-growth ecosystems are disappearing. We are trying to continue in a sustainable way that supports the wood industry and the loggers but protects old-growth forests.”

Rosenberg, who is a doctor and a biologist, noted that Premier John Horgan has followed expert advice during the COVID-19 pandemic and he should do the same regarding forests.

“This paradigm shift in the logging industry requires similar,” she stressed. “It will require sacrifices but ultimately will save the wood industry.”

RELATED: Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Dean said everyone deserves to have their voice heard, and she supports the right to peaceful protest.

“Our government is deeply concerned about protecting vital old-growth stands. That’s why we asked two respected foresters … to put us on a path to create a comprehensive plan for old-growth, and away from the divisive valley-by-valley fights of years past,” Dean said.

As a first step, the government deferred logging in nine areas around the province, building on other deferrals made since 2018.

Dean said an immediate moratorium on old-growth logging would put thousands of families at risk.

“We also know that no change to forestry practices would have negative environmental impacts,” Dean said. “Our plan will protect vital habitat while still supporting workers and communities.”


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

EsquimaltMetchosin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

A weekend of sunny skies may have Victoria breaking temperature records, according to an Environment Canada meteorologist. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Temperature records eyed for Victoria with sunny weekend forcast

Victoria hit the highest April 14 temperature since 1926 on Wednesday

Fire crews respond to the 3500-block of Blanshard Street in Saanich on April 16. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
UPDATED: BC Hydro crews repairing failed electrical equipment in Saanich

Vernon Avenue reopen to traffic following closure by Saanich firefighter, police

The District of Saanich announced April 12 that the Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse would remain closed for at least six months for repairs after a flood on Feb. 14 caused by faulty sprinklers. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Faulty sprinklers to blame for second Cedar Hill Golf Course clubhouse closure in just over a year

Saanich facility facing six-month shutdown for flood repairs, course not impacted

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read