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David Broadland

David Broadland
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  1. Hi Jennie, Thanks for your comment. You are unusual in that you are one of the few commenters on this story over the last year who actually tried to bring some hard numbers to the table. I appreciate that. You are commenting on a story that is 11.5 months old. I have written a follow-up article which will revisit some of the numbers published in this piece. We will publish it soon. For the follow-up, I filed a couple of FOIs with the ministry to establish its forest-related revenues and expenses over the 10-year period covered above. Those cover operational budgets, but they do not include all of the forest-related expenses incurred by the ministry. There is nothing in the above story that says the numbers reflect operational budgets. But thanks for your numbers anyway. The largest difference between the numbers I show above and those obtained by FOI are for 2019. However, if all ministry expenditures are included, there was still a $155,733,000 gap between forest-related revenue and forest-related expenditures. For other years, some years had a larger gap than is shown in the graph above, and some were slightly smaller. Instead of losing, on average, $1 million a day, the ministry only lost $954,000 a day. Every day. For 10 years. There are other very large costs to British Columbians that weren't covered in the story above. My update will include those. You won't like those numbers, either.
  2. BC Premier John Horgan at a press conference announcing he was all for saving old-growth forests AFTER ANNOUNCING 2-year logging deferrals for the Fairy Creek watershed and the central Walbran Valley, BC Premier John Horgan said: “These are monumental steps. I know it appears, at the moment, to be just another announcement by another premier...” He was right. It does appear to be just another announcement by another premier, a hyperbolic one at that. Monumental? Definitely not. Horgan announced 2-year logging deferrals on “2000 hectares” of old forest. It would have been monumental if, first, he had announced the permanent protection of 2000 hectares of actual old forest and then, second, had said something to this effect: “This is just the first, irrevocable step, one that can’t be backed away from in two years or ten, in our steadfast commitment to save the rest of BC’s now rare, biologically productive old forest, of which as little at 400,000 hectares remain in all of BC—can you believe we let that get so low? What an ecological catastrophe! Who were the nit wits-that engineered this fiasco!” That would have been monumental. Such a statement would have shown that Horgan wasn’t just playing kick-the-can-down-the-road. Instead, he kicked two cans down the road. First, the premier re-announced a 2-year deferral in the central Walbran that most of us already knew had been deferred in September 2020, and wasn’t in any danger of being logged. According to the Order In Council that established the deferral, it was to cover 1,489 hectares. Today the ministry recognized that it contains 1150 hectares of old forest. Second, Horgan deferred logging for 2 years in the “small area” that Teal Cedar Ltd has been claiming for months was all that the company could cut in Fairy Creek Valley because “most of the watershed is protected forest reserve or unstable terrain, and not available for harvesting.” After Horgan’s announcement, mapping released by the ministry of forests showed the area at Fairy Creek that’s been deferred for 2 years. Based on that mapping, we estimate there are about 100 hectares of the valley in the deferral area that weren’t already “protected forest reserve or unstable terrain,” as Teal Cedar Products Ltd has described it. Putting what Teal has said together with what Horgan announced today and the ministry has mapped, we find the surprising result that 100 + 1150 = 2000. If you’re thinking, “Wait, that doesn’t add up,” you’re correct. What that arithmetic shows is the sleight of hand used today by industry, the ministry and the premier. Last week, according to them, Fairy Creek Valley was almost all “protected forest reserve or unstable terrain.” This week, in a monumental step, the premier turned all that “protected forest reserve or unstable terrain” into a 2-year logging deferral. The Rainforest Flying Squad had originally been trying to save about 2100 hectares of contiguous rainforest, including the entire Fairy Creek Valley and areas of intact forest outside it. But their movement to save the last of the old-growth forest on southern Vancouver Island is apparently gaining more and more public support as their forest defences are assaulted by a militarized unit of the RCMP. What will they do now? Following Horgan’s announcement, the Flying Squad’s Saul Arbess made a gracious acknowledgment of Horgan’s monumental step: “It’s a good deferral, however it falls short of the deferrals required to pause logging in all of the critically endangered areas currently being defended, for generations to come.” Why would Arbess think 100 hectares is a “good deferral”? This is an important point. Arbess knows that the part of Fairy Creek Valley that Teal and the ministry have claimed are “protected forest reserve” are actually only “protected” until Teal and the ministry decide to move the “protection” to some other part of TFL 46. This happens all the time, all over BC, to Old Growth Management Areas, Wildlife Habitat Areas and other forms of transitory “protection” that have been created by the ministry of forests to create the appearance of protection—until such time as a company wants to log that “protected” area. If there was a monumental step taken today, it was that the ethical corruption that grips the ministry of forests and the forest industry was made plain, for everybody to see. To do this and then call it an “honouring” of a First Nations’ request is disturbing. When he isn’t out walking through forests, David Broadland is writing about the problems they face.
  3. The map below shows the "old-growth deferral areas" designated by Order in Council in September 2020. Read the story about these deferral areas here:
  4. Hi JOEY, Thanks for your comment. I think you may be reading into my report something that wasn't intended. It is well known that the Pacheedaht have forestry agreements regarding logging on their traditional territories. The comments above are in reference to a specific agreement between the Province and the Pacheedaht that was initiated by the Province in response to the blockades. The Province bought the Pacheedaht's cooperation and attempted to silence any Pacheedaht who disagreed. This agreement was made just before Teal Cedar Products Ltd filed its application for an injunction. I am surprised that you think getting 3 percent of the stumpage for logging in your territory is a fair exchange. Stumpage represents, on average in BC, about one-quarter to one-fifth of the market value of a log. In many cases it is far less than this. Bigger companies seem to know how to get stumpage down to the ground. So you are getting 3 percent of that one-quarter to one-fifth. That works out to between eight-tenths of one percent of the log's value and six-tenths of one percent. Your First Nation owns the resource, according to Supreme Court decisions. Getting between eight-tenths of one percent and six-tenths of one percent of the value of your resource doesn't strike me as a good deal. In the case of the Pacheedaht, the exploitation may be even deeper. According to the Province's Harvest Billing System, Pacheedaht Forestry Limited cut 16,925 cubic metres in its territory in 2020. For that they paid the Province $736,101.11 in stumpage. This worked out to $43.49 per cubic metre. In 2020, Teal Cedar Products Ltd harvested 801,064 cubic metres. This was spread between TFL 46 and other forest licences the company has. All those licences are on some First Nations' unceded territories. What stumpage rate did Teal pay? It averaged out to $14.87 per cubic metre. Why are the Pacheedaht paying $43.49 per cubic metre for a resource they own and Teal pays $14.87 per cubic metre for a resource it doesn't own? From the outside, this appears to be just a continuation of hundreds of years of exploitation. Why are you settling for that? For us ordinary settlers, we might want to check whether our wallet is still in our pocket, too. The stumpage collected by the Province doesn't come near to paying for the ministry of forests’ expenses.
  5. PREMIER JOHN HORGAN recently claimed he couldn’t resolve the tense and expensive standoff on Pacheedaht traditional territories between old-growth forest defenders and the RCMP. Why? Horgan told reporters, “The critical recommendation that’s in play at Fairy Creek is consulting with the title holders. If we were to arbitrarily put deferrals in place there, that would be a return to the colonialism that we have so graphically been brought back to this week by the discovery in Kamloops.” Actually, Horgan’s government had already signed an agreement (download at end of story) with the Pacheedaht in late February in which the economically impoverished First Nation agreed to accept a small annual payment “to accommodate any potential adverse impacts on the Pacheedaht First Nation’s Aboriginal Interests resulting from Operational Plans or Administrative and/or Operational Decisions.” In other words, logging. How small? The Pacheedaht accepted the equivalent of glass beads: $242,388 for the first year of the agreement, with no clear indication of what, if any, subsequent payments would be over the agreement’s 3-year term. What did the Pacheedaht have to do for that princely sum? For one thing, the band had to continue “consultation” with the Province, and to help the Pacheedaht do that the Province will provide an additional $35,000 per year to build the “capacity” within the community for consultation. Perhaps more significantly, the agreement requires the Pacheedaht to provide “assistance.” Such assistance would take two forms. First, the band agreed “it will not support or participate in any acts that frustrate, delay, stop or otherwise physically impede or interfere with provincially authorized forest activities.” Secondly, it agreed it “will promptly and fully cooperate with and provide its support to British Columbia in seeking to resolve any action that might be taken by a member of First Nation that is inconsistent with this Agreement.” The first part of the “assistance” portion of the agreement was aimed squarely at the defence of old-growth forest in TFL 46. The second was intended to stifle any expression of support for that defence from within the Pacheedaht, such as that given by Elder Bill Jones, Victor Peter, Katie George-Jim and Patrick Victor-Jones, all of whom have publicly supported the old-growth defenders. Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones speaking out at the Caycuse blockade (Photo by Michael Lo) The agreement was signed on February 21, just before Teal Cedar Products Ltd filed an application for injunctive relief with the BC Supreme Court on March 4. On April 1, that application was granted by Justice Frits E. Verhoeven. Enforcement of the injunction has led to over 170 people being arrested during weeks of standoffs between police and old-forest defenders. The cost of that enforcement is unknown but likely in the millions. Horgan has claimed that “consultations” with the Pacheedaht are ongoing and so ending the confrontation by removing Teal’s controversial permit to log in the Fairy Creek watershed would amount to a “return to colonialism.” Let’s compare dollars with glass beads. Over the past three years, according to the ministry of forests, Teal Cedar has removed 976,000 cubic metres of logs from TFL 46, which is mainly on unceded Pacheedaht territories. At an average value of $135 per cubic metre over those years, the logs Teal removed, before they were turned into lumber and other products at Teals’ Surrey mills, had a market value of about $132 million. That’s over a three-year period. What will the Pacheedaht—the legal owners of the land from which those forests were removed—get for three years of being quiet? The Pacheedaht will receive $277,388 in 2021 and $35,000 each year in 2022 and 2023 as long as they keep “consulting.” There’s nothing in the agreement that says they will get any more than a total of $347,388. Compare that with the estimated $132 million worth of logs Teal will tow away to feed its mills in Surrey. The Pacheedat will get the equivalent of three-tenths of one-percent of the “fibre” value of the forest Teal removes from their property. Anyone who has visited the Pacheedaht reserve will understand why they had to sign this agreement. Here’s the definition of colonialism: “The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” Green Party MLA Adam Olsen, in a widely-circulated opinion piece, wrote: “The agreement with Pacheedaht was signed in February 2021. So instead of negotiating an agreement that provides economic alternatives to logging, provides real choice to the nation, and enables the conservation of the endangered old growth in Pacheedaht traditional territory, the Provincial government negotiated an agreement that almost assured that those ancient trees would be cut. This situation illustrates how deeply disingenuous the government has been as the tension in our forests continues to grow. Rather than offer conservation solutions, the BC NDP are effectively using BC Liberal policy to put Indigenous Nations in the centre of conflicts and use the language of reconciliation to cover for their inaction. Clearly, colonialism is alive and well in Premier Horgan’s government.” David Broadland is grateful to the Pacheedaht for allowing public access to the extraordinary forests, beaches and trails on their unceded territories. BC agreement with Pacheedaht signed february 17 2021.pdf
  6. Hi Northern Dude, thanks for your comments. You are correct that Canada forgave debt incurred by First Nations negotiating treaties in 2019. That did not undo the 30-year-long impact on First Nations communities trying to negotiate treaties at the expense of being able to address other pressing problems in their communities. The impact was cumulative and began long before treaty negotiations began, as you know. Forgiveness of the treaty debts didn't instantly make good the long years of financial repression. The debt has been built into these communities' physical condition. Under those conditions of economic repression, who could fault First Nations that entered into agreements focussed on extraction of natural resources? The ministry of forests is the primary agency through which the substance of these agreements is determined. With the interests of the ministry of forests and the interests of the forest industry being indistinguishable, such agreements naturally represent the interests of the forest industry. No community in BC, First Nations or otherwise, is unanimous in its view of these issues. A part of the Pacheedaht community wrote a letter that asked protesters to leave. That part of the Pacheedaht were apparently influenced by the BC government to write such a letter. The roots of that letter were apparently created by the resource agreement the Pacheedaht have signed with Teal and the Province. Other members of the Pacheedaht have welcomed the efforts to protect old-growth forest in Pacheedaht territory. We don't know the details of the agreement between the Pacheedaht, Teal and the ministry of forests. The ministry's Harvest Billing System shows no volume going to the Pacheedaht, whereas it does show a small volume going to Ditidaht Forestry (TFL 46 includes both Ditidaht and Pacheedaht traditional territories). How small? About one-half of one percent of the cut on TFL 46 is assigned to the Ditidaht. How much goes to the Pacheedaht? We don't know, but if it's similar to the Ditidaht, it's a tiny fraction of what Teal Cedar is booming off to Surrey. This sounds like continuing economic repression to me.
  7. BC Premier John Horgan reveals a new strategy to avoid meaningful change while accusing old-growth forest defenders of seeking a “return to colonialism” GARRY MERKEL AND AL GORLEY, after calling for a “paradigm shift” in how old forest is valued in BC, probably had no idea that John Horgan would move so fast. But the premier has spoken and with the stroke of a press conference BC has moved from the era of Talk and Log into the new paradigm of Talk with First Nations and Log. Here’s the situation Horgan faces: There’s growing public support for blockades of old-growth logging at Fairy Creek Rainforest in Horgan’s own riding. These actions involve hundreds of people—and it’s an All Ages event—committing acts of civil disobedience and risking arrest by a militarized police unit which has put restrictions on press access to the conflict zone and has denied the public the right to be on publicly-owned land. It’s happening daily and is unlikely to stop until the police start shooting people. In the face of all that, what does the premier chose to do? He releases a series of forestry-related “policy intentions.” None of these addressed the old-growth issue beyond vague language about possible future short-term logging deferrals. All of Horgan’s intentions seemed to depend on interminable private talks with First Nations. What was the premier thinking? In response to a question from a reporter, Horgan said, “The critical recommendation that’s in play at Fairy Creek is consulting with the title holders. If we were to arbitrarily put deferrals in place there, that would be a return to the colonialism that we have so graphically been brought back to this week by the discovery in Kamloops.” Horgan seemed to be saying that solving the crisis in public trust around this issue would be like murdering 215 First Nations kids, again. The premier’s convoluted rhetoric speaks for itself. The question that needs considering is this: Is Horgan using the paucity of First Nations’ treaty agreements to protect the forest industry from real change? He’s claiming that the government can’t make decisions about a new direction for forestry in BC unless those decisions include consultation with First Nations. Is this actually the case? Or have Horgan and his cronies in the forest industry just figured out a new, post-colonial version of talk and log? We might judge the answer to that on the basis of his government’s record of signing treaties with First Nations. In nearly 5 years in office, approaching year 30 of a process that began in the early ’90s, Horgan has signed exactly zero treaties, a record that’s far worse than former premier Christie Clark’s. With no actual record of successfully negotiating with First Nations for what really matters to them, Horgan appears to be using the injustice done to those communities to hide behind in order to avoid making hard decisions on new directions. Directions that he doesn’t yet know how to sell to his party’s labour base, new directions that reflect the need—in light of the climate and biodiversity crises and falling forest employment—to reframe our entire relationship with forests. The irony here is that this deeper, necessary reframing meshes with First Nations’ traditional wisdom and practices regarding the use of forests. Turning them into feller-buncher operators doesn’t. The BC treaty process, dragged out by endless consultations by an army of highly paid BC government lawyers, has bankrupted First Nations and left them desperate to recover financially. Those debts, and the damage they inflicted on First Nations communities for nearly three decades, are now being used by Horgan to keep firm the forest industry’s death grip on BC’s old-growth forests, just as those debts have been used in other resource disputes. That’s the real “return to colonialism” that’s taking place. Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC senior forest and climate campaigner, called today’s announcement an “Orwellian nightmare.” He added, “The old-growth crisis calls for immediate short-term funding for First Nations and forestry workers seeking an alternative to logging the last old-growth. Defending business as usual will only exacerbate conflicts like the one happening over Fairy Creek and undermine options for communities seeking an alternative to destructive resource extraction.” Horgan’s performance truly was an Orwellian moment. David Broadland is going to write about forests and politics until First Nations title and rights are reflected in just treaties for all BC First Nations, and trees are valued for what they provide just by standing in a forest.
  8. ACCORDING TO Madison’s Lumber Reporter, the price of 2x4s milled in BC reached a record high of just over $1600 USD per 1000 board feet at the end of April 2021. For the first four months of the year, the price had averaged about $1250. That average was approximately 3.3 times higher than for the same period in 2020. With almost all lumber in BC being cut from publicly-owned forests, you might think that huge price increase would translate into a financial windfall for BC residents. But data from the BC ministry of forests shows that for the first 4 months of 2020, the average stumpage collected across the province was $20.59 per cubic metre. For the first 4 months of 2021, that rose to $29.66. So while the value of products milled from public forests increased by 330 percent, the ministry of forests collected only 44 percent more, barely enough to cover the ministry’s own cost of providing forest management for the industry. The large jump in net revenue for forestry companies will make for some interesting financial statements in the coming months. In 2020, when lumber prices were one-third of their current level, Canfor, BC’s largest forestry company, reported a net operating income of $560 million. The ministry’s data also shows a huge surge in logging in 2021 over 2020. In the first 4 months of 2020, about 13.2 million cubic metres were cut in public forests. In the same period this year, 21.8 million cubic metres had been cut, up 65 percent. So not only are forestry companies getting a huge break on what they pay for wood compared to what the market pays them, they are cutting like there is no tomorrow. If logging continues at the current rate, the year’s cut will be about 15 million cubic metres higher than what the forest ministry’s own timber supply analyses have shown is sustainable in the mid-term. A logging truck heads to a log sort loaded with old-growth forest (Photo by TJ Watt) For some companies, the record high prices have had little effect on the stumpage they pay. In the first four months of 2020, Teal Cedar Products paid an average of $23.13 per cubic metre for wood it removed from publicly-owned land in TFL 46. For the same period in 2021—by which time lumber prices had more than tripled—Teal paid just 2 cents more per cubic metre than it had in 2020. Teal Cedar Products is the company whose logging operations in TFL 46 are being blockaded by the Rainforest Flying Squad, which is trying to prevent the company from cutting old-growth forest. A strategic review of old-growth forests in BC conducted in 2020, commissioned by the BC government, recommended an immediate moratorium on logging of old forest in areas where less than 10 percent remains, which would include much of TFL 46. BC Premier John Horgan promised—before last fall’s election—that his government would abide by the review’s recommendations. The blockades don’t seem to have hindered Teal’s access to trees in TFL 46 for its mills in Surrey. For the first four months of 2021, forests ministry data shows that Teal cut more in TFL 46 than it had in the same period in 2020, which turned out to be the company’s biggest cut since 2012. But the blockades have resulted in intense public scrutiny and criticism of Premier John Horgan’s dithering on the old-growth file. David Broadland splits his life between a primary forest on Quadra Island and an urban Garry oak meadow in Victoria.
  9. Details of an RCMP plan to end a protest against old-growth logging near Port Renfrew, outlined in an open letter to the RCMP from the Rainforest Flying Squad, suggest the plan may not be legal. AN OPEN LETTER to the RCMP from the Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS), the group of forest activists blockading logging of old-growth forests near Fairy Creek Rainforest, contains a bit of a slap in the face. The letter states that the RCMP’s Division Liaison Team have told RFS they will be given 6 hours notice before any police action will take place. But, the letter adds, the RCMP have said “that all persons who have not left after the six hours will be arrested.” Such police action, should it occur, would apparently violate the terms of the injunction stipulated by BC Supreme Court Justice Frits E Verhoeven. Verhoeven’s order appears to require that protesters be observed by the RCMP to be “obstructing, impeding, or otherwise interfering with” Teal Cedar’s access or the access of its contractors before protestors would be in contravention of the order. There are many people in the area supporting the protests in ways that have not involved standing on roads. To arrest those people because they are “in the area” would be about as heavy-handed as police can be, save tasering them at Big Lonely Doug. FOCUS contacted the RCMP’s Division Liaison Team (DLT) by email requesting confirmation that the DLT would arrest all persons who have not left after the six hours. The DLT did not immediately respond. Old-growth forest defenders near Fairy Creek Rainforest (Photo by Dawna Mueller) Civil disobedience actions in the past in BC, such as the months-long blockades of a logging road at Clayoquot Sound in 1993, only involved arrest of people after they had refused to leave a road once the RCMP had read the terms of an injunction to them. The RFS letter (link below) suggests the RCMP’s plan for how to handle the Fairy Creek protest may not be legal: “It should be noted that not all persons left will be in violation of [Justice Verhoeven’s] enforcement order listed below. All actions will be videoed and there will likely be media crews on hand. The world will be watching.” The Rainforest Flying Squad has filed an appeal of Verhoeven’s order granting Teal Cedar injunctive relief. It is unknown in what time frame an appeal would be considered. Teal filed for injunctive relief on February 18 and that was granted on April 1 by Verhoeven. Presumably, BC’s justice system would want to work as quickly in response to the appeal, filed on April 29. Since that appeal could be successful, any RCMP action in the interim could appear to pre-judge the outcome of the appeal. David Broadland stood on the road at Clayoquot Sound along with many thousands of other citizens. He admires the forest protectors’ commitment to embarrass the NDP government into doing what it said it would do. Open Letter to RCMP from Rainforest Flying Squad.docx
  10. Thanks for your comment. Readers may want to review Verhoeven's judgment, which I reviewed here. In his consideration of whether Teal had suffered "Irreparable Harm," Verhoeven restated the economic arguments that had been presented to him in affidavits prepared by Teal's legal team. While the above commenter would have readers believe the law is too mysterious for anybody but lawyers to understand, there is no mystery about how Verhoeven arrived at his decision that irreparable harm had been done—its in his judgment. But the numbers he uses in his consideration, which were provided by Teal and not questioned in court by either Verhoeven or the defendants' legal team, are deeply flawed. Any journalist could have found the factual information that the lawyers didn't. That's the service journalism is meant to provide.
  11. Photo: One of the blockades at Fairy Creek Rainforest Lawyers for the Rainforest Flying Squad filed an 8-point appeal with the BC Court of Appeal asking that the injunction granted to Teal Cedar be set aside. Go to story...

    © Dawna Mueller

  12. TODAY, LAWYERS ACTING ON BEHALF OF the Fairy Creek Rainforest blockaders filed an appeal of the April 1 judgment made by BC Supreme Court Justice Frits E. Verhoeven. Verhoeven granted injunctive relief to Teal Cedar, ruling that the blockades in TFL 46 were causing irreparable harm to the Surrey logging and milling company. The appeal, filed in the BC Court of Appeal, asked that Verhoeven’s judgment “be set aside due to: (a) The Court erred in deciding that the granting of the injunction be allowed on behalf of the Respondent, Teal Jones Products Ltd.; (b) The Court erred in allowing police authorities and/or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enforce the injunction against the Appellants; (c) The Court erred in its determination that the Respondent would suffer irreparable harm had the injunction not been granted; (d) The Court erred in failing to treat an injunction as an extraordinary remedy, especially in the context where arrests could be made but the police and Attorney General choose not to do so; (e) The Court erred in deciding the balance of convenience on one issue–the presence of a permit(s) to log; (f) The Court erred in failing to properly balance the public interest; (g) The Court erred in failing to analyse whether, in an area where there is a road-building permit but no cutting permit—a road building permit meets the irreparable harm branch of the test for an injunction; and, (h) The Court erred in applying the balance of convenience test determining the forestry decision to approve the Fairy Creek watershed Cutting Permit 7265 was a governmental policy consideration outweighing the public interest in preserving the few remaining old growth forests in British Columbia.” Despite the blockades, which were established in August 2020, Teal Cedar was able to harvest 437,982 cubic metres of logs from TFL 46 in 2020. That was an increase of 71 percent over 2018 and 55 percent over 2019. In announcing the appeal, the Rainforest Flying Squad observed that “the public interest in this case far outweighs the profit-making ability of a single entity and government.” David Broadland previously wrote about Justice Verhoeven’s judgment granting the injunction here and here.
  13. The Rainforest Flying Squad announced today that its legal team has filed an appeal of Justice Verhoeven's judgment granting an injunction to Teal. The appeal asked that the order be said aside due to: (a) The Court erred in deciding that the granting of the injunction be allowed on behalf of the Respondent, Teal Jones Products Ltd.; (b) The Court erred in allowing police authorities and/or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to enforce the injunction against the Appellants; (c) The Court erred in its determination that the Respondent would suffer irreparable harm had the injunction not been granted; (d) The Court erred in failing to treat an injunction as an extraordinary remedy, especially in the context where arrests could be made but the police and Attorney General choose not to do so; (e) The Court erred in deciding the balance of convenience on one issue–the presence of a permit(s) to log; (f) The Court erred in failing to properly balance the public interest; (g) The Court erred in failing to analyse whether, in an area where there is a road-building permit but no cutting permit - a road building permit meets the irreparable harm branch of the test for an injunction; and, (h) The Court erred in applying the balance of convenience test determining the forestry decision to approve the Fairy Creek watershed Cutting Permit 7265 was a governmental policy consideration outweighing the public interest in preserving the few remaining old growth forests in British Columbia.
  14. Image: Blockade at the Fairy Creek Rainforest As arrests at Fairy Creek Rainforest begin, arm yourself with some truth about what's actually happening. The injunction was obtained by inaccurate, self-serving descriptions of the impact of the blockades by Teal Cedar. Go to story

    © Dawna Mueller

  15. BC Premier John Horgan has an inflated view of what his government has done to save old-growth forests. IN AN APRIL 7 INTERVIEW with CBC Victoria’s Gregor Craigie, Premier John Horgan claimed his government has already responded to the Gorley-Merkel report on old-growth forests in BC. Horgan claimed that logging has been deferred on “hundreds of thousand of hectares” of old growth. Forest scientist Karen Price, one of the co-authors of BC’s Old Growth Forest: A Last Stand for Biodiversity, has pointed out on this website that Horgan’s deferrals apply to only 3800 hectares of high productivity old growth. FOCUS has shown that a large portion of the biggest deferral included about 100,000 hectares of already protected Strathcona Park. Other deferrals are mainly rock and ice or second-growth forest. Horgan’s grasp of forest-related issues was further clarified by his claim to Craigie that “just in the Lower Mainland, 500 million hectares of land has been set aside just to protect the Spotted Owl.” What’s wrong with that? Watch the 1-minute video below. The problem for British Columbians is that Horgan seems clueless about the environmental damage being created by the forest industry in BC, and even more unaware about how his government is responding to that. Or maybe both his claims about the logging deferrals and the area protected for Spotted Owls were a slip of the tongue, or a joke. Either way, Craigie didn’t fact-check the premier on either matter. Is British Columbia’s mainstream media unintentionally enabling the unfolding ecological catastrophe in BC forests? If you have heard something about BC’s forest industry in the media that you think is doubtful, including what you read on this website, please let us know in the comments section below and we’ll fact-check that piece of information. Thanks to Dave Cuddy for drawing to our attention John Horgan’s surprising plan to save the Northern Spotted Owl.
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