Constituents ramp up pressure on MLAs to protect B.C.’s old growth forests

Thursday June 10, 2021

People are calling on their elected officials today to honour campaign promises made to protect the last remaining giant trees

səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Territories (Vancouver, B.C.) —  Across British Columbia, people are holding their MLAs accountable today to protect BC’s last remaining old growth forests. 

On June 10th, constituents across B.C. hosted a number of creative protests outside their MLA’s offices to let elected officials know that old growth is #WorthMoreStanding. 

Earlier this month, Premier Horgan announced a woefully inadequate plan for the forestry industry that didn’t mention timely deferrals for at-risk old growth. Yesterday’s announcement from the Horgan government revealed that it will honour deferral requests from Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, but it only addresses a fraction of what’s at-risk in those territories and B.C.’s old growth issue at large. There are 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth across the province still in need of protection. 

With the world watching closely as the remaining old growth in B.C. is destroyed for short-term profits, the provincial government is at a critical tipping point in the push to protect these ancient giants.

“Having now studied the maps and taken a flight over with Google Maps, it's clear that today's announcement defers the heart of the Walbran and Fairy Creek. That's so exciting, said Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director, Stand.Earth. “But can you protect a beating heart and cut away the rest of the body?" said Berman. "Today the Premier said there is more to come. Let's hope it's 1.3 million hectares more.”

On April 30, 2020 an independent old growth review panel submitted their report and recommendations to the provincial government, which included specific timelines for immediate steps like full Indigenous involvement and reducing threats to at-risk forests. 

The panel called for immediate logging deferrals in remaining productive old growth forests, but despite giving the province a six-month timeline to put deferrals in place, about 75 per cent of remaining productive old growth forests in BC remain open to logging. These old growth forests are now found on less than one per cent of the forested landbase in BC.

“The scientists have spoken, the people have spoken - yet chainsaws continue to head towards these 2000 year old yellow cedars,” said Berman. “If deferrals aren’t implemented immediately, B.C.’s last remaining old growth forests could be gone forever. Everyone must continue mobilizing the Horgan government until he lives up to his promise to protect our ancient trees.” 

Stand.earth and its supporters are calling on the B.C. government to fulfill its promise and implement immediate deferrals for all 1.3 million hectares of at-risk old growth.

Resources

In keeping with Covid-19 safety measures, participants are encouraged to post photos of their participation with the hashtag #WorthMoreStanding.

Photos will also be uploaded here throughout the day and available for media use.

There are number of people available at multiple MLA offices for comment, including the following constituencies:

Courtenay-comox | Ronna-Rae Leonard 

  • When: 11am - 1pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 437 5th Street, Courtenay
  • More info here.

Esquimalt-metchosin | Mitzi Dean

  • When: 11am, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: #104-1497 Admirals Road in Admirals Walk Shopping Centre (next to the Pet Shop and Dry-cleaners) - Victoria

Langley | Andrew Mercier

  • When: 1-2:30pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 20611 Fraser Hwy, Langley
  • More info here

Mid Island-pacific Rim | Josie Osborne

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 3945 Johnston Road, Port Alberni

Nanaimo | Sheila Malcomson

  • When: 1pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 495 Dunsmuir Street, Nanaimo
  • More info here

Nanaimo-North Cowichan | Doug Routley

  • When: 11:30am, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: #112-50 Tenth Street (Southgate Mall next to the credit union), Nanaimo

Nelson-Creston | Brittny Anderson

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 433 Josephine Street, Nelson

North Island | Michele Babchuk

  • When: 11:30am, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: Meet at Logger Mike, then walk to 908 Island Highway, Campbell River

North-Vancouver Lonsdale | Bowinn Ma

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 50-221 Esplanade Ave West, North Vancouver

Oak Bay-Gordon Head | Murray Rankin

  • When: 2:30-4pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 3930 Shelbourne Street, Victoria
  • More info here

Penticton | Dan Ashton

  • When: 1:30pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 210-300 Riverside Drive, Penticton

Saanich South | Lana Popham

  • When: 10am, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 260-4243 Glanford Ave, Victoria

Terrace 

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 3215 Eby St, Terrace (between Terrace City Hall and the RCMP office)

Victoria Legislature

  • When: 12:30pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: Meet at the B.C. Legislature Cenotaph, Victoria

Vancouver-Mount Pleasant | Melanie Mark

  • When: 2:30pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 1070-1641 Commercial Drive, Vancouver
  • More info here

Vancouver-Point Grey | David Eby 

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 2909 W Broadway, Vancouver
  • More info here

Vancouver West End | Spencer Chandra Herbert

  • When: 12pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 923 Denman St, Vancouver

West Vancouver-sea To Sky | Jordan Sturdy

  • When: 12-1pm, Thursday June 10th
  • Where: 38551 Loggers Ln, Squamish
  • More info here

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Media contact: 

Ziona Eyob, Canadian Communications Manager, canmedia@stand.earth, +1 604 757 7279 (Pacific Time)