Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day wants to keep his town and the surrounding area peaceful as old-growth logging protests expand throughout southern Vancouver Island.
Many of the protest camps are located around the Fairy Creek area near Port Renfrew, but one major camp is located in the Caycuse area, on the McClure Forest Service Road. Additionally, all protesters arrested at any of the camps are being processed at the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment.
Well over 100 protesters had been arrested and processed during the first 10 days of enforcement by the RCMP of a BC Supreme Court injunction that prohibits blockades on Tree Farm Licence 46. The protesters have been at some of the locations for months, but enforcement of the injunction just began on Monday, May 17.
“Under a current provincial court injunction, the RCMP have been tasked with keeping this protest peaceful, which has not been without some challenging moments,” Day said in his mayor’s report last week. “We all have a right to peacefully protest on both sides of an issue, but must do so within the laws. There are many interests that need to be acknowledged in this issue and everyone needs to stay within the law while expressing their position. Failure to do so gives a large amount of discredit to the individuals or groups who refuse to act within the law while representing their respective points of view. I plan to reach out to the appropriate provincial ministries to ensure they remain aware of developing circumstances that are starting to occur in and around our community. I am hoping they will share with us some insight on their role now and into the future regarding this issue.”
Many of the protesters are travelling through the Cowichan Lake area to reach the camps. There were reports of clashes between protesters and logging supporters in Mesachie Lake during the Victoria Day long weekend.