Letter: Politicians must wade in to solve Fairy Creek impasse

If this hope is wrong thinking, it will not change by increasingly brutal RCMP attacks

Politicians must wade in to solve Fairy Creek impasse

Dear politicians:

Please help change the unconscionable lack of political involvement in resolving the Fairy Creek blockades crisis. Lack of political involvement has led to 118 days of frustration and burnout for the police. Lack of political involvement has resulted in 118 days of a large body of young Canadians being methodically trained to develop contempt for our nation’s police force.

A small fire left unattended can become an enormous wildfire. Similarly, prolonged civil disobedience left unattended by political leadership can become a spreader virus that infects our entire democracy. Many young Canadians feel overwhelmed by the relentless forces of threat bearing down on them by the COVID viruses and global climate change. Walking in the ancient forests along the Fairy Creek ridges has given some youth a feeling of responsibility for what seems to be a potential environmental extinction event they can hope to do something about.

Videos like “Fantastic Fungi” on YouTube suggest that the mycelium in an old growth forest vaccinates “itself against pathogens in the ecosystem. Our old growth forests that contain these ancient fungi are deep reservoirs of potential compounds that can fight pandemic viruses. We should save the old growth forests as a matter of national defence”. People who believe that such capabilities infuse old growth forests are, understandably, capable of extreme acts that they hope will protect the precious ancient soils.

If this hope is wrong thinking, it will not change by increasingly brutal RCMP attacks. The Fairy Creek blockades demand political leadership. When 900 citizens in a democracy feel so strongly about an environmental event that they are willing to be arrested, the politicians need to show up, listen, and work hard to find peaceful solutions.

As Stewart Phillip, Grand Chief of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, has said, “You can’t simply parcel this off as an Indigenous cultural rights issue. You can’t parcel it off as an economic issue. You must remain focused on the fact that old growth forests in British Columbia are at the point of extinction. We all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to protect them.”

We want our young people to be responsible, to care and contribute. If Chief Phillip and the Fairy Creek protestors are thinking wrong, then you politicians need to work with them to find right thinking. By responding to a peaceful protest with excessive force and massive arrests, B.C. politicians have opened a window that sheds a whole different light on Canada’s alleged commitment to take a leading role in the support of and protection for our environment.

Please, help facilitate truthful and inclusive dialogues between all parties involved in the unconscionable Fairy Creek loggerheads.


Larry McIntosh

Maple Bay