Maybe you are tiring of hearing about the ongoing fight to save the last of the old growth forests in B.C. We are all so overwhelmed with our own issues, dealing with COVID and all the other complications of modern life it is easy to sympathize but not have the energy to do anything about it, figuring someone else will. The thing is though that like it or not, this is your problem too. The issue of climate change is going to affect us all in our lifetime, progressively more and more each year, and the time left to alter that course lessens by the day. Today I watched a video of some of these majestic trees actually crashing to the ground after being chain-sawed down and it quite literally made me feel sick. How can anyone still think this is OK? If these trees were human artifacts of the same age they would be carefully preserved in museums and revered. And if only 2.7 per cent of an endangered animal species was left we would be doing everything in our power to protect and save the last of them. But these trees are not just artifacts or cute marmots — they support diverse ecosystems, save our land from being flooded and produce the very air we breathe. They are quite literally essential to human life.
Instead of preserving them like the NDP government has for years been promising to do — BC MLA’s having generated at least 12 of their own old growth petitions since 2009 — they are now paying the RCMP millions of our tax payer dollars for the increasingly brutal removal of the brave and very determined forest defenders doing everything in their power to make the NDP keep their broken promises. My friends in Europe who long ago lost the last of their old growth forests — many made into ships then dispatched to ‘discover’, conquer and colonize already occupied lands, ours included — cannot believe that our government is allowing this to happen, much less actually supporting it. In many ways this current action is the same colonial cycle continued, especially considering the parties involved — government, aboriginal peoples, the RCMP enforcers and big business. Have we learned nothing at all in all these years? It makes me ashamed to call myself a Canadian right now.
It is the job of any non-dictatorial government to represent the will of its people and to defend our rights. The NDP government is failing at that job and we need to hold them accountable. The B.C. people, and increasingly the world now, continue to speak out in support of ending old growth logging and the more loudly we speak, the less the chance they can continue to ignore us. Properly managed, B.C.’s forestry industry can and will continue to thrive — this fight has never been about ending logging — but with every massive tree that continues to fall right now, today, we are losing that battle. Please, for the sake of your children and your grandchildren, for the sake of the world’s future, find a way to add your voice to this chorus. Donate, sign petitions, write letters, phone [Premier John] Horgan’s office, or if you can spare the time, join those on the front line right now at Fairy Creek where reinforcements are urgently needed. It may just change your life.
Tanya Friese — mother of 19-year-old who was forest protector arrestee #122 out of the currently 248 and counting.