Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers (second from left), Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon (third from left) and other local politicians went to the Fairy Creek blockades this week on a fact-finding mission. (Photo courtesy Nathalie Chambers)

Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers (second from left), Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon (third from left) and other local politicians went to the Fairy Creek blockades this week on a fact-finding mission. (Photo courtesy Nathalie Chambers)

Greater Victoria councillors visit Fairy Creek blockades, none were arrested

Elected officals were allowed to enter the exclusion zone, along with journalists

The total arrests at the Fairy Creek blockades topped 185 by Monday when at least 11 people were taken into custody.

Nine were arrested for breaching the injunction and two for obstruction.

Among the crowd that day were Saanich Coun. Nathalie Chambers, Metchosin Coun. Andy MacKinnon and Gary Holman, the Salt Spring Island electoral area director for the Capital Regional District.

Chambers learned that elected officials were permitted to enter exclusion zones, similar to journalists. She travelled to the blockade north of Port Renfrew on June 7 to see what was going on.

“We were independent of council, but went in our role as elected officials to represent the support from our constituents to end old-growth logging,” she said.

“I tried to get arrested, I said please arrest me, but the good officers would not arrest me,” Chambers told Black Press Media.

“Clearly the RCMP did not want to arrest a municipal councillor, but it was fun to watch her try. She’s a troublemaker but a delightful one,” said MacKinnon. He described their visit as an information gathering trip. Several municipalities in Greater Victoria have passed resolutions calling on the province to change the way it manages old-growth forests.

READ MORE: First Nations tell B.C. to pause old growth logging on southwest Vancouver Island

“We’ve gotten to this point by an abdication of leadership by the provincial government,” he said. “You have people that I think have a lot of common ground among them – protesters, the Pacheedaht, loggers and RCMP – essentially being pitted against each other. I think with a little bit of leadership from the provincial government we would not be seeing this.”

MacKinnon wants the NDP to implement the recommendations from the old-growth strategic review panel, which they committed to last fall, but he said have been delayed.

“I think that’s why these people are so frustrated, that they think they have no option but to camp out in the rain and chain themselves to chunks of concrete,” he said. “People don’t do that for fun. This is not a first resort. And from my conversations there, the RCMP would rather be elsewhere too.”

READ MORE: Solidarity builds for Indigenous claims over Fairy Creek watershed on Vancouver Island

Chambers supports the blockades, saying, “I see this as the beginning of settling the outstanding financial debt living on unceded territories. We need to pay for those trees to be standing through conservation covenants and other things. It’s about ensuring ongoing revenue for Pacheedaht.”

Three nations in whose territory the Tree Farm Licence 46 resides released a statement Monday demanding a two-year deferral on old-growth logging. Teal-Jones agreed to stop logging old growth and start discussions with the First Nations and the provincial government, in their first official statement on logging in the area. The company stated they acknowledge the First Nations’ authority and would enter into discussions.

But the deferrals aren’t enough for the protesters, who are still demanding more comprehensive forest protections.

READ MORE: Vancouver Island First Nations declaration not enough for old-growth protesters


Do you have a story tip? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Fairy Creek watershedMetchosinSaanichWest Shore

Just Posted

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

Grade 12 graduates Jada Touchie, Timothy Masso and Brendan Brown are all smiles after receiving their Goodies for the Grads gift packs thanks to a small neighbourhood grant from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet Secondary School grads set to parade through town

Family and friends can cheer on the Class of 2021 this Saturday, June 19 at 4:30 p.m.

From left, Ahousaht First Nation Hereditary Chief Richard George presents a $10,000 cheque to Tofino Hatchery manager Doug Palfrey alongside Tyler Huebner of TCH Contracting The funds will go towards rebuilding Cypre river Chinook. (Carallyn Bowes photo)
Tofino Hatchery receives $10K donation

Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society tackling massive drop in Chinook salmon stocks

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

This rendering shows the potential layout for a 40-unit staff housing cooperative being proposed by the Pac Rim Home Development Cooperative in Ucluelet. (Image from www.prhdc.ca)
Pac Rim Cooperative pitches staff housing project in Ucluelet

“We’re looking at it as if it’s like a resort for employees”

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read