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Opponents to stage hunger strike to protest old-growth logging on Vancouver Island

Click to play video: 'Poll finds 85% support for old growth protection' Poll finds 85% support for old growth protection
A new poll suggests most British Columbians are not happy with the way the BC NDP government is handling the issue of old growth logging. The survey suggests strong support for protecting the trees, but as Paul Johnson reports, industry maintains there is a lot of misinformation about what's actually happening in the forests – Jun 3, 2021

Opponents of old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island say they will stage a hunger strike in Vancouver until they can meet with British Columbia Premier John Horgan and Jonathan Wilkinson, the federal environment and climate change minister.

Extinction Rebellion spokesman Zain Haq says in a statement Sunday the hunger strike is in support of protestors camped near old-growth forest logging areas west of Victoria, which has been the scene of 222 arrests in recent weeks at Fairy Creek.

Read more: B.C. deferring old-growth forestry in Fairy Creek and the Central Walbran for 2 years

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Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver and refuse food until they get the meeting with Horgan, Wilkinson and B.C. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy to discuss old-growth logging and climate change.

On Wednesday, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations who wanted old-growth logging deferred in their territories for two years, but the protests are continuing.

The RCMP began enforcing a B.C. Supreme Court injunction ordering the removal of blockades and protesters at several sites on May 17, and on Saturday arrested eight more people for breaching the injunction, including two minors.

Read more: Old-growth logging opponents blockade major Vancouver intersection

Activists say little of the best old-growth forests remain in B.C. and Fairy Creek is the last unprotected, intact valley on southern Vancouver Island.

“Our demand is to meet with the premier, the minister of forestry and the federal minister for climate change and environment Canada,” says Haq. “We want to eat, but we will wait for them. Whether we eat or not will be completely up to the three politicians.”

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