Climate change cited as reason to deny injunction extension in B.C. old-growth dispute

RCMP officers arrest a man during an anti-logging protest in Caycuse, B.C. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne

A lawyer representing a man opposed to the extension of an injunction against ongoing protests over old-growth logging says the B.C. Supreme Court should keep in mind public concerns over climate change when considering the application from Teal Cedar Products Ltd.

Lawyer Steven Kelliher, representing Victoria landscaper Robert (Saul) Arbess, says the court must weigh the importance to the environment of protecting old-growth trees in the Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island as opposed to the company’s economic interests.

Almost 1,000 people have been arrested in the area north of Port Renfrew since May when the RCMP started to enforce an earlier B.C. Supreme Court injunction against blockades erected in several areas near logging sites.

Click to play video: 'Tensions escalate at Fairy Creek blockade'
Tensions escalate at Fairy Creek blockade

Teal Cedar Products wants to extend the injunction by one year, until Sept. 26, 2022.

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Teal Cedar lawyer Dean Dalke told the court Tuesday the blockades are impeding the company’s legal rights to harvest timber and alleged that the actions of protesters pose dangers to employees and the RCMP.

The RCMP has applied to the court to extend search and access powers in the injunction area.

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