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B.C. man ends hunger strike against old-growth logging after 31 days

Click to play video: 'Old growth demonstrators force heightened security'
Old growth demonstrators force heightened security
B.C. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy says old growth protesters are getting more brazen in their demonstrations, and have escalated to calls to her family. As Richard Zussman reports, it's left the government no choice but to increase security. – Apr 27, 2022

A British Columbia man has ended a hunger strike to protest old-growth logging after 31 days, according to his environmental group.

Howard Breen, 68, ended the strike after experiencing cognitive decline and losing nearly 40 pounds, according to the group, Save Old Growth.

Read more: Anti old-growth logging protesters glue themselves to door of Vancouver hotel

Breen previously said he was taken to hospital in Nanaimo last weekend after experiencing blurred vision and pain around his kidneys.

He is one of several old-growth logging protesters who staged hunger strikes in April.

Brent Eichler ended his strike after 33 days, Save Old Growth says, while Vic Brice continues a strike that began just over a week ago.

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The hunger strikers have demanded a meeting with Forests Minister Katrine Conroy.

Click to play video: 'Old growth protesters once again block major Vancouver intersection'
Old growth protesters once again block major Vancouver intersection

The hunger strikes are part of a wider campaign against old-growth logging that has seen demonstrators block key highways and glue themselves to roads and buildings in recent weeks.

The group says a tiny fraction of B.C.’s original old-growth forests remain and are calling for them to be protected in law.

Conroy has so far refused to meet with the protesters.

Read more: Old growth logging protesters prompt security concerns for B.C. minister

On Friday, she told the BC Council of Forest Industries conference that despite the polarized debate on old-growth logging, most British Columbians “are somewhere in the middle of that topic, and thank goodness for that because government has been very clear on this issue.”

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Conroy said the province is implementing a strategic review of B.C.’s old-growth forest management and is working with First Nations and other partners to develop a new long-term strategy that “prioritizes ecosystem health and community prosperity.”

-With files from the Canadian Press

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