Jay Van Oostdam photos
Comox Valley marches to preserve Island’s remaining old growth forests
Ninety-one-year-old Elke Bibby, with her walker in tow, thought it important enough to come in from Cumberland to join the Day of Action to Save BC Forests.
So did Tallulah Patterson, owner of Little Salmon Child Care located in Courtenay’s Puntledge Park. Seven of her charges accompanied her to the Courtenay courthouse lawn on their bikes and scooters and then marched down Courtenay’s streets to Save BC Forests.
Along the way, cut-outs of local MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, Minister of Forestry Doug Donaldson and Premier John Horgan made their usual statements defending the provincial government’s decision to sell lots of old growth to the highest industry bidder. In a twist on the childhood game of “Simon Says,” marchers were cued to turn their backs on the politicians’ obfuscations.
When the marchers arrived at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, speakers stood between the two unity totems installed at the gallery entrance.
Galen Armstrong, with Sierra Club BC, looked out over the crowd of more than 100 marchers and commented on its age diversity.
“We need to talk to people of all ages, we need to expand our circle” so that we can stop logging companies from harvesting old growth,” he said.
Youth Environmental Action organizer, Nalan Goosen, said young people believe they are the ones being “most affected by logging old growth” since they will inherit a damaged environment.
Describing that damage was Dr. Loys Maingon, who was arrested at Clayoquot Sound in 1992 for protecting old growth. While he presented statistical and scientific information, he did it in a passionate way that stirred the crowd.
Eartha Muirhead, who is spearheading the anti-old growth logging movement with First Nations at Schmidt Creek, said that “letters and polite emails to our provincial government may no longer be enough. We may need to lay our bodies on the line to save old growth.”
Other speakers included Cumberland Councillor Vickey Brown, who told the crowd that her young son said that “there are places where people just shouldn’t be” like old growth forests.
Will Cole-Hamilton, a Courtenay City Councillor, said that logging old growth is a “destructive practice” that has led to our Island’s “scarred landscape.”
Mark de Bruijn, a local Green Party of Canada candidate, noted that “tweaking provincial regulations is no longer enough. We need a profound overhaul of the system.”
Marchers spontaneously made their own signs, like Megan Trumble. They recited poems like Lorraine’s “Stained Shoes.” They penned and sang their own songs like Joanna Finch’s “We Are One.”
“The energy” at the Day of Action “was electric,” said one participant.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Detailed mapping by the Comox Valley Regional District will identify the coastal areas most vulnerable to sea level rise and provide richer data for engineers and future local government regulations and bylaw changes
The climate crisis will force us to produce more food on less land while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. For Bren Smith, director of the non-profit group Greenwave, this transition means expanding our definition of farming to include the ocean
The Comox Valley will march at 1 pm today for changes to slow down climate change. But are we really just giving lip service when bolder actions are needed to save the planet?
At a meeting with nearly 100 Comox Valley climate activists, Will Cole-Hamilton discussed global progress in solar and wind technologies, how the City of Courtenay has addressed climate change and why climate marches are so important
The Comox Valley will join millions of people worldwide to talk about the reality of the climate crisis, what it means and what you can do. The local event will take place from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Comox United Church Hall
Maude Barlow’s presentation today at the K’omoks Band Hall is not just another stop on the tour to promote her new book, Whose Water Is It, Anyway? The co-founder of the Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project is on a mission to sound the alarm about a global water crisis
Comox Valley residents joined millions of people marching worldwide on Sept. 27 demanding that governments step-up their efforts to tackle the climate emergency
The Vancouver Island Health Authority announced last month that it planned to drop a public health responsibility and dump it onto BC municipalities, but it apparently forgot to inform municipal officials
The Town of Comox has handed off Norine and Ken McDonald’s $250,000 lawsuit to one of the world’s largest independent providers of claims management solutions, Crawford and Company
The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) has been purchasing and protecting privately owned forests scheduled for logging near the Village of Cumberland since 2000