BC Forest Company says the rule of law must apply to ongoing protests at Fairy Creek – BC

Lawyers for a British Columbia forestry company say they want the court to uphold the rule of law at a protest site on southern Vancouver Island, where more than 1,000 people have been arrested in ongoing protests over the issue. old forest logging.


Attorney Dean Dalke, representing Teal Cedar Products Ltd., told the BC Court of Appeals panel on Monday that the company was the victim of a well-organized, illegal protest campaign aimed at preventing it accesses its legal timber rights in Fairy Creek area on Vancouver Island.

The company is appealing a decision from a BC Supreme Court judge in September to deny an application to extend the court’s order on protest blockades in the area for a year.

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“This appeal is about whether the court upheld the rule of law in the face of an illegal blockade campaign,” Dalke said during the hearing.

“It arose because Teal Cedar, the innocent victim of these illegal blockades, was denied a remedy in the court below.”

Lawyers for the protest group known as the Rainforest Squadron are expected to present their arguments in court on Tuesday.

Click to play video:'Protesters claim malicious tactics by police and forestry company in Fairy Creek to block logging'

Protesters accuse the police and forestry companies of malicious tactics at the Fairy Creek logging blockade

Protesters claim malicious tactics by police and forestry companies at Fairy Creek logging blockade – September 16, 2021

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson refused to renew the order that went into effect in September, saying police enforcement had resulted in serious violations of civil liberties, including the loss of rights. press freedom.

The ban remains in place after Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein granted temporary residency last month to allow Teal Cedar to appeal the lower court’s decision.

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Dalke told the Court of Appeals on Monday that the protesters carried out a lengthy campaign of interference before the ban was issued last April and they have continued since.

“This has become the largest civil disobedience campaign in Canadian history,” he said.

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He said the lower court judge’s decision to refuse to extend the ban should not be allowed because it allows the court to shirk the responsibility of upholding the rule of law, punishing the company for its RCMP behavior in other jurisdictions. blockade area and require the police and Crown to take measures beyond relying on the courts.

Instead of allowing the order to be extended, the lower court judge asked the police to increase patrols and that the Royal Family consider using criminal or other provincial laws to stop the protests, Dalke said.

The lower court judge said the RCMP mainly exercised “reasonable force” in enforcing the order, but sometimes showed “significant lapses in reasonable crowd control.”

Video evidence presented at the lower court showed RCMP officers pulling down protesters’ masks and pepper sprayed their faces, while another video showed officers destroying their guitars. a protester.

© 2021 Canadian Press | BC Forest Company says the rule of law must apply to ongoing protests at Fairy Creek – BC


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