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Campbell River city council to fight what it calls forestry ‘misinformation’

Fairy Creek protests and recent Nanaimo council decision spurs CR council to openly back forestry
Campbell River city council wants to make it explicitly clear where it stands on the forestry industry after a series of what one councilor calls “decisions based on misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.” Black Press File Photo

Campbell River city council says it’s time to make it explicitly clear how it feels about the forestry industry.

At the April 26 meeting of council, a motion was passed unanimously that council “immediately provide an elevated direct response of support for forest operations based on fact and science.”

The motion was made by Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who says that the current situation at Fairy Creek on southern Vancouver Island – along with a recent motion by the City of Nanaimo in support of curtailing the harvest of old-growth trees – is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of what he calls “decisions based on misinformation, disinformation and outright lies.”

Nanaimo city council’s recent motion calls on the B.C. government to defer logging “in all high-productivity, rare, oldest and most intact” old-growth forests including at Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew, fund an “economically just” transition from “unsustainable” logging and forward the resolution for debate at the next Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

“For (Nanaimo city council) to pass a resolution on this is deeply disturbing and I’m tired of it,” Cornfield says. “I’ve watched it year after year after year, people getting up at our conventions and they ramble off on stuff that is not factual information.

“They took the wrong mill,” Cornfield continues. “If Nanaimo city council does not support the forest sector, send your sawmill up here. Send your pulp mill up here. We’ll take it. They obviously don’t appreciate the economic impact and social impact that comes along with it.”

RELATED: Nanaimo council votes to oppose old-growth logging

And in regards to the Fairy Creek protests at the south end of the Island, Cornfield says while he supports people’s right to peacefully protest against things they don’t agree with, once a court has made a decision, it’s time to move on.

“To thumb your nose at the supreme court and an injunction is the wrong thing,” Cornfield says. “That’s anarchy and that’s not acceptable. If you don’t like the rules that are in place, change the rules. Run for council, run to be an MLA. Get elected and then you can change the rules.”

RELATED: Fairy Creek protesters add province to its legal appeal to extend blockade

Council voted unanimously to send a letter on behalf of the city to Katerine Conroy, minister of forests, lands, natural resources and rural development, along with Premier John Horgan and others, saying Campbell River wants decisions on forestry operations to be made based on science rather than emotion.

The letter was sent out April 29, reading, in part, “council believes that coastal forest operations are threatened by misinformation,” adding that as a hub for those forestry operations, “we view forestry as an essential component of economic recovery during and following the pandemic.”

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