Adam Olsen (left), Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, is shown at a public meeting in Spirit Square, Campbell River, on June 29, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Green Party MLA calls for watershed protections at meeting in Campbell River

Adam Olsen says rainforest protection is a key policy for wild salmon conservation

B.C. Green Party MLA Adam Olsen, who represents the Saanich North and Islands riding, held a small public meeting in Campbell River on Saturday morning.

About a dozen people attended the event, which took place at Spirit Square. A larger turnout was clearly expected, and Olsen sat down in a circle of chairs for informal discussions with locals instead of using the sound system and stage.

In an interview, Olsen stressed the importance of watersheds in old-growth forests, saying forestry policy is a major tool available to the provincial government for protecting wild salmon.

“The declining salmon stocks in large respect have to do with forestry practices,” Olsen said. “We recognize that salmon come to the creeks and streams, and that’s provincial jurisdiction.”

The Green Party has called for a moratorium on logging in the remaining intact and pristine rainforests on Vancouver Island.

Olsen said the provincial government has a responsibility to advocate at the federal level on issues including fish harvesting, tankers in the Salish Sea and open-pen net farms.

READ MORE: Protesters in Campbell River call for moratorium on old-growth logging

During discussions lasting more than an hour and a half, locals asked Olsen about issues including election strategies and Green Party policies on renewable energy. Olsen said the party has worked closely with the NDP government on policies including its climate plan.

Olsen is one of three Green Party MLAs holding a balance of power in the B.C. legislature with the governing NDP.

Also present at the meeting was Mark de Bruijn, the federal Green Party nominee for the North Island-Powell River riding. Several questions from locals who attended the event were directed at de Bruijn, who lives in the Comox Valley, about his plans for the upcoming federal election.

De Bruijn stressed the importance of a climate change transition strategy, saying that other political parties were playing politics with a potential threat to human civilization.


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