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LETTER: Clearcut logging during the climate emergency

From reader Diana van Eyk

Dear Premier Horgan:

As a former B.C. NDP member, I don’t get the direction your party has been taking.

A couple of days ago, peaceful land defenders were removed by the RCMP – many militarized – on the Argenta-Johnsons Landing face in a way that was heavy handed, uncalled for and illegal. According to people who were there, RCMP arrested police liaisons, people who weren’t blocking the road, and people from the community who were stopping by to say hello. The police didn’t read protesters their rights, destroyed some of their personal belongings, and denied arrestees access to food and water.

The NDP is supposed to be the party that stands up for the interests of ordinary people. These days, most of us are terrified about the climate crisis. Despite this, those defending the last remaining stands of old growth in this province are being abused.

During the heat dome last summer, you ignored the ample warnings that it was coming, and didn’t organize protection for people. The result was that about 600 died. Instead of having all hands on deck, you authorized police to arrest land defenders at Fairy Creek when they could have been helping with this climate emergency.

Humanity is at a critical turning point. As the International Panel on Climate Change advises, we must protect our environment and transition to a greener future. Yet you continue to allow rapacious logging, and support and subsidize fracking that causes emissions and pollutes air and water. And please don’t tell me it’s for the sake of jobs. The jobs go where the logs go, and most of them are being exported. Investing in renewables would create more and better jobs than clearcutting and fracking, and would lessen our chances of the crises we experienced last summer.

As a former member of your Party, I cannot bring myself to vote for your party in the next election when you continue this destructive and irresponsible behaviour.

Isn’t it time you updated your policies to reflect the climate emergency and people’s present day concerns?

Diana van Eyk

Winlaw