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Court to hear more Fairy Creek challenges

Protesters challenge RCMP exclusion zones; logging company wants continuation of injunction

The week of Sept. 13 to 17 is Fairy Creek week at the B.C. Supreme Court in Duncan.

Here’s a rundown of four applications Justice Douglas Thompson is asked to consider as the old-growth logging blockades continue at Fairy Creek, near Port Renfrew.

Teal Cedar’s extension request – Teal Cedar, the company that holds a licence to log in Tree Farm Licence 46, is asking for an extension to the injunction order that expires on Sept. 26. The company is asking for a one-year extension and continued RCMP enforcement, saying without both tools there will be “anarchy.” Opponents have filed responses saying an extension will cause more harm than good. Read more on that application and the responses opposed to it here.

Rainforest Flying Squad members challenging RCMP exclusion zones – Three individuals — Keith Cherry, Rani Earnhart and Saul Arbess, all members of the Rainforest Flying Squad — are challenging the RCMP’s use of exclusion zones even after a July 20 ruling stated they went too far. The application asks for a declaration that the exclusion zones established after July 20 were unlawful.

They’re also claiming the RCMP are in contempt of court, but that claim will be addressed at a later date.

RCMP asking for expanded power to use exclusion zones and more – The RCMP on the other hand are asking for a court mandate to use the exclusion zones and to search all people and vehicles attempting to enter the enforcement zone.

In his July 20 order, Justice Thompson said the RCMP had a duty to arrest and remove anyone violating the order, i.e., blocking access, but not to proactively prevent people who haven’t yet violated the order. The Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the RCMP, is asking for a change to the injunction that would give RCMP authority to “deny entry to anyone carrying materials that could be used in breach of the injunction or anyone who denies permission for the search,” and for the power to limit entry overnight or at periods between active enforcement.

Challenge to safety of extraction methods – Unrelated to exclusion zones is a fourth application submitted by two individuals concerned about the safety of people in Fairy Creek. Donna Clark, a teacher and Warren Kimmett, a retired engineer are asking for a number of additions to the order. The main one is about safety for people who have locked themselves in to hardblocks. Clark and Kimmett are suggesting that standard workplace safety regulations should be followed by the RCMP when attempting to extract these individuals. They’re also challenging the seizure and damage of personal property, towing of vehicles and more.

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