For immediate release
April 30, 2021
VANCOUVER – On the afternoon of April 30, 2021, the Rainforest Flying Squad (RFS) and others served the Province of British Columbia with a Third Party Notice.
This Third Party Notice brings the provincial government into the civil action brought by Teal Jones against the RFS. The Notice asks government to suspend or amend cut blocks and road permits in the Fairy Creek and Brown’s Mountain/Creek watershed areas.
The BC Government is responsible for the administration of forest management policy and operations. In the case of Teal Jones, government has authorized the ongoing clear cutting of the ancient rainforests within Tree Farm Licence #46, despite the irreparable harm to the public interest.
The Notice cites three reasons for the inclusion of the government in this action.
With the permanent loss of the ancient rainforest, RFS contends that government is infringing the Charter rights and freedom of religion of Bill Jones, a Pacheedaht First Nations elder who has long practiced meditation and spirituality in the Fairy Creek forest.
The second argument is that the three named defendants have the expectation that the report “A New Future for Old Forests” would result in the current NDP government fulfilling its stated commitments. The report was released April 30, 2020 and government has yet to act in a manner that results in the true preservation of old-growth forest. Premier Horgan himself has stated, “We’re committed to implementing the report in its totality…Forestry has a bright future, but it has to be sustainable. And it has to recognize a whole host of values, not just as two by fours.”
Meanwhile, old-growth forests continue to be clear cut and BC Timber Sales continues to auction off cutblocks of old-growth forests.
The final argument brings in considerations related to the government’s responsibilities under the Climate Change Accountability Act. As Justice Verhoeven noted in his injunction decision,
“There is no doubt that climate change is real, and poses a grave threat to humanity’s future.”
The named clients represent the RFS, a volunteer, loosely-knit and diverse collection of people united in their determination to defend the last of the ancient rainforests. RFS works in partnership with Pacheedaht band members and other First Nations peoples who have joined the movement. We are grateful for all the support from communities, organizations, professionals and BC citizens who cherish the gifts of the ancient rainforest.
Kathy Code: email@example.com; 250 418-5313
Carole Toothill: firstname.lastname@example.org; 778-441-2731