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Mounties resume enforcement against B.C. old-growth logging activists


Mounties are resuming their enforcement of a court injunction against old-growth logging protesters in the Fairy Creek watershed on southern Vancouver Island.

The B.C. RCMP said officers returned to the area Tuesday morning, where environmental activists have blockaded logging roads and interfered with the forestry operations of Teal Cedar Products since the summer of 2020.

"Over the past several weeks, the company has reported numerous violations of persons obstructing, impeding and interfering with their ability to perform work in the area," the Mounties said in a statement Tuesday.

"There have also been reports from company employees of being harassed or intimidated, and their equipment and corporate vehicles vandalized on a forestry road outside of Port Renfrew."

The RCMP says it has maintained a presence in the area to monitor the activities of the protesters but will now actively enforce the injunction against the blockaders at the request of the company.

The renewed enforcement effort comes less than a week after Canada's highest court refused to hear an appeal of a British Columbia Supreme Court decision to acquit a Fairy Creek protester of criminal contempt for participating in the blockades.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision dismissed the appeal from the B.C. Crown and awarded costs to the demonstrator. In turn, the B.C. Prosecution Service dropped 146 remaining cases against Fairy Creek protesters as the likelihood of securing convictions was in doubt.


Mounties say their operations this week will focus on removing a blockade from a forestry service road bridge over the Gordon River, which is preventing Teal Cedar Products from harvesting already fallen timber.

The protesters "will be given the opportunity to remove their blockade and leave the area or relocate to allow the company passage across the bridge, per the terms of the injunction, or face arrest," the RCMP said.

Supt. Ken Floyd of the B.C. RCMP said arrests will be made "as a last resort" after negotiations with the activists.

"However, due to the ongoing nature of the complaints, we can no longer delay enforcing a court-ordered injunction," Floyd added.

The B.C. RCMP announced some arrests had already happened in an update Tuesday afternoon. Mounties said “several individuals” refused to leave the area after being read the injunction order, and three people were arrested. They were all later released without process from the RCMP detachment in Lake Cowichan.

Police also alleged that an officer was assaulted by a person who then fled into the woods.

“A detailed report to Crown counsel will be forwarded with consideration of criminal charge(s),” the RCMP wrote. 

The Fairy Creek protests began after logging permits were granted in 2020 to allow Teal Cedar Products to cut timber, including old-growth trees, in areas including the Fairy Creek watershed northeast of Port Renfrew.

Protest camps were set up close to the cutting site in August 2020 and injunctions aimed at preventing interference with logging or forestry crews followed the next year.

Confrontations escalated in 2021, leading to active RCMP intervention and what is considered one of the most extensive acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history as more than 1,100 demonstrators were arrested.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kaija Jussinoja and The Canadian Press Top Stories

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