'These are monumental steps': B.C. government approves old-growth logging deferral on Vancouver Island
The British Columbia government has approved a request from a group of First Nations to defer old-growth logging in their territories on southwestern Vancouver Island for the next two years.
Premier John Horgan announced the province’s decision to approve the request on Wednesday, saying he was "very proud" to receive the deferral request and says more requests will be coming this summer.
The deferred lands include 884 hectares of old forests in the Fairy Creek watershed, near Port Renfrew, and 1,150 hectares of old growth in the central Walbran valley, near Lake Cowichan.
When asked if he thought the two-year deferral on roughly 2,000 hectares of old-growth forests would end the months-long protests in the region, Horgan was cautiously optimistic.
"I’m hopeful that those who have taken to the roads of southern Vancouver Island will understand that this process is not one that can happen overnight," the premier said.
"I understand the importance of preserving these areas," Horgan added. "But I also understand that you can’t turn on a dime when you’re talking about an industry that has been the foundation of B.C.’s economy."
The Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations told the province on Saturday of their plan to postpone old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas while the nations develop long-term resource stewardship plans.
Horgan acknowledged Wednesday that his government’s approval of the deferral request comes at a cost to the forestry sector but said the anticipated impact on jobs is "modest in this area."
"Over time there will be costs to moving in this direction but those are going to be dollars well spent," Horgan said. "We’re changing the way we do business on the land and that is hard work."
MORE LOGGING DEFERRALS COMING
Protesters have been blockading logging roads in the Fairy Creek area since August, preventing forestry company Teal-Jones from accessing the watershed. In April, the B.C. Supreme Court granted the company an injunction to have the blockades removed.
Since the RCMP began enforcing the injunction in late May, at least 194 people have been arrested, including more than two dozen arrests since the First Nations announced their deferral plans.
“These are monumental steps,” the premier said of the logging deferrals, noting that more deferral requests will be coming.
“These announcements are transformative for an industry that has been foundational to British Columbia’s success and will be foundational to our future success, but it has to be done a different way,” Horgan said.
“Today I am proud to have deferred these territories at the request of the title-holders and I’m very excited about the deferrals that will be coming later in the summer and all through the implementation of our old-growth plan,” the premier added.
Teal-Jones told CTV News on Monday that it would abide by the First Nations’ deferral request even before the province had accepted it.
"Teal-Jones acknowledges the ancestral territories of all First Nations on which we operate and is committed to reconciliation," the company said.
The deferral prevents not just old-growth logging but all logging activities in the designated old-growth areas. It also prohibits the construction of new logging roads, however some maintenance and deactivation work may continue for safety and environmental reasons.
The First Nations say forestry operations in other parts of their territories will continue without disruption and they are asking protesters not to interfere with these approved operations.
"Today, we welcome the decision by the Government of British Columbia to approve the request made by our three nations," the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht said in a joint statement following the premier's announcement.
"We expect everyone to allow forestry operations approved by our nations and the Government of British Columbia in other parts of our territories to continue without interruption," the nations added.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
While Canadians didn't have to wait too long on election night to find out who will lead the next government, there are still several individual seats too close to call and it could take a few days to get clear results with many mail-in ballots still to be counted.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the 2021 federal election, he said it was because he thought Canadians should have their say about where the country is going. Well, voters have spoken, and it's another minority Liberal government. With an almost identical House of Commons heading to Ottawa in terms of seat distribution, leaders are now facing post-election questions about their futures.
U.S. President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to congratulate his election win and the two leaders plan to meet in person soon, the White House and Prime Minister’s Office said in statements on Tuesday.
Tyler Shandro is no longer Alberta's health minister as part of Premier Jason Kenney's cabinet shuffle on Tuesday afternoon.
Autopsy results have confirmed that the remains found Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest are those of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared while on a trip exploring national parks with her fiancé, according to the FBI in Denver.
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused damage in the city of Melbourne on Wednesday in an unusually powerful temblor for Australia, Geoscience Australia said.
Many older voters, parents with young children and Canadians with disabilities didn't vote because of long lineups at their voting sites, with Elections Canada apologizing for the wait but saying there was little else they could do in a pandemic.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says he's triggered a review looking into his party's election loss, underscoring that he's committed to making sure the Tories are battle-ready for the next one.
A month after a dramatic and harrowing scene at the Kabul airport that saw hundreds of Afghans chasing a U.S. military aircraft -- some clinging to its sides – at least one family is seeking justice for a loved one who fell to their death.
The number of British Columbians in hospital due to COVID-19 is a tightly-held secret, as the province removes those who are no longer infectious from the tally – even though those individuals may spend months in treatment.
The Election Day results in three B.C. ridings are so close the candidates may be waiting for days while mail-in ballots are verified and counted.
A number of unvaccinated pregnant women are battling COVID-19 in B.C. intensive care units, health officials revealed Tuesday while pushing for expectant mothers to get immunized.
Alberta reported 1,519 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths on Tuesday as Tyler Shandro resigned from his position as health minister.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs player Zach Hyman is ready to play with his new team, the Oilers and they're also excited to have him.
Premier Jason Kenney swapped Tyler Shandro and Jason Copping's portfolios in a mid-afternoon cabinet shuffle Tuesday.
A Calgary man wanted on a sexual assault case involving a 13-year-old girl has been captured.
Kevin Stanfield has been named the weekday weather anchor and chief meteorologist for CTV Calgary News at 5, 6 and 11:30, succeeding the venerable David Spence, who is retiring after more than 40 years at the station.
Ontario's vaccine certificate program comes into effect tomorrow and there are some important things to know about how it will work.
Add your vaccination status to your iPhone in three easy steps.
Environment Canada is warning that some parts of the city could see up to 75mm of rain and that thunderstorms and flooding are a possibility.
Quebec considering special law to prevent anti-vax protesters from blocking access to hospitals, schools
Quebec premier François Legault said it’s 'unacceptable' that people have been protesting against the vaccine passport outside hospitals and schools recently and said the province could turn to the law to put an end to these demonstrations.
'Can't take it anymore': Operating-room nurses at Lakeshore Hospital stage sit-in, refusing move to ICU
Operating-room nurses at Lakeshore Hospital staged a sit-in Tuesday morning, saying they’ve been made to work nearly around the clock and want to refuse a move to further skeleton staffing.
Quebec Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette called for calm Tuesday morning in his remarks before the start of consultations on language law Bill 96.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is vowing to get 'back to work,' after being dealt a second minority government in the 2021 federal election that looks much like the one Canadians elected in 2019.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 40 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 509.
'I don't want to see other people go through it': Growing pressure on N.S. government to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for health-care workers
With mandatory vaccines looking more and more likely for healthcare workers in Nova Scotia, union reps say government will have to provide alternatives for workers who can't -- or won't -- get the shot.
Brandon fire and emergency crews are battling a blaze at a condo building that broke out Tuesday night.
At the end of the day Monday, one Manitoba riding remained unclaimed in the federal election. That result has not changed late Tuesday afternoon.
A cyclist who has been riding across Canada to raise awareness of the youth mental health crisis in a Manitoba community is back home, but says his journey is far from complete.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says “it’s unfortunate” that people who attended the People’s Party of Canada election headquarters in Saskatoon flaunted the province’s mask mandate.
A Saskatoon man says his polling station wasn’t set up for him to enter in his wheelchair despite being led to believe it was accessible.
Following an investigation by the Saskatoon Police Service sex crimes unit, a 60-year-old man has been charged with sexual assualt.
From stolen urinal attempts to missing soap dispensers, washrooms in Regina schools have become the target of the latest TikTok challenge.
Saskatchewan broke its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, marking the third straight day the province has done so.
After yesterday's election, Premier Scott Moe is calling the election “pointless” and wants Justin Trudeau to get to work addressing the real issues facing Canadians.
If it seems like more guns are being used in London this year, it’s because they are.
Much of the same in the London-area ridings following Monday night's federal election.
Starting Wednesday, residents will need to show a proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses in Ontario including nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and restaurants.
With the exception of Sault Ste. Marie, which is still up in the air, Monday's election in northern Ontario left the same parties in charge of the same ridings.
A result of a wide variety of community partnerships, the Schumacher Lions Club unveiled its International Peace Park on Tuesday, a show of celebration for the city's cultural diversity.
Proof of the COVID-19 vaccination is soon to be the new normal across Ontario and for some of the major hubs in the northeast region, it’s key for their employment.
Businesses and municipal facilities across Waterloo Region are preparing for the launch of Ontario's vaccine passports on Wednesday.
Nearly 24 hours after the election polls closed, two ridings in Waterloo Region are still too close to call.
Here are the federal election results for Waterloo Region and the surrounding area.