MLA visits barricades

  • Mar. 30, 2005 6:00 p.m.

by Alex Rinfret-MLA Bill Belsey spent the day on the islands yesterday, visiting the protesters who have barricaded the logging road near Juskatla and talking to small business people in Port Clements about how they are being affected by the protest.
Mr. Belsey said he came away with a somewhat better understanding of the issues leading to the protest, which has halted most logging activity in TFL 39.
“The big issue of course… is the export of logs from the islands with little obvious return to the islands,” Mr. Belsey said Wednesday morning (March 30). “That is a concern I share.”
Although he spent time with the 10 or so protesters at the Juskatla barricade, Mr. Belsey said they had been instructed not to talk to him about the issues and he respected that. Instead, they chatted about other things.
“I felt it was a really great opportunity,” he said. “They were very, very respectful and very friendly… I was thrilled I had the time to go over there, I really enjoyed it.”
Mr. Belsey said the small business owners and residents he spoke to in Port were concerned about the impact of the protest if it goes on for several more weeks. Everyone would like to see an early resolution, he said, but it is unclear how this could be accomplished since the provincial government does not usually speak to people who are involved in civil disobedience.
Mr. Belsey said he will be talking to the Minister of Forests and the Attorney-General later this week about the situation on the islands.
Although he shares some of the protesters’ concerns, he is adamant that Weyerhaeuser has the right to sell its operations to Brascan, with no input from the province or the Haida Nation.
“The companies have the right to carry through with this sale,” he said. The province does not have to consult with the Haida Nation about it, he said, because it changed its own legislation two years ago so that it has no involvement in a sale like this one. (Last year’s Supreme Court of Canada decision said the province does have a duty to consult the Haida Nation.)
In any case, he said, the provincial government has been trying to consult and accommodate the Haida Nation, for example through offers of money, land and timber rights.
Mr. Belsey said the province is taking a wait and see approach to the situation, but is definitely not ignoring it.
“Nobody can ignore this, that’s for sure,” he said. “The solution for all of this is sitting down and talking about it.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

More parks, trails and protected areas reopen for local day use on Haida Gwaii

Council of the Haida Nation announced more reopenings on Friday, July 3

PHOTOS: Haida Gwaii residents mark Canada Day with mini parade and more

Rainmakers also performed on Canada Day, but singer Julia Weder said they call it ‘occupation day’

Skidegate celebrates 2020 grads with button blanket ceremony

Graduating students celebrated with Haida singing, drumming, speeches and custom button blankets

VIDEO: Port Clements bumper golf course in full swing

Volunteers, rec staff transformed soccer field into small, social distancing-friendly golf course

Gwaii Trust Society creates ‘Staycation Grant’ for Haida Gwaii residents

Residents may apply for up to $250 to explore adventure opportunities in their own backyard

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read