Forestry company asks court for one-year extension to Fairy Creek injunction amid ongoing logging protests
Lawyer for Teal says 'anarchy' will result if extension to September 2022 is not granted
B.C. forestry company Teal Cedar Products appeared in court Tuesday to apply for a one-year extension of an injunction against ongoing protests over logging of old-growth trees in a remote area of southern Vancouver Island.
A lawyer for the company told a B.C. Supreme Court judge that the protests against logging are becoming more sophisticated, organized and dangerous, and "anarchy'' will result if the extension is not granted until September 2022.
"It falls on this court to restore law and order on southern Vancouver Island,'' said Dean Dalke, representing the subsidiary of the Surrey, B.C.-based Teal-Jones Group.
"If there is no injunction in place, the blockades will be there.''
Almost 1,000 people have been arrested in the Fairy Creek area, north of Port Renfrew, B.C., since May when the RCMP started to enforce an earlier B.C. Supreme Court injunction against blockades erected in several areas near logging sites.
Dalke said the blockades are impeding the company's legal rights to harvest timber and alleged that the actions of the protesters pose dangers to employees and the RCMP.
- Fairy Creek protest on Vancouver Island now considered largest act of civil disobedience in Canadian history
He said the numbers of protesters in the area ranges from 100 to 500 people as a bus service brings supporters to the area on weekends.
Dalke said the protest is organized through the use of social media, adding that a helicopter drops supplies to people camped deep in the forest.
He said the protesters have placed spikes in roads, have chained themselves to gates, and sometimes dug themselves into trenches or attached themselves to trees in efforts to thwart police who are enforcing the injunction.
"These are clearly designed to frustrate RCMP enforcement,'' said Dalke. "This is what the RCMP has been faced with since May 18, and it's been getting worse."
LISTEN | CBC reporter Adam van der Zwan explains the proceedings: