Seem to have been busy this month with court preparations and all. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, only one out of the nine arrested could physically be present during the court hearing this past Monday, January 26. However, we listened by phone when we could, and gathered outside the Supreme Law Court on Upper Hollis Street in Halifax to lend moral support to Nina Newington, our spokesperson, and our team of lawyers which included Ecojustice and Juniper Law.
Justice Coady presided. He did not make a decision … so right now we don’t have an outcome. However, we DO know that WestFor’s lawyer, Ian Dunbar, made a case for the court to extend the current injunction so that no one can interfere in a direct or indirect way with WestFor’s ability to remove moose habitat (knowing that we were trying to protect the moose) anywhere WestFor has a license to harvest. This includes YOU dear reader–John Doe and Jane Doe as specified in the injunction, along with Extinction Rebellion Association. And you don’t have to be someone who took part in the blockade, nor do you have to be a member of Extinction Rebellion. This injunction, if granted, would apply to everyone.
Meanwhile, I am grateful to journalists in Nova Scotia who’ve paid attention to this story. So here’s a shout out to CBC, The Chronicle Herald, Tri-county Vanguard, The Nova Scotia Advocate and The Halifax Examiner. Here’s the latest, (Jan. 31) penned by Stephen Kimber who interviewed me a couple of days ago. His story, titled, Save our forests? Not now. We’re too busy destroying them has lots of links to backgrounder information including a fine article by biologist Bob Bancroft. (If you don’t have a subscription to The Halifax Examiner, you’ll find a paywall. However, it will be removed on Sat. Feb 6.)
Someone asked if I was discouraged. Hmmm. Tired, yes. Frustrated, yes. Angry, yes. But, discouraged? No. I think it’s because I sense there’s a growing groundswell of public sentiment and support. With climate change and the threats that we are now facing, people are paying attention to things like the environment and the importance of taking care of our planet. For me, that includes taking care of the biodiversity in our forests.
Mind you, for awhile after we were arrested, I started to feel bitter. But the gods and goddesses stepped in and I read that great quote by Angela Mayou mentioned in my last post. After I put her words in perspective I remembered Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. When that happens, he said that ideas and products “and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.” Remember the Hush Puppy craze in the mid-90s?
So, at the moment, I believe we are about to reach a tipping point. Mind you, over 36,000 Nova Scotians signed a petition calling for an immediate halt to clearcutting on the hunk of crown land we were protecting. That didn’t budge the powers that be. But we are not stopping. We’re hoping that this number will double and triple.
We’ve also embarked on a postcard campaign across the province. If you can help distribute some of these, get in touch with me! A friend in Pictou just ordered 300! (Mind you, distributing even a dozen to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues would be a huge help!)
The postcards are addressed to Mr. Mombourquette, NS Minister of Lands & Forestry and respectfully requests a moratorium on clearcutting be placed on crown lands until the recommendations of the Lahey Report are fully implemented (including what the department refers to as “Variable Retention”, “Overstory Removal” and other terms which simply mean clearcutting.) The postcard also calls for the government to identify and protect core habitat for the mainland moose and all other species at risk.
For those who don’t know, the Department of Lands & Forestry was charged and found guilty in May of 2020 of not upholding its own act to protect our species at risk. Nothing happened. Yet we proceed to do our government’s job of protecting our moose and #1 species at risk–and we end up in court.
But. We’re far from finished. Consider helping us to create that tipping point!