VICTORIA – A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has denied a forestry company’s request to extend an injunction against the blockades of people who oppose the felling of old trees in the Fairy Creek area in the south of the island. from Vancouver.
Judge Douglas Thompson says in a written decision that the factors in favor of extending the injunction do not outweigh the public interest in protecting the reputation of the court.
Thompson’s ruling included the lifting of the court order Tuesday afternoon.
There have been more than 1,000 arrests in Fairy Creek since the original warrant went into effect in April.
Forestry company Teal Cedar Products Ltd. requested a one-year extension of the injunction during court hearings in Nanaimo earlier this month, arguing that the protests were hampering the company’s legal rights to harvest timber.
During the Nanaimo hearings, the court heard lawyers representing the protesters who argued that the police and the company treat people from all walks of life with environmental concerns as terrorists.
Thompson says in its ruling that the methods of executing the court order at the protest site have resulted in a serious and substantial violation of civil liberties.
“The factors in favor of the court order do not outweigh the public interest to protect the court from the risk of further depreciation of its reputation.”
An attorney for the Mounties said police are tasked with enforcing a court order in increasingly difficult circumstances.
Thompson’s ruling says the RCMP acted with “reasonable force” for much of the warrant period, but some video evidence presented during the hearings shows “disturbing lapses in reasonable crowd control.”
The judge’s ruling points to video evidence showing officers “repeatedly removing COVID masks from protesters’ faces while pepper spray was about to be applied.”
A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has denied a forestry company’s request to extend an injunction against the #FairyCreek blockades set up by people who oppose the logging of old trees in South Vancouver Island. #Old
This Canadian Press report was first published on September 28, 2021.