After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Cortes Island citizens prepare for logging protests

Island Timberlands states it will begin logging operations on Cortes Island this week. 

Lanky, clean cut Cec Robinson is pretty sure the RCMP has been following him on Cortes Island. What danger does this quiet oyster farmer and family man pose? He intends to defend his island from industrial logging by Island Timberlands because he thinks it is the right thing to do for his community and for the planet.

Here are his words:

I am 62 years old, and for the last 23 years, a full time resident of Cortes Island, where my wife and I raised our daughter and son. This truly rare place is still a tapestry of diverse, healthy ecosystems, and I will peacefully block any industrial style logging on Cortes.

As a self-employed shellfish grower, I appreciate free enterprise. I say yes to modest sustainable timber harvest that protects sensitive areas and keeps most of the economic benefit within our community.

I also know that we must all be subject to reasonable constraints in order to protect society from carelessness and greed. In the case of corporately owned forest lands in BC, there are no such constraints. Our government ignores its responsibility, and instead allows these multi-national corporations, such as ‘Brookfield Asset Management’, to self-regulate.

Brookfield wants to take our environment and convert it into cash for their distant shareholders. They want only to take! To take far too much and far too fast, and when will they give back? Back to the living earth that provided their excessive wealth, and back to my home, Cortes Island. With the last truckload of raw logs exported to China, what would Cortes Islanders be left with? A divided community with a degraded environment, reduced natural resources, tourism dollars lost. All this when climate change is bringing our children a greater need than ever for their environment to be as healthy, productive and abundant as possible.

It may be legal, but it is highly unjust for a corporation to do this to our community and environment.  We’ve written the letters and we’ve had the meetings. The corporation responded poorly, and the government, even less so. That leaves only you and me, until we have new legislation which determines that logging be more sustainable.

I love this earth, and I love our children, and I will fight to defend what I love. I will stand in the way, peacefully, 100 per cent, arrest or not. I will not be alone, and we will be there until we have achieved something wonderful.

More in Earth Matters

What to do when the IPCC gets you down

There's only so much end of the world you can take. Here's what you can do about it.

Learning the language of climate solutions

If someone had told me how hard learning another language was I wouldn't have tried.

Failure not an option for climate movement

Saying the climate movement is a failure and we should give up is not an option.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.