BC RCMP establishes temporary access control area in Fairy Creek Watershed
Lake Cowichan, B.C.
2021-05-17 07:00 PDT
On April 1, 2021, the BC Supreme Court made an order granting an injunction to Teal-Cedar Products Ltd., inclusive of a police enforcement. This prohibits persons from obstructing, impeding or interfering with their work in the Fairy Creek Watershed area. As with previous injunction orders and police enforcement clauses, the Court gives the Order, and then the police determine how to implement the Court's direction within a reasonable time.
Planning for enforcement has been ongoing since the Court’s order was granted. During the planning process, the RCMP took the remote location of the Fairy Creek Watershed area into account and ensured that enough police officers are present in the area to keep the peace. We also took into consideration the unpredictable nature of what we could face in the remote area, and so we are deploying additional police resources with specialized skills to provide support.
The primary concerns of the police are public safety, police officer safety, and preservation of the right to peaceful, lawful and safe protest, within the terms set by the Supreme Court in the injunction. As of Monday, May 17, 2021, a temporary access control area has been established as the RCMP begin enforcement of the civil injunction. This will limit access only for the period of time required to secure access for Teal-Cedar Products to commence their operations. Once the operations are complete, the temporary access control area will be removed.
A check point has also been established at the McClure Forest Service Road, where the temporary access control area starts. The purpose is to prevent a further escalation of efforts to block access contrary to the Supreme Court Order, and to allow the RCMP to be accountable for the safety of all persons accessing this area given the remoteness and road conditions.
As of May 17, 2021, procedures at the check point will be as follows:
- Vehicles attempting to enter the access control area will be stopped, occupants will be provided a copy of the injunction order and, unless they meet below noted criteria, will not be permitted into the area.
- Occupants requesting entry will be required to state their purpose, and provide identification. Permission to enter must come from the RCMP Operations Commander or delegate. Persons permitted would generally include:
- All Hereditary and Elected Chiefs of the Pacheedaht and/or Ditidaht Nations;
- Elected and other Government Officials;
- Journalists from recognized media outlets. These persons will be accompanied by representatives from BC RCMP Communication Services. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide recognized media outlets access to the enforcement area;
- Lawyers recognized as practicing members of the Law Society of British Columbia, having a valid Law Society card with identification number;
- Medical Doctors registered with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, having a valid Registrant card with identification number;
- Other persons as approved by the RCMP Operations Commander or delegate.
- Any person permitted into the access control area must be accompanied by a police officer unless authorized to enter alone by the RCMP Operations Commander or delegate.
- A designated space for protesters and other observers will be set up within the injunction area but outside the access control area. This space will be suitably located to allow for peaceful, lawful and safe protest and be visible to employees of Teal-Cedar Products, their contractors, the police and media.
- Persons found committing acts that breach the injunction order or whom are believed to have breached the injunction order, as well as persons refusing to leave the access control area, will be arrested.
The RCMP has advised all stakeholders of these procedures at the check point. We will continue to monitor the situation and work with all stakeholders to provide assistance as necessary in maintaining peace and keeping everyone safe.
We are committed to providing regular, if not daily, updates via the BC RCMP website. Media inquiries and requests may be directed to our general media line provided below.
BC RCMP Communication Services
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