Photo Credit: Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub / Bald Trainer Blog

We Have Spent Millions, and the Problems Keep Coming

$4 million was spent upholding Teal Jones’ right to log old-growth in Fairy Creek

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BC Judge ruled police had interfered with people’s civil liberties and the freedom of the press

Over the summer, the RCMP spent nearly $4 million of our money to enforce the court injunction and protect Teal Jones’ access to old-growth at Fairy Creek.

In a news report, the Capital Daily revealed figures they got through an Access to Information request that showed policing for five months at Fairy Creek cost $3.75 million.

Most of that money (65%) went to personnel costs, while the rest paid for transportation, rentals and leases, materials, telecommunications, and other costs.

That spending is in line with the $13.1 million the RCMP spent enforcing the Coastal GasLink injunction in Wet’suwet’en territory between January 2019 and March 2020. That figure was published last year by the CBC.

Rainforest Flying Squad spokesperson Kathleen Code told Capital Daily that the Fairy Creek policing costs are lower than she expected.

“I would really like to better understand what it is they’re reporting on, for one thing,” she said.

Police behaviour at Fairy Creek is also being questioned. On August 9, BC Supreme Court Justice Thompson stated that the RCMP’s exclusion zones were unlawful. The zones keep the public, peaceful protestors, and media from accessing parts of the injunction zone and finding out what the RCMP is really up to.

But they kept using exclusion zones. Sometimes they kept regular people from having picnics at Avatar Grove. That part of the forest is a tourist destination protected in 2012 as part of the 59-hectare Old Growth Management Area.

Then at the end of September, Justice Thompson used stronger language in a ruling, saying that police had interfered with people’s civil liberties and the freedom of the press.

He also called out the RCMP’s use of force. They pepper-sprayed protesters. The judge thought that move was out of bounds, and said that the incident showed “disquieting lapses in crowd control.”

At the time, police said they were protecting a fellow officer. But later reporting by the Capital Daily proved that the RCMP lied about the incident.

So the RCMP is costing us millions of dollars to keep regular people out of the forest, hurt peaceful protesters, and then lie about it.

They’re expensive, and they’re acting like thugs.

All so Teal Jones can keep making their money off our trees.

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