James Darling, front, and Robert Fuller are in their fourth day of a hunger strike, protesting logging of B.C.’s old-growth forests. Other protesters on Dunsmuir Street on Thursday included Carole Toothill and Vic Brice. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo men holding hunger strike to protest logging of old-growth forests

James Darling and Robert Fuller are in the fourth day of their protest on Dunsmuir Street

Two Nanaimo men are holding a hunger strike in hopes of protecting B.C.’s remaining old-growth forests.

James Darling and Robert Fuller, representing Extinction Rebellion, are into their fourth day protesting in front of Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson’s office on Dunsmuir Street.

Fuller said they want a moratorium on old-growth logging until the province’s old growth strategic review report is publicly released.

“The old-growth ecosystems are still being cut down while this report is waiting to be tabled,” said Fuller.

Darling said the hunger strike is a means to draw attention to what he said is a “major, major problem.” He said old-growth forests are essential habitat for species at risk and said humans will be affected in turn. He said he’s worried about the future being left for his two-year-old son.

“If people don’t step up and make a stand for what’s still there, it’s all going to be gone,” Darling said.

Carole Toothill, who has also been protesting on Dunsmuir Street this week, pointed to a recent independent study by B.C. ecologists, timed to coincide with the provincial review, that questioned the government’s estimates of remaining old-growth.

“If you look at British Columbia, our forests are fragments now,” Toothill said.

Malcolmson wasn’t available for an interview Thursday, but said in an e-mailed statement that the old growth strategic review report will be released “in due time.”

She said the B.C. government knows how critical old-growth forests are for biodiversity and fish and wildlife habitat.

“We want to protect the health and sustainability of our forests and ensure our forest industry can support good-paying jobs for people across B.C.,” she said. “We are committed to a science-based approach that includes First Nations, industry, communities, and workers.”

Regarding the strike in front of her office, Malcolmson said the government respects people’s right to peacefully protest.

Darling and Fuller said they sent a letter to every B.C. MLA expressing their concern about logging of old-growth forests. The men said they’ve heard a lot of honks of support and said passersby nearly unanimously agree with their sentiment. As for the hunger strike, Fuller said he consulted with his doctor and will heed advice to pay close attention to his health and to be safe.

“It’s definitely physically unpleasant,” added Darling, “but I’m willing to put up with it because it’s that important.”

OPINION: Clearcutting B.C.’s last old-growth leaves all of us poorer, forever

OPINION: B.C. has the most sustainably managed forests in the world



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

forestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Greater Victoria in high-demand on website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan poses with members of the public during a ‘mainstreeting’ campaign stop Sunday, Oct. 18, at Parksville Community Park. (Peter McCully/Black Press)
‘Buy a boat,’ premier advises anti-maskers on B.C. Ferries

John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation, cancer centre, long-term care with News Bulletin

The French Creek Pollution Control Centre. (PQB News file photo)
RDN targets grants for major projects in Nanoose Bay, French Creek and Whiskey Creek

Official says projects have a strong chance to be approved for cash

The B.C. Ferries vessel the Queen of Alberni. (News Bulletin file photo)
UPDATE: Ferry breakdown will affect Monday’s Duke Point-Tsawwassen sailings

Queen of Alberni out of commission for the rest of the day

Nanaimo’s Rose McCulley brings a sampling of gloria mundi apples to the farmers’ market, where she was selling her canned fruit and secret-recipe apple pie filling. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Giant apples are in season for Nanaimo farmers’ market vendor

Rose McCulley helped bring gloria mundi apples back from the brink

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. suburbs could see increased demand for rental units as people work from home

Vancouver’s average monthly rent is the highest out of 35 cities across Canada

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

Most Read