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B.C. judge denies extension to Fairy Creek injunction

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Victoria –


A court injunction prohibiting old-growth logging protests on Vancouver Island will come to an end Tuesday, after a judge declined to extend the order.


British Columbia forestry company Teal Cedar Products Ltd. was seeking a one-year extension to its injunction prohibiting protesters from blockading forestry activities in the Fairy Creek area.


On Tuesday, Justice Douglas Thompson denied the extension request.

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“In the current circumstances, I am not persuaded that the balance of convenience favours extending the injunction,” Thompson wrote in his decision. “The factors weighing in favour of extension do not outweigh the public interest in protecting the court from the risk of further depreciation of its reputation.”


The denial means an existing extension order prohibiting protesters from the area expires at 4 p.m. Tuesday.


The RCMP, which has been enforcing the injunction since May, said Tuesday it was aware of the decision but did not provide further comment.


Protesters have been camped out in the area for more than a year to defend what they say is the last unprotected old-growth forest on southern Vancouver Island.


Mounties have arrested more than 1,100 people since the blockades began, including more than 100 people who have been arrested more than once.

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In June, the B.C. government approved a request from three Vancouver Island First Nations and deferred logging in about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years.


The activist group Rainforest Flying Squad says little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C. and the deferrals fall short of protecting what is left.


This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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