RCMP arrest 9 at old-growth logging blockades on Vancouver Island

RCMP in British Columbia have arrested another nine people for breaching an injunction against blockades set up to prevent old-growth logging on southern Vancouver Island.

The Mounties say several people were found Tuesday locked down along the Reid Mainline Forest Service Road, off the Braden Mainline area.

There have now been 376 arrests since police began enforcing the injunction in May, including at least 26 people who have been arrested more than once.

Of the total number arrested, 286 were for breaching the injunction, 78 were for obstruction, seven were for mischief, two for breaching their release conditions, two for assaulting a police officer and one for counselling to resist arrest.

Last month, the B.C. government approved the request of three Vancouver Island First Nations defer logging of about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest in the Fairy Creek and central Walbran areas for two years, but the protests are continuing.

Activists with the group dubbed the Rainforest Flying Squad say very little of the best old-growth forest remains in B.C., and the deferrals fall short of protecting what's left.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 7, 2021.