Second judge hears the case of BC . old-growth logging opponents

A hearing judge who ordered proceedings to be upheld against people arrested at the Vancouver Island jungle logging protests said the application had reasonable prospects for success, but he wanted a Another judge looked at it with “fresh eyes”.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson said he had asked the chief judge to appoint a second judge to hear the petition by the protesters, who allege misconduct by the RCMP while arresting about 400 people. charged with criminal contempt.

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More than 1,100 people have been arrested since the anti-blockade orders in Fairy Creek Victoria’s north-west watershed was granted last year to logging company Teal Cedar Products Ltd.

Six protesters were part of the petition, but the Crown later charged two women, who also allege abuse of process by officers, which they say used illegal tactics to arrest. keep them.

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In separate proceedings heard by Thompson, several contempt of court offenders were sentenced to up to seven days in prison or a $500 fine and 50 hours of community service.

Click to play video:'Huge RCMP costs linked to anti-logging protests in Fairy Creek'

Huge RCMP costs related to anti-logging protests in Fairy Creek

Huge RCMP costs related to anti-logging protests in Fairy Creek – December 20, 2021

Trials of other protesters are expected to begin next month, and while Thompson says he will manage those cases, some protesters may choose to apply for a postponement of the proceedings. proceedings and join the application to stay.

Karen Mirsky, whose client has applied to stay, said she represents about 25 other people making similar allegations, and many of them are expected to join the stay application.

“We are holding back to find out if we can continue this way,” she said of the possibility of the case progressing depending on the new judge’s decision.

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Mirsky said it made sense for Thompson to refer the residency application to the second judge as he managed the trials of other people accused of violating the order.

She said the large number of arrests at the protests involved the largest police operation in Canadian history.

Crown has argued that residency applications have no basis to proceed because some applicants are relying on the accounts of others who are alleged to be abusive by police.

A Crown spokesman did not wish to comment on Thompson’s decision.

Thompson said he anticipates a new judge will hold a pre-hearing meeting for advice before counsel for the opponents and Crown is notified when the residency application will be heard.

© 2022 Canadian Press Second judge hears the case of BC . old-growth logging opponents

Brian Lowry

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