Environment featured

Jacob Fillmore: “The forests need protection now”

Jacob Fillmore. Photo Robert Devet

Last Friday Jacob Fillmore addressed a rally in support of an immediate moratorium on clearcutting on Crown Lands in Nova Scotia. This is what he said. Today is day 11 of his hunger strike.

Months ago I became fed up with the lack of action by the provincial government on environmental issues. They were selling provincial parks and arresting those who were trying to get the government to follow their own laws, laws that the Supreme Court had said they weren’t following.

These last three months, the situation has not gotten better. Premier McNeil prorogued the legislative session and let the Biodiversity Act die. Premier Rankin has revived the Biodiversity Act, but it will not come into effect until October. Such slow action with no immediate protection seems to be a trend with our current premier. Rankin also promised to implement the Leahy report by the end of this year, but has said nothing about a moratorium In the meantime. The forests need protection now.

Just over one week ago (March 11), I started a hunger strike. I demanded of the premier that he immediately declare a moratorium on all even-aged harvesting until key recommendations in the Lahey report are implemented. He has yet to do so. Apparently, the premier cares no more about starving humans than he does for saving starving moose.

We are in the midst of an environmental crisis. The provincial government itself has said as much. I am demanding they act in a way that reflects what they have said. We need action now. My future depends on it. All of our futures depend on it. 

In the past week, people have said to me that a hunger strike is an extreme way of getting my message across. Well, folks, it’s time for extreme measures. In 2005, scientists reported that it had been the hottest year on record. Now, the hottest seven years on record has been the last seven years. The hottest five years on record have been the last five years. And according to NASA 2020 tied for the hottest year on record. I would not be surprised if I do not see a year as cold as 2005 again in my lifetime. 

The climate crisis requires urgent action. To call it an emergency and then close our eyes and hope it goes away is lunacy. We need to start treating the climate crisis like a crisis. We need to start respecting the ecosystems of Mi’kma’ki. We need to stop clearcutting now.

See also: Calls for clearcutting moratorium grow in urgency as hunger strike enters day 9

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One Comment

  1. Hi Jacob….
    I certainly support your cause. But not at the cost of your own health
    We need voices and commitments like your to be heard for a long time to come.
    Your voice is powerful and persuasive and caring of our forests.Please find a way to maintain your personal health. And continue your dialogue . It is needed.🤗

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