KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – After committing to meeting Jacob Fillmore yesterday, minister Chuck Porter changed his mind and quickly left town.
Jacob is the young man into his 17th day of a hunger strike in his quest to gain a moratorium on clearcutting on Crown lands until the Leahy report recommendations have been implemented.
As we reported yesterday Jacob had initiated a sit-in at the Lands and Forestry offices on Hollis Street demanding such a meeting, and was then told by the department’s deputy minister that the meeting would occur sometime around 11 AM this morning.
Apparently this is also what Porter also told people who were at an anti-clearcutting protest in Windsor yesterday.
The plan was for Jacob to be accompanied by Jamie Simpson, an environmental lawyer and Gretchen Fitzgerald, of the Atlantic chapter of the Sierra Club.
But no meeting happened.
Jacob told a Global reporter early this afternoon that the Minister claims not being aware of his intention to bring two people to the meeting. However, Jacob mentions this both in his letter of late last week and in the conversation with the deputy minister.
“That tells me he didn’t read my letter at all, and simply agreed to meet to get me out of his office,” Jacob told a Global reporter.
The hunger strike is taking its toll, he told Global.
“I lost weight, and I think it is beginning to affect my muscle mass, which is a scary proposition. It’s harder every day. I am feeling weaker, and more lightheaded every day. It’s scary, but so is the future,” he said. “I am willing to do it, because someone needs to tell the folks inside the Legislature that we can’t continue to disrespect the environment.”
I also spoke briefly with Jacob on the phone.
“Jamie and Gretchen both know their stuff, more than I do anyway. I think they were hoping for an easy meeting where they could just talk in circles for an hour, and they figured with the two of them there, they wouldn’t be able to do that,” Jacob told the Nova Scotia Advocate.
After some meetings in Halifax Minister Porter left for Windsor sometime mid-morning, Jacob said.
“Apparently he said, well, I looked around for him, but I didn’t see him. But I was standing right outside the Legislature, with a big sign.”
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