March 25, 2021
My name is Charlotte Fillmore; I am Jacob Fillmore’s mother.
Many people have been asking me if I am worried about Jacob. Of course I am—I am terrified, any parent would be. However, I respect Jacob’s autonomy and what he does with his body is his decision to make. For the past two weeks, I have tried to stay hopeful and strong and to focus on the positives. And after Tuesday’s rally, I felt buoyed by the news that you had agreed to meet with Jacob (no matter how small of a gesture this actually was).
Yesterday, I finally let myself cry when I read that you had not followed through on this commitment. I cried for Jacob. I cried for me. I cried for this beautiful province and all its living creatures. And I cried for young people around the world who are scared of what their future holds.
I thought long and hard about the silver lining of your cowardice, and I actually managed to come up with a couple things. First, it gives me (and others) a glimpse into who you are. Reneging on a promise and then lying about it says a lot about a person’s character and integrity. We see you Mr. Porter.
But more importantly, it gives me a chance to tell you a little something about my son Jacob, to prepare you, should you ever choose to take the opportunity to meet with him.
When Jacob was 5 or 6 years old, we read Charlotte’s Web. When Fern learned that her father was going to sell her pet pig Wilbur, Jacob cried. In grade 9, Jacob raised over $3000 for Coalition for Kids, and traveled to Poland to help grant wishes for terminally ill children.
He has always been this kind and sensitive. He cares deeply for and has an appreciation of the natural world. Yet he is also strong willed and determined. He is principled and passionate. He is intelligent and brave. He will not be placated, and he will not give up.
The decimation that is taking place in our forests right now in Nova Scotia is heartbreaking. Acres of forests across the province are being approved for clearcutting, including parcels that contain critically endangered plant and animal species, like the mainland moose, the Canada warbler, and centuries old eastern hemlock.
Clearcuts have dire consequences not only for the wildlife, but also for the health of the soil, waterways, future forests, and in turn, on the climate crisis. Even the future of our forestry industry depends on healthy forest management. William Lahey (author of the Lahey Report), said “The primary reason (to care about the health of the forest) is that ecosystems and biodiversity are the foundation on which the other values, including the economic ones, ultimately depend.”
We need more people like Jacob to stand up for what they believe in. More people like the forest protectors who camped out for many weeks in the cold. More people who will write letters, call their MLAs, support the rallies, and make their voices heard. And we need a moratorium on clearcutting NOW, until the recommendations of the Lahey report are implemented.
Mr. Porter, my son has not eaten for 18 days. It is ludicrous that it takes these extreme measures to (not) even get a meeting. I hope you will forgive me for my language; surely you can imagine that I am feeling quite emotional about this.
But enough is enough. Grow a pair and take the damn meeting!
Proud mother of Jacob Fillmore
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