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An Open Letter to Chuck Porter

Dear Chuck,

Having spent a day in the Department of Lands and Forestry office in Halifax last Tuesday, let me begin by complimenting the kind and gracious staff who made space for me and my Extinction Rebellion ally,  as well as for Jacob Fillmore when he joined us. Oddly enough, no one knew where you were and you did not meet with us or hear our demand for a moratorium on clearcutting. 

I did note that, of the dozen or so individuals (including four police officers) encountered throughout the day, few were able to freely and elaborately respond to my informal survey question, “What is your opinion of clearcutting Nova Scotia’s old growth Acadian forest?”  However, not one person said, “ Great idea! Let’s just mow all the trees down before we have to look closely at the Leahy Report recommendations.” The clearest response was given by the young man from the cleaning agency who literally works to  protect you, Chuck, by meticulously cleaning surfaces, light switches and doorknobs. His response says it all, “Trees? I like trees. No, they should not be cut down.” 

Do you know the history of this pending ecocide, Chuck? I understand It’s hard to keep up with details while finessing a career from Liberal  to PC; from reaching out as a paramedic to avoiding a hunger striker; from department of municipal affairs  to moose habitat destruction. 

Yet, take the time. The history of this work that you are covering up is important. Read about it in the Nova Scotia Advocate’s article Why we need a clearcutting moratorium – a brief history lesson by yes, a scientist – a retired biology prof. Because, let’s be honest, your background is not in forestry, is it? Or biodiversity? I know it shouldn’t make a difference, but my hunch is that if you were a politician who had a diploma  in Professional Golf Management, like your partner in crime, there might be a perceived conflict of interest if you secretly de-listed a well loved park intending to sell it for destruction to a millionaire. 

Political plunder policed by a forestry industry shored up by the death rattling patriarchy is not the way for the mainland moose or the piping plover or for this grandmother. Who will bear witness to their missing testimony? Although my stay at your office ended in my arrest, I wholeheartedly agree with the charge under the Protection of Property Act, the ‘property’ of tall stands of trees and nesting branches. I will have my day in court – what about you, Chuck?

in peace and friendship, kathrin

See also: “Log the best and leave the rest” – A conversation with David Patriquin about the state of our forests

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One Comment

  1. I think Chuckie won’t have any day in court. But someone will judge him sorely lacking, incurious and suspect.

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