We spoke with Nina Newington, one of the forest protectors who were arrested while defending mainland moose habitat in Digby County from destruction. “I understand that for many people the arrests have been discouraging, but gosh, most struggles take a long time and many people around the world take far greater risks than we have taken and fight for far longer.”
Danny Cavanagh: The headline in the NSGEU/CUPE press release reads “Dozens of hospital employees across Nova Scotia lose jobs to American-owned company just before the holidays.” This a move from a government who praises the dedication of our health care workers but is laying off the 91 employees who work in Health Information Services (HIS), scanning and archiving medical records.
91 well-paying union jobs, many in rural Nova Scotia, will disappear when the Nova Scotia Health Authority farms out its health records management to US-owned Iron Mountain. CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen is concerned how this will impact the already depressed economy in rural Nova Scotia, now stressed even further because of the pandemic. She’s also worried about entrusting an American company with personal health information.
The Digby County forest defenders are facing a temporary injunction in their efforts to protect the threatened mainland moose. Here are some of the reasons why protesters are willing to be arrested if it comes to that.
Bev Wigney: “It’s just incredibly pathetic that the people of this province are so at the end of their rope about the way wildlife and forests are being mistreated that they are compelled to camp on a muddy road in early winter, in order to protect what should have been properly protected all along (but wasn’t).”
Letter by Sydnee McKay: There is nothing left around the Liscomb Game Sanctuary area. There is nothing left in Guysborough County. They cleaned it out. They raped the land until there was nothing left.
“This lady was given a $600 a month increase to her rent. Now I don’t know all the details, but I imagine she’s another renoviction victim. She’s also a single mother.” A shortage of good quality affordable housing has been an urgent problem in towns like Antigonish long before it reached its current peak here in the city of Halifax.
Lindsay Lee: Citizens should not have to sue their government or occupy clear-cutting sites. But Nova Scotians will continue to fight for what is right for our environment and our province.
I spoke with Mike Lancaster of the Healthy Forest Coalition about (not) protecting the mainland moose in Digby County, and what should be done about it.
“Right now it’s one of the few areas in Nova Scotia that remains non-fragmented, and regardless of the presence of moose, it’s important to maintain these unfragmented corridors in Nova Scotia, to provide a habitat for the species at risk, moose being the example in this case. Clearcutting exacerbates everything even more,” he tells me.
PSA: Acting on information received this morning that Irving forestry crews from New Brunswick are in transit to crown land in New France, Digby County, Extinction Rebellion forest protectors are currently blocking access to the cut area.