The Fairy Creek “old growth” protest on the west Coast of Vancouver Island is a marriage made on the picket line between adolescent American eco-warriors and professional Canadian catastrophists.
For the one it means a battle fought in Canada without having to draw attention to similar practices at home. For the other it’s an effort to destroy the economic livelihood of a community in the name of an ill-defined alternative. Industry, (in this case a family firm in its fourth generation of BC owner-stewardship), is caught in the middle because any concession they might make is never enough. A First Nations entity with an interest in making a living is bulldozed to the side. Government is represented by an agglomeration of minor “I’m with you” politicians in search of cameras. It is an inevitable, if distressing appendage to the democratic process originated where people have co-opted the issue to meet some externally determined purpose.
Canadians, despite the efforts by those who purport to lead them, have rarely seen a time in their history when they have not tried to make bad situations better. Some Canadian leaders are demanding that citizens accept personal responsibility today for decisions taken by their predecessors well before most of them were born. It seems that the Fairy Creek protest has been wound into an aggregation of this imposed collective guilt and will likely feature in the election currently looming over Canada.
The left-wing people running this protest indicate they stand for the elimination of livelihoods they do not like, so anyone wanting something else has, for once, a fairly clear choice.