Temagami Essay Research Paper TemagamiTable of ContentsIntroduction2The — страница 6

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laws of nature.” —Watson (TALOS 23) Civil Disobedience According to Abbie Hoffman, “the best way to get heard is to get arrested, and the more times the better.” Deemed troublemakers by some and revolutionary by others, the Red Squirrel Road and Owain Lake protesters did just that. Scores of people; sitting in the dead center of the road and refusing to move regardless of threats or coersions, destroying bulldozers or chaining themselves to them, sitting on platforms high atop the trees, hammering metal stakes into various trees to destroy chainsaws; and calling it all civil disobedience. The end result? Many arrests were made, yet few were ever charged for the acts of mischief (mischief being the most likely charge) – most were held for a night or even dropped off in

North Bay; those who actually caused damage were never caught or pursued. The government was forced to pay three million dollars for security measures or damages caused by the protesters in the Red Squirrel Road building alone, and the builders lost a great deal of time and money. The legal battle over the civil disobedience is of two views. Some people view the acts as a waste of time and tax payers money, holding the belief that if there is a legal way to protest, it should be used rather than resorting to illegal practices. Clearly, such reasoning is sound; there are many legal methods of protesting and governments always hold the policy of being more willing to listen to the legal protesters than lawbreaking troublemakers. Knowing such, some might wonder as to the reasoning

behind such a clearly premeditaited group crime. The answers are varied however, looking at the effects of the disobedience, one comes to mind. Media. Those of the second view towards civil disobedience see it as a means of voicing their concerns to the public effectively and quickly. The fact that their actions are illegal serves only to attract media attention. To them it is a last ditch effort at raising public concern and perhaps forcing the government into action. To a large extent they have succeeded; the only times Temagami has really come up in headline news were during the two large-scale protests. The environmentalists also believe that, as a justification to the laws that are being broken, natural law must prevail over positive law; such will be dealt with later.

First, the issue of environmental law must be dealt with. Government Legislation / Wildlands League Lawsuit Environmental legislation is one of the big issues under contention. Environmentalists say that under current legislation the old growth forest cannot sustain itself, provided that loggers take full advantage of the lack of any real legislation. The industrialists, backed by the government, believe that they are just trying to do their job and that the current legislation is strict enough, protecting over fifty per cent of the remaining old growth pines. The actually protected areas fall under the Ontario Provincial Park Planning and Management Policies but what is under contention today is the Crown Forest Sustainability Act. This past September, the Wildlands League and

Friends of Temagami, represented by the Sierra Club Legal Defence Fund, filed a law suit against the government under the CFSA, claiming that the MNR had “failed to ensure that logging will protect wildlife, ecosystems or the public interest”.(SIERRA) This lawsuit is in itself a landmark, being the first attack on Ontario forestry from a legal point of view. As simply stated by Tim Gray of the Wildlands League, “we are seeking to have the Ontario Court order the Minister to obey the law . . . we had to act now to draw the public’s attention to the MNR’s plans to rid themsleves of even these minimal laws to protect the public interest.” (TEM. UPDATE) As such, the earilier government’s weak legislation has become an unlikely hero in the eyes of the environmentalists.

The two groups sought an injuction forcing a ’stay’ of the logging in the Owain Lake forest area until the case was completed; their feeling was that “we will lose the forest by the time our case is heard.” (TEM. UPDATE) After three days of testimony and four days of deliberation by an Ontario Divisional Court judge, the request was denied. However, the case will proceed to full trial this winter and the outlook is optimistic for the environmentalists. If the case succeeds, the industrialists will be forced to cease all activity in the area until the MNR develops the neccessary environmental guidlines. There are few other pieces of legislation corresponding with forestry conservation – it is mainly left up to the individual regional MNR to establish guidlines as