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Judge grants N'quatqua protestors interim injunction

"We feel that Judge Pitfield heard us when even our own chief and council could not."

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted an interim injunction against the N’Quatqua Logging Company. The NLC has been attempting to log land above Anderson Lake since the spring.

The decision was made the afternoon of July 17, after a two-day hearing. In their quest for the injunction, opponents alleged that Chief Harry O’Donaghey and his council made decisions pertaining to the land without adequate consultation of band members. O’Donaghey, who has refused to comment on matters, is the sole shareholder of the company.

The protestors, known as The Old Growth Alliance, allege various incidents of misconduct on the part of chief and council in matters directly related to the fate of the 80 ha parcel of land. Among the allegations are that the chief and council entered contracts that were not beneficial to the band, did not comply with the terms of the band’s governance documents and that they refused to give access to public information. How to proceed with those allegations is under consideration by the judge assigned to the case.

"It feels good to be heard," said a jubilant Karen Thevarge. "We feel that Judge (Ian) Pitfield heard us when even our own chief and council could not."

The interim injunction will be in place until July 21, when Judge Pitfield will be handing down his ruling on the matter.

While Thevarge would not hazard to guess the outcome, she was optimistic and felt that some evidence had definitely tipped the scales in the favour of the Old Growth Alliance.

"The fact that chief and council had not consulted properly with people, this was totally in our favour," said Thevarge.

The dispute, which began in April, has been divisive in the community of less than 200 that resides in D’Arcy. Allegations of intimation emerged fairly soon after the roadblock was erected. However, those incidents remain anecdotal, as no one has been willing to go on record.

While the outcome of the protestor’s case against the chief and council remains uncertain, the injunction makes the fate of the forest less nebulous.

"Until we hear on Friday not one tree will be removed and no roadwork will be done," said Thevarge.