As the next B.C. budget is tabled Tuesday, a number of groups are looking to make their voices heard.
Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) has said they will undertake a peaceful lockdown and citizen’s arrest to disrupt the budget speech to “prevent further genocidal crimes against humanity toward the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and peoples.”
This comes after weeks of demonstrations by Indigenous youth, supporters and allies, including an 18-hour sit-in at the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources on Jan. 21, a six-day camp on the steps of the B.C. legislature, the temporary closure of both the Johnson and Bay Street bridges and a day of picketing at more than 30 government buildings.
In addition to the XRVI disruption, a rally with more than 200 forestry workers is expected to convene on the legislature lawn starting at 12:30 p.m. to deliver a petition calling for “working forest” designation along with growing parks and protected areas and to “raise awareness of the importance of forestry to our communities.” This will be the third rally in six months organized by B.C. Forestry Alliance.
Finance Minister Carole James is to deliver her third full budget Tuesday, with a three-year revenue forecast for Crown timber, natural gas and other natural resources. Personal income taxes are expected to rise as B.C. ramps up the Coastal Gaslink pipeline project, and the federally-owned Trans Mountain oil pipeline gets its twinning project underway.
— With files from Tom Fletcher