Coun. Ben Isitt resigned this week as vice-chair of the Capital Regional District’s First Nations relations committee over concerns voiced about his presence at the Fairy Creek watershed blockades. (File contributed/City of Victoria)

Coun. Ben Isitt resigned this week as vice-chair of the Capital Regional District’s First Nations relations committee over concerns voiced about his presence at the Fairy Creek watershed blockades. (File contributed/City of Victoria)

Victoria councillor resigns from CRD committee after Pacheedaht First Nation Chief expresses concerns

Coun. Ben Isitt resigns from CRD First Nation committee vice-chair role

Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt resigned from his role as vice-chair of the Capital Regional District’s First Nations Relations Committee on Wednesday after he reflected on concerns made by an Island First Nations Chief.

“I believe that it is in the best interests of the CRD and its relations with Indigenous communities for another CRD director to serve as vice-chair of the Indigenous Relations Committee at this time,” Isitt wrote in an emailed letter announcing his resignation.

“I have reflected on the concerns expressed by Pacheedaht Chief councillor Jeff Jones,” Isitt said in the letter to CRD chair Colin Plant and committee chair, Maja Tait.

READ: Old-growth protesters, loggers clash near Honeymoon Bay

In a video posted on June 10, Isitt is seen at a blockade that’s part of old-growth logging protests in the Fairy Creek watershed. The video shows Isitt disagreeing with RCMP officers about the legality of a tow truck operator removing cars from a road in the area.

Isitt has been a public advocate of ending old-growth logging. In a June 18 Facebook post, he wrote, “Incursions by RCMP tactical units at camps near the headwaters of Fairy Creek in the past 24 hours beg the question of why enforcement is occurring if deferrals are in place. Who will provide leadership and ensure that the #RCMPStandDown, honouring the deferral of old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek headwaters?”

In the resignation letter, Isitt said he stands by trying to “prevent the wrongful conversion of property belonging to my constituents on the Gordon River Forest Service Road.”

The Pacheedaht First Nation is one of three First Nations that requested in early June that the province defers old-growth logging in the Fairy Creek and Central Walbran areas for the next two years. That request was approved by the B.C. government.

READ: First Nations tell B.C. to pause old growth logging on southwest Vancouver Island


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CRDFairy Creek watershedVictoria