By Cindy Filipenko
The N’Quatqua Band’s annual general
meeting has fueled the fire between the Voices of the Old Growth Alliance and
the band’s chief and council.
According to a statement released by
the Voices of the Old Growth Alliance, a motion was passed calling for the
resignation of key N’Quatqua officials, including Chief Harry O’Donaghey, at
the Oct. 21 AGM.
VOGA was the group responsible for
last spring’s blocking of Portage Road to draw attention to the proposed
logging of CP16, an 80 ha. parcel of land above Anderson Lake. At that time,
and in subsequent legal actions, VOGA maintained that the band’s government had
entered into logging agreements without adequate community consultation.Q
The group managed to secure an
injunction against the N’Quatqua Logging Company, preventing the company from
proceeding with the logging until a referendum could be held.
In a statement released Oct. 23, VOGA claims that two motions
were passed at the 13-hour Oct. 21 meeting. The first motion called for the
resignation of the chief, one council member and the band’s administrator, with
a second motion calling for a follow-up band meeting to “review and discuss
healthy leadership and terms of re-election.”
But according to the band’s executive
assistant, Lisa Tjelta, no official motions were passed at the AGM.
In its statement, VOGA also commented
on the current status of CP16, alleging that the Ministry of Forests has agreed
to compensate the band for the $140,000 in development costs. Members of VOGA
interpreted this news as cancellation of the proposed CP16 harvest activity.
Tjelta had no comment on the alleged
compensation from the ministry, saying that, as a financial matter, it was
confidential band business.
Representatives from VOGA could not
be reached to substantiate their claims.
To date there has been no resolution
to the legal issues surrounding CP16.