Several dozen people came to Nelson court on July 19 for the hearing of 19 logging protesters arrested on May 17 near Argenta. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Several dozen people came to Nelson court on July 19 for the hearing of 19 logging protesters arrested on May 17 near Argenta. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Court date for Argenta logging protesters delayed

The date of the next appearance is not yet decided

A court appearance for 19 people arrested at a logging protest near Argenta has been put off to an unspecified date.

The case is currently a civil matter in which the logging company Cooper Creek Cedar (CCC) is suing the 19 arrested individuals for civil contempt of court, alleging that they defied a 2019 court injunction.

Following the court proceeding on Tuesday in Nelson court, the company’s lawyer Matthew Scheffelmaier declined to explain CCC’s intentions any further to the media.

The courtroom was packed with many of the accused people and their supporters. Sinixt elder Marilyn James, who was among the supporters, lighted sage and walked around the courtroom in a smudging ceremony prior the hearing.

The group Last Stand West Kootenay set up camp in April on a logging road in the Argenta-Johnsons Landing Face, a stretch of forested mountainside between the east shore of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy near the small community of Argenta.

On May 17, the RCMP arrested a large group of the protesters. Some were released immediately and others spent some time in custody and released the same day, but all were instructed to appear in court in Nelson on July 19.

The arrests were based on a court injunction obtained by CCC in 2019 on a different part of its timber licence in the area.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Cooper Creek Cedar intended to apply for the Crown to take over the case as a criminal contempt prosecution.

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