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Wu in the Wild

Sean Holman, Public Eye Online, January 19, 2010

When last we heard from Ken Wu, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee's Victoria campaign director had announced he would be stepping aside to travel the world. But those plans have been put on hold, with Mr. Wu launching a new environmental group in response to a wilderness committee decision he says will downsize the campaign against old growth logging on Vancouver Island. But Joe Foy, a senior staffer with committee, has rejected Mr. Wu's interpretation of that decision.

Speaking to reporters at Saanich's Francis/King Regional Park, Mr. Wu said the Ancient Forest Alliance - whose founders include the committee's former junior campaigner Tara Sawatsky and Metchosin photographer T.J. Watt - "will fill a void."

"The Western Canada Wilderness Committee's office, its old growth campaign, it's three old growth campaigners, its storefront and its Website will be closed shortly - not my decision," he explained. "And I believe it's important we continue to educate and mobilize the people of Victoria."

In an interview with Public Eye, Mr. Foy confirmed the committee's store in Victoria is being replaced with an office because the store "wasn't a money-making venture for us."

But he said no jobs are being eliminated, although some of their responsibilities are being changed. As a result, the committee's old growth campaign on the island will be directed from Vancouver as part of a province-wide effort against such logging.

"It's perfectly legitimate for Ken to be concerned. It's a really important campaign. But I think he's got it wrong," said Mr. Foy.

Still, the committee's national campaign director described Mr. Wu's decision to continue his environmental work as "awesome."

"The campaign and the movement in the general can very much use Ken Wu," he said.

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