Background Press Release from the Lady Godiva ride


Seated on a snow-white horse, clothed only in her long green hair, Lady Godiva took to the streets of Vancouver at 12 noon on Monday January 22nd in a last-ditch appeal to Mr. Rob Macdonald of the Texada Land Corporation to stop clearcutting the forests of Salt Spring Island. Starting at 938 Howe St., in front of Texada's offices.

In real life Ms Godiva is one of the world-famous Salt Spring Calendar women. Their 'Preserve & Protect' calendar has sold 13,000 copies, raised $100,000, and been the subject of world-wide media attention. Other calendar women will form an honour guard to accompany Ms Godiva's ride.

Texada's clearcuts now threaten Salt Spring's few remaining stands of old-growth Douglas fir, as well as the largest Garry oak meadow in Canada. "We are not asking anything more of Mr. Macdonald than to act in good faith," says Ms Godiva, "and accept fair market value from the community for his land."

Although islanders have raised close to a million dollars for land purchase, negotiations have repeatedly broken down, with Texada demanding prices 2-5 times fair market value.

"We are also appealing to the federal and provincial goverments," says Ms Godiva, "to honour their promises to save these endangered ecosystems and provide funding for the $30 million dollar Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy Fund and the $110 million Biodiversity Package." These funds were promised to help buy endangered ecosystems in the Gulf Islands, as well as the Vancouver region, South Okanagan and southern Vancouver Island.

Finally, this ride is a wake-up call: protection of endangered species and spaces cannot be left to the goodwill of private landowners.

In 1057 Lady Godiva rode naked through the streets of Coventry to protect her community from corporate greed and government neglect. 1000 years later, little has changed.

One part of the Solution