There is trouble afoot in The Great White North and, no, it is not over global warming. The Montreal Gazette reports Greenpeace has decided to lock horns with Canadian paper company Resolute Forest Products over claims that the paper company’s logging practices in the Canadian boreal forest. As part of Greenpeace’s campaign, the group urged supporters to write negative reviews of products at Best Buy Canada’s website and connect their reviews to the anti-Resolute campaign. Consequently, Best Buy dropped Resolute as a paper products supplier.
Greenpeace alleges Resolute Forest Products is ignoring the rights of Native Canadians who use the boreal forest to live and hunt and is not taking any action to protect the woodland caribou which is considered an endangered species. Fortunately, Resolute is not taking this sitting down, and has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace seeking $7 million in damages for defamation and intentional interference in its commercial relations. As a result of the suit, one Greenpeace official accused Resolute of being on a personal vendetta against the environmentalist organization.
The Gazette also states that five years ago, things were a different story. When Greenpeace raised the issue of the woodland caribou and Native Canadian rights the company and other parties negotiated a resolution. Then a series of events lead Greenpeace to further accuse Resolute of a lack of progress on their conservation efforts, including with regards to the woodland caribou. Greenpeace says Resolute has not done what it said it would do, but Resolute denies the charges as malicious falsehoods.
This knife fight is coming down to a paper company fighting for its right to exist against an environmentalist group hostile to its existence. The company is accused of engaging in a SLAPP lawsuit in order to silence Greenpeace but Resolute’s suit does not overwhelm Greenpeace. It was filed in Ontario rather than Quebec (which has an anti-SLAPP law) because the environmentalist organization has more of a presence in Ontario than Quebec. The paper company’s claims against the mean greenies has merit and it would enable Greenpeace to defend itself by presenting evidence that Resolute did not do what it agreed to. What is even more telling are the elected officials in Ontario and Quebec where the boreal forest is located who have publicly derided Greenpeace’s efforts as geared to shut jobs out of their municipalities.
This is yet another example of intimidation by environmentalist groups. In this case, Greenpeace is attempting to manipulate the truth in order to extract more concessions from Resolute Forest Products which the company has decided to stand up to Gang Green. Furthermore, Greenpeace hates capitalism to the point that it will destroy the lives of employees of companies who are involved in logging to make forest products. One ex-Greenpeace member interviewed for the Montreal Gazette report is quoted as saying:
Resolute is dragging their heels into the 21st century, but they will be forced to adapt.
It’s more like Greenpeace would rather drag everyone to pre-historic times where few natural resources were used. The attempt by Greenpeace is only to force a paper company to do its bidding while the company is flat out resisting them. Hang in there, Resolute!