Canada's House of Commons Votes Down Conservative Motion Attacking Stand.earth and Greenpeace

Canada's House of Commons Votes Down Conservative Motion Attacking Stand.earth and Greenpeace

Thursday October 19, 2017

Today’s Conservative motion smacks of desperation.

Vancouver, B.C. — Today, the House of Commons voted down a motion brought by Quebec Conservative MP Alain Rayes accusing Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) and Greenpeace of “waging misinformation campaigns and other attacks” against the logging industry. 

Stand.earth Campaign Director Karen Mahon said: "We are proud of ongoing work to protect the boreal forest and are glad to see that so many government officials stood by us today. Today’s Conservative motion smacks of desperation. It appears that having failed in its efforts to shut down free speech in court, Resolute used their friends to unsuccessfully try to smear our name in Parliament. This motion is nothing more than a malicious attempt to quash critical debate about Canada’s forest practices and the future of our boreal forest."

The motion comes on the heels of the October 16th dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit brought by Quebec-based logging giant Resolute Forest Products against Stand.earth and Greenpeace, under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act.

This week’s court decision set a precedent that activities conducted by the defendants to draw attention to Resolute’s unsustainable clearcutting in the Canadian boreal forest are legal and legitimate advocacy in the public interest. The judge’s decision sends a clear message that unfettered corporate attacks on advocacy organizations will not stand up in court, and neither should they be tolerated by our elected officials. 

BACKGROUND

On the failed court case:

Filed by logging company Resolute Forest Products in May 2016, the CAD$300 million case called for individual activists and independent environmental organizations like Greenpeace USA and Stand.earth, to be labeled a “criminal enterprise” under anti-racketeering (RICO) laws originally created to prosecute the mafia.

The case brought by Resolute was dismissed on Monday, October 16th, in U.S. federal court in California. Resolute’s case had so little merit that the judge ruled as a matter of law that it was a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) for the state law claims and that Resolute would be forced for all of those claims to pay attorneys fees for Stand.earth and Greenpeace. This is a massive rebuke to Resolute, which has likely already spent millions of dollars attempting to silence its biggest critics.

Text of the motion:

Opposition Motions

October 17, 2017 — Mr. Rayes (Richmond—Arthabaska)

That, given: (a) forestry is a major employer in Canada; (b) Canada is a world leader in sustainable forestry practices; (c) the government has failed to secure a Softwood Lumber Agreement and to make softwood lumber a priority by including it in the mandate letter for the Minister of International Trade; and (d) forestry workers and forest-dependent communities are particularly vulnerable to misinformation campaigns and other attacks waged against the forest industry by foreign-funded environmental non-government organizations like Greenpeace and ForestEthics; the House express its support for forestry workers and denounce efforts by foreign-funded groups seeking to disrupt lawful forest practices in Canada.

CONTACT

Karen Mahon, karen@stand.earth, (604) 836-5992 
Sven Biggs, sven@stand.earth, (778) 882-8354

Karen Mahon, karen@stand.earth, (604) 836-5992 or Sven Biggs, sven@stand.earth, (778) 882-8354