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Greenpeace Canada continues to squirm to avoid coming up with a defence against Resolute Forest Products’ $7-million lawsuit alleging “intentional interference with economic relations;” that is, trying to destroy Resolute’s business by pressuring its customers
Last Friday, lawyers for Greenpeace sought leave to appeal the decision of the Divisional Court of Ontario (which had rejected an earlier appeal and told Greenpeace to file a defence, plus pay costs).
The case has significant ramifications for whether radical NGOs will be allowed to continue to spread misinformation, trample over corporate reputations, and destroy business and jobs. This is somewhat related to those over-ballyhooed CRA audits of charitable institutions, although Greenpeace had its charity status removed long ago. In fact, “intentional interference with economic relations” could almost be Greenpeace’s mission statement.
The suit goes back to claims made by Greenpeace about Resolute’s business practices after the radical environmental NGO exited the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, the deeply flawed 2010 deal under which forestry companies were persuaded that they could buy off their radical opponents by becoming “partners” in plans to sanitize huge swathes of Canada in the name of “environmental protection.” Screw the people who lived there.
To everybody’s surprise, Resolute demonstrated some rare corporate backbone and sued, which led Greenpeace to redouble its attack both through social media, and – more significant – by applying pressure to Resolute’s customers both directly and indirectly, aided by radical cohorts such as ForestEthics, another CBFA signatory.
Greenpeace’s lawyers claim in their latest leave to appeal that Resolute failed to identify anybody who had been “interfered with.” In fact, Greenpeace has sent scores of letters to Resolute’s customers containing thinly disguised threats, and these have been made available to the courts. One such was sent in January to David Paterson, the head of Verso Paper Corp., based in Memphis, Tennessee. Mr. Paterson is significant because he was head of Resolute (then Abitibi Bowater) when it signed the CBFA.
So now he’s reaping the whirlwind.
The letter, from Joanna Kerr, Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada, wanted a meeting ”to discuss Resolute’s forest management practices and how we can help you ensure that your customers are being supplied with the ‘sustainable’ products they prefer and have come to expect.”
For the rest of this column, click here: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/07/29/peter-foster-greenpeace-stands-for-delay-delay-delay/