Greenpeace responds to ‘eco-terrorist’ portrayal – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – June 12, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Greenpeace is fighting back after members of North Eastern Ontario Municipal Association (NEOMA) likened the environmentalist group to “eco-terrorism.”

During a press conference this week, the mayors of NEOMA member communities, including Timmins’ Steve Black, announced that they were banding together to fight environmental groups such as Greenpeace, which they believe are making it impossible to start new forestry products in the region.

Greenpeace has responded by denying any claims they are calling for a boycott of companies harvesting in the Boreal Forest.

According to Greenpeace spokesman, Richard Brooks, the group has a problem with just one major forestry company harvesting in the Boreal Forest, Resolute Forest Products, and they don’t even operate anywhere near Timmins. Resolute closed its Iroquois Falls paper mill late last year.

“I think it’s important to clarify that we are not against forestry, we’re not against logging, and we’re certainly not against jobs in the North,” said Brooks. “What we are trying to do is raise awareness of responsible forestry, which is being practised by companies in the Timmins area such as Tembec. And to also highlight the operations of one particular company, Resolute Forest Products, who we believe are not practising sustainable forestry.”

The difference between businesses like Tembec and Resolute, said Brooks, is that Tembec has been able to maintain all their Forest Stewardship Council certifications, have good relationships with all of their First Nations partners, and have been willing to adjust their plans to protect caribou habitat, none of which can be said about Resolute.

“Resolute is an outlier when you compare them to Tembec or any other company operating in the Boreal Forest. Virtually no provincial or national environmental organization will work with them because of the approach they’ve taken to these issues,” said Brooks.

Resolute Forest Products is currently suing Greenpeace for defamation.

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