Ontario and Quebec communities banding together to counter Greenpeace’s messaging – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – August 12, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

Mayors from the member communities of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) met with representatives of communities in Northern Quebec, as well as the forestry industry and First Nations in Timmins on Tuesday afternoon.

The diverse group came together to discuss ways to counter the messaging of environmentalist groups about forest industry practices. Much of the discussion revolved around one group in particular: Greenpeace, which the Ontario mayors have already gone so far as to accuse of “eco-terrorism.”

“We decided as communities, industry stakeholders, and First Nations to talk about what the current issues are that affect us in Northern Ontario where we are under attack by environmental groups,” said FONOM president Al Spacek. “We feel strongly that it is a campaign of misinformation about how we conduct forestry in Northern Ontario. We know we adhere to the highest Canadian and provincial standards.

“We want to develop a strategy to get that message out, so we can defend our culture and the lifestyle we’ve been practising up here for generations very sustainably.”

Spacek said the plan initially was to meet with a Greenpeace representative, and although he said efforts were made more than a month ago to arrange it, that plan fell through. But the meeting Tuesday went ahead without the environmentalists.

To push back against the messaging brought out by Greenpeace in the media and through political lobbying, the participants at the meeting have decided to be more “structured” when delivering their own message to the public.

Timmins Mayor Steve Black said getting mayors from communities in Quebec, First Nations leaders and the forestry industry itself on board with those efforts is a significant development.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2015/08/11/ontario-and-quebec-communities-banding-together-to-counter-greenpeaces-messaging