Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
September 08, 1991
Enclosed for your information is a copy of a memo to file on a recent meeting with representatives of Daishowa. The memo provides insight for people wishing to engage Daishowa on the Lubicon issue.
The bottom line of the meeting was that Daishowa doesn't plan to clear-cut the unceded traditional Lubicon territory this fall under its own name but does plan to do so through its wholly-owned subsidiary Brewster Construction. It of course matters little to the Lubicon people whether Daishowa plans to clear-cut the unceded Lubicon territory directly or through sub-contractors and subsidiaries.
A transcript of the meeting, providing more detail on the verbal back and forth but lacking contextual and other comment, is available upon request.
DATE: September 04, 1991
RE: September 04, 1991, Meeting with Daishowa
The Vancouver meeting was requested by a coalition of organizations concerned about plans by Daishowa to clear-cut in the unceded Lubicon territory this fall. Their request was handled for Daishowa by Daishowa's man in Edmonton, Jim Morrison, who had apparently been flown to Vancouver for that specific purpose.
Initially Mr. Morrison told coalition representatives that senior Daishowa management were out of the country but that he'd be personally prepared to meet with a delegation of no more than three people. Members of the coalition discussed Mr. Morrison's position and decided that it would take a delegation of at least six people to properly represent the variety of autonomous organizations wanting to make submissions to Daishowa.
Following a Lubicon support rally organized by coalition members, a number of people from the rally walked the block or so from where the rally was held to Daishowa's Vancouver office to advise Mr. Morrison that three people were not sufficient to represent the variety of autonomous organizations involved. They were met at the front door of the Daishowa office building by an uniformed security guard with instructions from Mr. Morrison to allow entry to no more than three people.
After some discussion with the security guard Lubicon Chief Bernard Ominayak suggested that Darryl Klassen from the Mennonite Central Committee be delegated to go discuss the size of the coalition delegation with Mr. Morrison. The security guard agreed and allowed Darryl Klassen to enter the building.
Mr. Morrison met with Darryl Klassen in the front reception area of Daishowa's suite of offices and told him that Daishowa didn't have sufficient room to accommodate a delegation of more than three people. Darryl Klassen rejected as ridiculous Mr. Morrison's claim that there wasn't sufficient room in Daishowa's obviously huge office complex to accommodate six people and told Mr. Morrison that a minimum of six people would be necessary to represent the variety of autonomous organizations wishing to make representations to Daishowa.
Mr. Morrison excused himself, climbed some open-sided stairs leading to a second level in Daishowa's office complex, passed through a double set of glass doors and disappeared into a room which later turned out to be a good sized meeting room overlooking Vancouver harbour. A couple of minutes later, clearly having checked with somebody, Mr. Morrison reappeared and told Darryl Klassen that six people were "acceptable".
Darryl Klassen reported back to the people waiting in front of the Daishowa office building and six people were selected to meet (supposedly) with Mr. Morrison. The six people selected to meet (supposedly) with Mr. Morrison were Bernard Ominayak, Lubicon Advisor Fred Lennarson, Darryl Klassen, Mavis Gillie from the National Anglican Church, Judy Nutley from the Human Rights Committee of the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association and Hubert Grundner representing concerned European environmental and aboriginal rights groups.
Upon arrival in the Daishowa suite of offices the six coalition representatives were asked to proceed up the open-sided stairs to the double set of glass doors where they were met by a formal Daishowa receiving line consisting of Mr. Morrison, Daishowa "Director" Alec Robertson, Daishowa "Consultant" Henry Wakabayashi and Daishowa "Administrator" Teresa R. Kobayashi. (After the meeting was over Darryl Klassen observed that a coalition delegation of three people would have been nicely matched by the waiting Daishowa delegation of four people.)
Mr. Morrison's title is General Manager of the Edmonton Office but it seems likely that what he really does is public relations. It would be surprising indeed if his background was in the technical or managerial aspects of the pulp and paper business instead of public relations. Daishowa has no known holdings in Edmonton to manage and all inquiries to Daishowa's Canadian General Manager in Vancouver, Tom Hamaoka, are referred to Mr. Morrison in Edmonton for response. Mr. Morrison's probably just been given the title of "General Manager" because Daishowa knows that people want to deal with senior management and don't like being shunted off to some public relations flunky.
One thing that became abundantly clear during the course of the meeting is that Mr. Morrison's not just making things up as he goes along but is following official company line. Most if not all of the erratic, inconsistent, factually untrue and at points even contradictory things Mr. Morrison's been saying ever since Mr. Hamaoka first started using him to deflect media inquiries last November -- in the midst of the controversy over Daishowa breeching the 1988 agreement with the Lubicons -- were repeated during the course of the meeting by Daishowa heavy-weight Henry Wakabayashi.
Mr. Wakabayashi ran the meeting for Daishowa, saying that he was doing so on behalf of Mr. Hamaoka who was "unavailable". Mr. Wakabayashi was the only one of the September 4th Daishowa foursome who'd also attended the March 7, 1988 meeting at which the agreement with the Lubicons was made. As he'd done at the March 7, 1988 meeting, Mr. Wakabayashi described himself as "a consultant to Daishowa".
Obviously not appreciating the careful way that Mr. Wakabayashi was setting himself up to both speak and not speak for Daishowa, Daishowa "Director" Alec Robertson blurted out that Mr. Wakabayashi is also a member of Daishowa's Executive Committee. (Mr. Robertson's other comments during the course of the meeting displayed a similar lack of sensitivity, comprehension and/or subtlety.)
Except for politely welcoming and bidding adieu to the six coalition representatives, Ms. Kobayashi didn't speak during the meeting but assiduously took notes. Shortly into the meeting it became clear that Mr. Wakabayashi was going to use the issue of accurate notes to try and argue that no agreement had been reached between Daishowa and the Lubicons during the March 7, 1988 meeting, or, at the very least, that there was an honest disagreement over what had occurred at the March 7th meeting rather than Daishowa being dishonourable and breeching the agreement.
As Chief Ominayak was walking into the meeting a reporter from Co-Op Radio in Vancouver gave the Chief a tape recorder. When Chief Ominayak sat down at the conference table he placed the tape recorder on the table before him and turned it on. Well into the meeting the tape ran out. When Chief Ominayak turned over the tape Mr. Robertson suddenly realized that a tape recorder was sitting on the conference table in front of Chief Ominayak and demanded that Chief Ominayak either shut off the tape recorder or that the meeting be immediately brought to a conclusion.
Mr. Robertson claimed that there'd been a pre-meeting agreement that there'd be no reporters or tape recorders allowed at the meeting. Fred Lennarson asked with whom the supposed agreement had been made. Darryl Klassen said the only pre-meeting condition he knew about was Mr. Morrison's condition that there only be three coalition representatives. In light of the claimed dispute over what had transpired at the March 7th meeting, Fred Lennarson said that he thought it would be useful to have a tape recording of all meetings with Daishowa.
At this point Mr. Wakabayashi hurriedly moved on to other matters and the debate over the tape recorder ended. It wasn't clear whether Mr. Robertson thought that Chief Ominayak had turned off the tape recorder or whether Mr. Robertson's protest was simply cut short by Mr. Wakabayashi.
Mr. Wakabayashi opened the meeting with a statement that he was representing Mr. Hamaoka. He introduced the other Daishowa representatives. He said that Mr. Hamaoka sent his apologies for not being available. He noted that the meeting had been requested by the coalition and therefore proposed that coalition representatives speak first. He said that the Daishowa representatives would "be pleased to hear your presentations and to pass it on to Mr. Hamaoka".
Darryl Klassen said that no one was authorized to speak on behalf of the coalition as a whole. Rather, he said, each representative would be making a statement on behalf of his or her respective organization. He suggested that Chief Ominayak make the first statement.
Chief Ominayak said that it was too bad Mr. Hamaoka wasn't available. Responding to Mr. Wakabayashi's introduction of Mr. Morrison as someone "you know from the Edmonton office", Chief Ominayak said "It's the first time I've met him, even though I've heard a lot of remarks that are undoubtedly not true made by him in the past". Chief Ominayak concluded by saying the purpose of the meeting was to reaffirm the agreement that Daishowa would not try to clear-cut in the unceded Lubicon territory until a settlement of Lubicon land rights had been achieved and an agreement made regarding Lubicon environmental and wildlife concerns.
Mr. Wakabayashi said he was prepared to "make some comments on behalf of the company" but that he'd first like to hear from the other coalition representatives.
Judy Nutley indicated that she represented the Human Rights Committee of the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association. She said that she supported recognition of the aboriginal land rights of the Lubicons. She said that she thought that "the matter of aboriginal claims should be first and foremost dealt with". She said that the rights of Canada's aboriginal peoples, and especially Lubicon land rights, had been too long ignored. She tied the struggle for recognition of aboriginal land rights to the struggle of Japanese Canadians to achieve redress and said that Japanese Canadians had an obligation to support aboriginal people in their struggle until there is a resolution of aboriginal land rights". (Mr. Wakabayashi was clearly concerned about his own if not Daishowa's image in the Japanese Canadian community and several times during the course of the meeting appealed directly to Judy Nutley, referring at one point to his involvement in the struggle to achieve redress for Japanese Canadians and at another point suggesting that the Lubicon people shouldn't be too impatient -- that it had taken Japanese Canadians a long time to achieve redress.)
Mavis Gillie indicated that she represented the National Anglican Church and Project North. She said that it was the position of the churches that there must be no development on aboriginal lands until land claims are settled. She said resource exploitation companies often claim that they are "the ham in the sandwich" in the sense that aboriginal land rights are a matter to be settled between aboriginal people and the Government. However, she said, the churches feel that a strong moral position has to be taken by the companies and especially by Japanese companies who claim to be "honourable people". She said that the Churches are "amazed that the agreement made earlier (with the Lubicons) not to log would be broken". She said that she thought that the people of Canada are becoming more and more concerned about aboriginal rights and that the relationship between Japan and Canada would be "severely damaged by the actions of Daishowa". She said that she thought Daishowa must take responsibility for its actions and "not lay it on the Government".
Hubert Grundner said he represented the Big Mountain Aktionsgruppe and other concerned groups in Europe and that he would like to present some letters from these European groups to Daishowa, which he then did. Mr. Wakabayashi proposed to read the letters on the spot but Fred Lennarson suggested that Mr. Wakabayashi read the letters later and proceed with the meeting.
Darryl Klassen indicated that he represented the Mennonite Central Committee. He said "We have people across Canada...and have seen over and over again the destruction that resource extraction has dealt to native communities where people who have lived off the land in peace until large corporations come in and extract the resources with no benefit going to the original inhabitants". He said "Take away the trees and there's no more wildlife -- no more living for people on the land". He said "We have come here today as representatives of cultural, of international, of church and of environmental groups to call Daishowa to ethical action". He said "The lack of government action doesn't excuse corporate citizens or private citizens from ethical action or from moral imperatives". He said "These issues of legitimate claims have to be settled before anyone can go in, ruin the land and ruin a people in the process".
Fred Lennarson indicated that he had no independent statement to make -- that he was attending the meeting with Chief Ominayak.
Mr. Wakabayashi said that he'd made note of the presentations and letters and would "pass on your message to Mr. Hamaoka". He said "I expect that you would be expecting some sort of reply and we'll certainly make sure that happens".
Mr. Wakabayashi said that he'd reviewed his notes from the March 7, 1988 meeting, pointedly telling Fred Lennarson that the meeting had occurred on March 7th instead of March 8th. (Mr. Wakabayashi was obviously referring to a July 11, 1991, Lubicon mail-out which incorrectly said that the meeting had occurred on March 8th. It was the first of several attempts made by Mr. Wakabayashi to question the reliability of Lubicon statements about specific matters of fact, clearly in order to raise questions about the credibility of Lubicon statements regarding the existence of the March 7, 1988 agreement.)
Mr. Wakabayashi said that he's attended a lot of meetings over the years and that he took "pretty good notes". During the March 7th meeting he said there was a lot of discussion, that the Lubicons "presented some sort of background" and that Miles Richardson of the Haida Nation and Aaron Greycloud of United Native Nations had also made some comments. He said "I think what we said at the time was that we'd certainly work with you and try to keep you advised as to what the project plans were".
Then in a second transparent attempt to raise questions about the reliability of Lubicon statements (and thereby indicating again that he had access to Lubicon mail-outs), Mr. Wakabayashi said "By the way, we didn't call that (March 7th) meeting " He said "You people were doing some demonstration downstairs and you wanted to meet with us so you came up to the offices".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "I think you probably recall me asking you how far your historical or traditional lands came, and I think you said you'd come to the east side of the Peace River, and I said that's great because we're going to be building on the west (side of the Peace River)". However, he said, "in going through my notes and talking with both Mr. Kitagawa and Mr. Hamaoka, there was really no what I would call an agreement".
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Mr. Kitagawa had spoken to Chief Ominayak on March 2nd (1988) and told Chief Ominayak that the proposed Lubicon reserve area was excluded from Daishowa's Forest Management Agreement with the Alberta Government. He said that Mr. Hamaoka had since informed Chief Ominayak that Daishowa would not log on the east (Lubicon) side (of the Peace River) until the new Peace River bridge was complete, originally scheduled for the fall of 1991 and now delayed for a year. This delay in completion of the bridge, Mr. Wakabayashi said, "allows the Peace River pulp mill to extend for a further year any plans to log in the (Lubicon) area".
Regarding wholly owned Daishowa subsidiary Brewster Construction, Mr. Wakabayashi said that Daishowa's Wood Resources Manager Wayne Thorp had been trying to reach Chief Ominayak "on a number of occasions...to explain the logging plans that (Daishowa) had for the Brewster mill".
Mr. Wakabayashi denied that Daishowa was caught between the Lubicons and Canadian Government "like the ham in a sandwich". He said "I think we have made our position clear as to the area that we would be logging in and I think whether it's ourselves or any of the sawmills that have been in the area (with which Daishowa has now either developed subcontracts or purchased outright), I think that is still happening".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "We talk about agreements". He said "We certainly had discussions and I think we're certainly keeping to those discussions".
"We get into all of these discussions about clear-cutting", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "and you can call it clear-cutting but we're talking about aspen which is a deciduous tree and continues to regrow through the root system". "The shoots", he said, "are up in a year or two after being harvested".
Fred Lennarson said that he also took careful notes at the March 7th meeting, as well as before and since. He accepted that there was an unfortunate but not particularly significant error in the July 11th Lubicon mail-out and that the meeting at which the agreement was made had occurred on March 7th instead of March 8th. However, he said, Mr. Wakabayashi was not correct about who'd asked for the meeting.
Fred Lennarson said that Mr. Kitagawa phoned Chief Ominayak on March 2nd and requested a meeting "in Peace River, Little Buffalo or any place else". He said that Chief Ominayak responded by proposing to meet at Daishowa's Vancouver office on March 7th since the Chief planned to be there anyway on March 7th for an already planned and announced demonstration.
Fred Lennarson said that Mr. Wakabayashi was also correct in reporting that Mr. Kitagawa had told Chief Ominayak on March 2nd that the proposed reserve area was excluded from Daishowa's Forest Management Agreement with the Alberta Government, but, he said, Mr. Wakabayashi was conveniently failing to report Chief Ominayak's response to Mr. Kitagawa or the highly relevant remainder of that discussion.
Fred Lennarson said that Chief Ominayak told Mr. Kitagawa that the 25.4 square mile proposed reserve area to which Mr. Kitagawa referred was only a small piece of unceded Lubicon lands set aside as a partial reserve in 1939 but never actually made into a reserve. Unless and/or until there was a full and final settlement of Lubicon land rights, Chief Ominayak told Mr. Kitagawa, the Lubicon people retained aboriginal land title to some 4,000 square miles of traditional Lubicon territory comprising about 1/3 of the timber lease improperly granted to Daishowa by the Alberta Provincial Government. At that point, Fred Lennarson said, Mr. Kitagawa specifically told Chief Ominayak "I understand the extent of Lubicon land rights now but didn't before".
In retrospect, Fred Lennarson said, it was now clear that Premier Getty had told Daishowa not to worry about the Lubicons because Lubicon land rights would supposedly be settled by the fall of 1989 -- well before Daishowa planned to harvest timber in the unceded Lubicon territory. He said that Daishowa representatives apparently took Premier Getty at his word and communicated the Premier's assurances to Chief Ominayak during the March 7th meeting. He said that Chief Ominayak responded to being told about the Premier's assurances by saying "Well that's fine, and hopefully that's right, but we've been at it for a long time and we don't want any development in (our) area until there's first a settlement (of Lubicon land rights) and secondly we negotiate with you regarding the entire traditional area on the questions of the environmental concerns and wildlife concerns".
When there was no settlement by the fall of 1989, Fred Lennarson said, Daishowa started slip-sliding all over the place, first trying to circumvent the agreement by working through subsidiaries and subcontractors, and when that didn't work, by now trying to deny the existence of the agreement.
Mr. Wakabayashi said "we won't get in an argument about the (meeting) notes but that he did want to make the point "in regards to agreements that you have to look at the context of the times". He said "this is March 1988". He said "The Lubicons are in negotiations with the Federal and Provincial Governments". He said "Our pulp mill isn't going to start up for 2 1/2 years and the bridge wasn't going to be built and we weren't going to be able to access that area". He said "I think it was in that context".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "We told you at that time that we wouldn't be logging in there until the fall of 1989 or late 1989". He said "that's the kind of time frame and that's the kind of period of time in which this discussion took place".
Again challenging Lubicon statements of fact, and again pointedly directing his comments at Fred Lennarson, Mr. Wakabayashi said "you said in another letter that you handed out that this was a negotiation situation". He said "It wasn't a negotiation situation". He said "There was a lot of discussion but there was not negotiation to reach an agreement". He said "You explained your situation and we told you what our plans were and that was the extent of it".
Lennarson rejected Wakabayashi's description of what occurred at the March 7th meeting but said that in the last analysis it didn't matter whether there was an agreement or not, or whether Daishowa was or wasn't an honourable company, or whether Daishowa employees were or weren't honourable people, or how Mr. Wakabayashi chose to represent Daishowa's relationship with Brewster or the type of meeting that was held on March 7th. He said that the bottom line for the Lubicons, and the Japanese Canadian Citizens Association, and the churches, and the European support groups is no development on unceded aboriginal lands until there is a settlement of aboriginal land rights.
Mr. Wakabayashi said that the only reason he'd referred back to the March 7th meeting was to present the facts to the people attending the meeting in support of the Lubicons. He said he was sure they'd heard the Lubicon version and that he wanted them to hear Daishowa's side of the story.
Mr. Wakabayashi then referred to an exchange of letters between Chief Ominayak and Mr. Kitagawa following the March 7th meeting in which Mr. Kitagawa wrote that he would keep the Lubicons informed and Chief Ominayak wrote back that there'd apparently been a failure to communicate but not mentioning any agreement. Mr. Wakabayashi said that many things had been discussed in the March 7th meeting, and that there'd been follow-up with maps and letters, but that there'd been no agreement and that he "just wanted the opportunity to be able to explain to you (coalition) people our side of the story because the way it keeps coming out in the press is that we were breaking agreements and aren't honourable".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "I think we've been pretty honourable". He said "That's the point I want to make to you (coalition) people". He said "There weren't the kind of agreements that supposedly we've been told in the press that we made". "And", he said, "I think that's very important for you (coalition) people to take into consideration in how you go forward and support the (Lubicons)".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "You (Ominayak) asked Tom (Hamaoka) to get involved and talk to the Government". Mr. Wakabayashi said "He's done all those things". Mr. Wakabayashi said "He's followed through on what he said he'd do". "And so", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "I take real offense at being accused of not being honourable because from our side, we feel that the discussions we had, we've pretty well followed through with it". Mr. Wakabayashi claimed "There was no basic agreement on which people can start saying we have not met an agreement".
Chief Ominayak said there was indeed an agreement, not the kind of legalistic agreement which Mr. Wakabayashi was talking about, but, the Chief said, "there's no two ways about it -- there was an agreement". He said that he'd spoken with Mr. Hamaoka again last summer and pointed out to him there was an agreement. He said that Mr. Hamaoka made no effort to deny that there was an agreement.
Mr. Wakabayashi asked "A formal agreement?"
Chief Ominayak told Wakabayashi "I said there was an agreement made". "It wasn't a formal, kind of written agreement but we did have that discussion..."
Mr. Wakabayashi aggressively asked "Was it a discussion, Chief? How did the discussion go".
Chief Ominayak said that Mr.Hamaoka stopped at the Lubicon office on his way to see Daishowa's new Brewster sawmill. He said that Mr. Hamaoka said he was going to start phoning to see where things were jammed up. At that point, Chief Ominayak said, he asked Fred Lennarson to send Mr. Hamaoka information on negotiations.
"If that was the agreement", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "I know that he (Hamaoka) met with Siddon, with Oberle, with the Alberta Minister -- he really pleaded your case for you". "So he definitely followed through with that part of it", Mr. Wakabayashi said. "So he's done what he said he would do" Mr. Wakabayashi said.
Chief Ominayak said "but that's not where the question lies". "In so far as the earlier (March 7th) meeting", Chief Ominayak said, "there was clearly an agreement made (that Daishowa would stay out of the traditional Lubicon territory until there was a settlement of Lubicon land rights and an agreement negotiated with the Lubicon people regarding Lubicon wildlife and environmental concerns)". Chief Ominayak said that he hoped Mr. Hamaoka was not now trying to deny that there was an agreement made at that point.
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Fred Lennarson's notes may vary from his but that "the only notes I've got...is when Tom (Hamaoka) explained the woods operation, the FMA (Forest Management Agreement) was expected to go through a consultation series specific to your area, not encroaching on those lands, (the) possibility of mutual benefit for both, understand there's some oil and gas exploration, camps for Brewster and Boucher, start-up mill slated for the fall of 1990 and wood fall/winter 1989". He said "we talked about that". He said "I wouldn't say that was necessarily an agreement". "And", he said, "you just have to check with people that I've been dealing with". He said "I keep notes, I really do keep notes".
Fred Lennarson said that he also kept notes. He said that his notes from the March 7th meeting indicated that Mr. Wakabayashi had said he hoped Lubicon land rights would be settled by the fall of 1989 when Daishowa wanted to cut timber in the unceded Lubicon territory, that Chief Ominayak told Mr. Wakabayashi that he also hoped there'd be settlement by the fall of 1989 but that the Lubicon people had been seeking such an agreement for 50 years and therefore needed agreement from Daishowa that Daishowa would make no attempt to cut trees in the traditional Lubicon territory until there'd been both a land settlement and a harvesting agreement, and that, at the end of the meeting, Daishowa had agreed to stay out of the traditional Lubicon territory until Lubicon land rights had been settled and a wildlife and environmental protection agreement negotiated with the Lubicon people. Fred Lennarson said during that meeting Daishowa representatives had requested and had been subsequently provided with a map showing the boundaries of the traditional Lubicon territory, resulting in the exchange of correspondence between Mr. Kitagawa and Chief Ominayak to which Mr. Wakabayashi had earlier referred out of context, but, he reiterated, all of this was now essentially beside the point.
By now, Fred Lennarson said, it was clear that the Lubicons would never agree that there was no agreement and Daishowa would never agree that there was. Pursuing the matter was merely aggravating the situation without yielding useful results. The bottom line, he said, and the point at which Daishowa and the Lubicons would have to do business if at all was with regard to the Lubicon position that there'd be no development of unceded Lubicon lands at least until there is a settlement of Lubicon land rights. And, he said, for all of Mr. Wakabayashi's fancy legalistic and semantic games, it was his (Lennarson's) understanding that this was the position of the representatives of the coalition as well.
Fred Lennarson said that he also clearly remembered the end of the March 7th meeting. He said he remembered Mr. Wakabayashi saying "We're peaceful people and we don't want any trouble". He said that he remembered Mr. Wakabayashi saying further "We're prepared to come and talk whenever the Lubicon people are ready". He said that he remembered Chief Ominayak saying "We're peaceful people too but we're committed to defending our vital interests". And, he said, he remembered Chief Ominayak concluding the March 7th meeting by saying "We'll welcome you to our community to talk once our aboriginal land rights have been settled".
Mavis Gillie said "It would have been nice to have a tape recorder, wouldn't it, to keep an accurate record of what was said".
Mr. Wakabayashi said that he had to go back to talking about the March 7th meeting, which he described as "a kind of information meeting". He said "We had just come into this project". He said "We just not that long ago had been introduced to the negotiating problems between the Lubicons and the Government".
Gillie asked "How long ago?"
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Daishowa decided to do a study of the area in 1987.
Mavis Gillie said "Surely you would know". She said "God forbid that business people would go in, and with this kind of investment, the kind of stuff you were looking at, and not know what the situation was -- not know that this had gone on".
Mr. Wakabayashi repeated that the Forest Management Agreement signed with the Provincial Government supposedly excluded the disputed area. He admitted that the Lubicon struggle had been going on for a long time but said that "lots of other things have been going on for a long time". He said "If we sat back and tried to understand everything that's been going on, none of us could do anything".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "This was in negotiations at the time". He said "I mean you guys were hot and heavy in negotiations".
Fred Lennarson told Mr. Wakabayashi that there were no negotiations with either level of Canadian Government going on at that time. He said there'd been one meeting between Chief Ominayak and Provincial Premier Getty during which the Premier had agreed to support bi-lateral negotiations between the Lubicons and the Federal Government. He said there were no negotiations with the Feds at that point and weren't any until December of 1988. And, he said, there were no negotiations even contemplated at that time between the Lubicons and the Province.
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Mr. Kitagawa had asked Chief Ominayak about negotiations during the March 7th meeting and that Chief Ominayak said to use the word "negotiations" was "premature". He said, referring to his meeting notes and supposedly quoting Chief Ominayak, "Premier said he wants to settle, taking the initial steps forward, time will tell if he's serious or not". "Now to me", Wakabayashi said, "that's under negotiation". He asked if Fred Lennarson didn't agree.
Fred Lennarson said that he didn't agree with Mr. Wakabayashi's interpretation of what Chief Ominayak had supposedly said and repeated that there were no negotiations with the Feds at that point and no negotiations with the Province even contemplated.
Mr. Wakabayashi said "But he (Ominayak) did say that". He said "I'm just trying to put into perspective the state in which that (March 7th) discussion took place". He said "We understood you guys were in negotiations".
Chief Ominayak suggested that Daishowa was perhaps led by the Province into believing there were negotiations because Daishowa was obviously unhappy over all of the negative publicity occasioned by announcement that the Provincial Government had sold trees from the unceded Lubicon territory to Daishowa.
Mr. Wakabayashi told Chief Ominayak "You said so yourself (that there were negotiations)".
Chief Ominayak said "No I didn't." "What I said was that there were no negotiations".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "Well I guess I'm just trying to set the stage for the meeting, okay?" He said "This is the kind of meeting it was". He said "You explained where you were and we were kind of explaining where we were at".
Mavis Gillie said that "the unresolved aspect of that first situation is very clear to me". "But whether it's called negotiation or not", she said, "it seems to me that the position of your company should be based upon some sense of what exactly is the situation of the Lubicon people with the Government, either Provincial or Federal". She said "It seems to me that at that time, with Premier Getty saying that there was a need to discuss with the Federal Government what would be a resolution to the land claim -- that certainly leaves things up in the air for the Lubicon people -- but the recognition of things being left up in the air by a company such as yours could be affected by withholding any further decisions to proceed with your contract decisions for using the resources there".
Wakabayashi said "that's the reason why the pulp mill stayed on the west side (of the Peace River)". He said "We are in production, as you know, but we've stayed on the west side". He said "You have to take that into consideration -- that we stayed on the west side". He said "The bridge is delayed, as I said at the outset, the bridge is delayed another year so obviously the Peace River pulp mill is not going to be logging on that (Lubicon) side".
Chief Ominayak asked "What about (wholly owned Daishowa subsidiary) Brewster?"
Fred Lennarson asked "What about (Daishowa subcontractor) Buchanan?"
"Buchanan", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "is a totally independent sawmill". He said "You know that". He said "You also know that Boucher is a totally independent saw mill".
Fred Lennarson said "with whom you (Daishowa) have contracts to provide you with material (from the Lubicon territory) for your Peace River pulp mill".
Mr. Wakabayashi said:
"Well, the wood chips, let's take the wood chips, okay? Up until now they've been logging the coniferous trees and they've been burning the residual. So, good forest management, good ecological management, you go in and you make chips out of it and process it. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that, right? There's nothing absolutely wrong with that. They now go in and there's some incidental aspen that they harvest along with the coniferous -- I mean, hey, it either stays there to rot, because aspen you can only keep it there for two or three years as you know, and it's not much good for anything. It's being delivered into the (Peace River) pulp mill. We don't deny that. But, you know, these are independent people trying to make a living, Fred, you know, and they've been there for a long time".
Fred Lennarson said "we have different perspectives on it but I doubt belabouring the point will get us very far". "From our point of view", he said, "it frankly looks like an effort on (Daishowa's) part to circumvent the agreement".
Mr. Wakabayashi said:
"I think, for these (coalition) people, that's a great forum, because I think you're hearing both sides, maybe, but at least you're hearing both sides. And I think that's important for you (coalition) people because you've heard one side, and I think it's fair to hear our side. And that's why when we're asked if, you know, there are additional people coming, we said fine. Because I think only through communications are we all going to appreciate each other. Okay Chief, and that was the intent with Koichi (Kitagawa) and Tom (Hamaoka), was to open a line of communication, keep you advised, and, as I say, the latest attempt to have communication with you was for Wayne Thorp to explain to you what the logging plans for Brewster were for this year, taking into consideration the position that you guys are in and the position you've taken. I'm hoping that what he's got to talk to you about, you know, obviously in any compromise situation, it's not 100%, but I think it certainly takes into consideration what you people are attempting to do. Okay?"
Chief Ominayak asked if Mr. Wakabayashi still claimed that Brewster was independent.
Mr. Wakabayashi said "No, I didn't say Brewster right now. I just said Boucher and I said Buchanan".
Chief Ominayak said that at a meeting last year Boucher said they were told to log and give Daishowa the aspen. He said they were supposed to clear-cut. Because of the jurisdictional dispute, he said, Boucher decided not to come into the Lubicon territory. He said that Bissell and Buchanan faced the same problem -- if they didn't work the lease which they'd been given by the Provincial Government in the unceded Lubicon territory, they have no source of timber and they were threatened with not having their current lease extended. He accused the Province of "playing games with (the small logging companies) just like they're playing games with (the Lubicons).
Mr. Wakabayashi denied that he was aware of Provincial Government pressures on small logging companies to clear-cut in the unceded Lubicon territory and provide the aspen to Daishowa. (Mr. Wakabayashi's denials are hardly credible in light of the fact that these pressures were publicly reported in the media last fall during the controversy over Daishowa breaching the agreement with the Lubicons.)
Fred Lennarson told Mr. Wakabayashi that Daishowa should understand the Lubicon position applied to all resource exploitation companies equally -- that it was not just directed at Daishowa.
Mr. Wakabayashi said "We sure get the feeling it is".
Fred Lennarson said that the special attention given to Daishowa related to the disproportionate threat posed by the huge requirements of Daishowa's Peace River pulp mill -- 1,000 metric tons of dehydrated pulp per day -- plus Daishowa's transparent efforts to breach the agreement with the Lubicon people by working through subcontractors and subsidiaries. He assured Mr. Wakabayashi that any company posing such a significant threat and behaving in such an untrustworthy fashion would receive similarly special attention, although, he agreed, the basic cause of the problem was the unresolved jurisdictional dispute between the Province and the Lubicons. Until that basic jurisdictional dispute was satisfactorily resolved, he said, everybody with an interest in the area would face continuing problems.
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Daishowa knows there's a dispute. He said that he obviously wasn't as articulate as Fred Lennarson but what he was trying to convey "across the table is that there is a difference between or a problem in being accused of not honouring a commitment or an agreement". He said "That's one thing that's very, very important to (Daishowa)". "As far as the physical logging", he said, "as a pulp mill we have stayed on the west side of the (Peace) river".
Chief Ominayak asked again about wholly owned Daishowa subsidiary Brewster Construction. He said "They went on the other side".
Mr. Wakabayashi said:
"Well, I have to keep coming back to Brewster. I mean, he was there. I don't disagree that it's a subsidiary of Daishowa. I'm not disagreeing with that. But he was a sawmill (located and in fact previously operating largely to the east of the traditional Lubicon territory). He was in operation. He hires so many people. For years he's been cutting on that (east) side (of the Peace River). We bought him. And all of a sudden he's now looked upon as a totally different entity, you know, as far as you're concerned Chief. And all we're asking is the opportunity to let him continue doing his thing -- to let people continue to do their thing".
Mavis Gillie said "But then Daishowa is doing THE THING." "It's not Brewster anymore", she pointed out, "it's Daishowa doing THE THING".
Wakabayashi asked "Are we supposed to buy these and shut them down?"
Fred Lennarson said "You don't have to buy them in the first place". He said "If Brewster was in there under its own flag and wasn't a wholly owned subsidiary of Daishowa, but was still bulldozing roads to clear-cut on (Ominayak's) trapline, then this would be a problem -- whether they were owned by Daishowa or not". However the fact is, he pointed out "They are owned by Daishowa".
Mavis Gillie said "And Daishowa has got to take responsibility for it -- you can't just shovel it under and say..."
Mr. Robertson said "Brewster was acquired because it had a chip supply and Brewster wanted out". He said "He wanted to sell and move on". He said "And he has a crew and a sawmill".
Chief Ominayak said Brewster told him that Brewster had to put in a chipper as part of the take-over negotiations.
Mr. Robertson said "which was paid for by Daishowa".
Mr. Wakabayashi asked "Is there anything wrong with that, Chief?"
Chief Ominayak said "I'm just correcting you guys".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "Once you cut trees down it's stupid to burn the residual". He said "You might as well make use of it, right?" He asked, "Would you agree with that part?"
Fred Lennarson said "It is the Lubicon position that they don't want the trees cut down period until at least the question of aboriginal title is settled".
Mr. Morrison said "From the letters and correspondence that I've seen coming in on this, the Brewster connection basically is said to be, Brewster is a subsidiary of Daishowa and therefore it's bound by an agreement, which -- from what I've heard today, and I think you've conceded it Fred -- doesn't exist between Daishowa and the Lubicons".
Fred Lennarson told Mr. Morrison that he'd conceded no such thing. He said that Mr. Morrison lied more than he told the truth. "When you say you feel bad about being told that you're not honouring an agreement", he told Mr. Wakabayashi, "we don't like to read in the press from (Mr. Morrison) that there is no agreement when we all know there is an agreement".
Darryl Klassen asked how Daishowa "sees itself as a corporate citizen with the very serious ethical questions involved". He asked "Is it Daishowa's position that they'll walk the straight and narrow as far as the government goes, and they'll make their bucks and no problem". "Or", he asked, "is there going to be a serious commitment by Daishowa to recognize that there is a very serious ethical problem here and that Daishowa is a big ball player who can throw some weight around with both the Federal and Provincial Governments". "And to me", he said, "that would mean Daishowa getting on board with the citizens, with the churches and with the environmental groups so that the government will start getting pressure from both sides, saying let's damn well get this settled because it's wrong".
Mavis Gillie said "You could push Government -- you could refuse to go along with the plans the Government has and say this has to be settled".
Darryl Klassen said "If Daishowa shuts down the Peace River mill for one week, it says to the Alberta Government you get this mess cleaned up". "Then", he said, "there would be some pressure". "But why would they settle now", he asked, "it's just Indians out there in the bush".
Mr. Wakabayashi said that Chief Ominayak had asked Mr. Hamaoka to meet with the Government and that Mr. Hamaoka had done so. He said that the dispute had "been going on for a long time". He said that there was "no superman in this room who can jump in and resolve it".
Chief Ominayak said that he didn't ask Mr. Hamaoka to intervene. He said Mr. Hamaoka proposed to make some calls and the Chief said "fine, I don't have any problem with that". "If he wanted to do that", Chief Ominayak said, "I told him by all means go ahead".
"But that's what Darryl (Klassen) was asking", Mr. Wakabayashi said. "Okay", he said, "Darryl was asking and we're saying it's being done".
"Secondly", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "in terms of Brewster, I think you should listen to what Wayne Thorp has to say about his logging plans, because we are trying to accommodate, and I think that's probably the best way to explain that".
Judy Nutley asked "What is the position of Daishowa with regard to the (Federal) Government's position at this point with the Lubicon people?" She said "It seems to me that things are at a standstill between the Federal Government and the Lubicons".
Mr. Wakabayashi said "It's awfully hard for a third party to get involved in these negotiations". He said "We can get in and suggest to them that they should get it resolved, but we can't get in and start arguing about the acreage or the money -- we just don't have the ability to do that".
"What we have done", Mr. Wakabayashi said, "is that we've kept on the west side (of the Peace River)". He said "We've kept away from harvesting on your side".
"Now", Mr Wakabayashi said, "we'll go back to the subject of Brewster". "Wayne Thorp", he said, "is doing whatever he can to help you guys out so it creates less hassle for you and less hassle for us".
Chief Ominayak said "I hope that Wayne is making all kinds of plans not to cut any trees (in the traditional Lubicon territory), because anything short of that and there's going to be problems".
Mr Wakabayashi said "I can assure you that that isn't in his plan -- he still has to cut trees". He said " I can't guarantee that he's going to come and tell you that he's not going to cut any trees".
Chief Ominayak said "I'm telling you my position, there's going to be problems if there's any intention on the part of Daishowa on cutting within our traditional area".
Fred Lennarson said that he wanted to make clear that the Lubicon people were not now only talking about the small piece of potential reserve land which the Government has unilaterally set aside as part of a possible settlement which has not been achieved. He said that the Lubicon people are going down the drain while this land is supposedly protected as part of a potential settlement agreement. He said "There has to be a settlement agreement that includes some provision for the Lubicon people to once again become economically self-sufficient. He said that's been the Lubicon position all along. He said that Mr. Hamaoka was sent some material this summer which included the draft settlement which the Lubicons tabled last summer with the Province. He said that this draft settlement agreement details the elements of an acceptable Lubicon settlement agreement.
Mr. Wakabayashi said "Daishowa, out of the clear blue, isn't going to be the one that settles the Lubicon and the Federal and Provincial Government situation". He said "We'll certainly help". He said "We'll certainly try to convince people to move towards a settlement with you". "But", he said, "we can't get involved in those negotiations". He said "We can only do what you've asked and that is to press both governments to get it settled".
Chief Ominayak said "Thanks for that Henry". He said "We weren't saying that Daishowa could negotiate a settlement".
Chief Ominayak said "In all honesty, I think if Daishowa was serious and wanted to deal with the rightful owner of those trees or anything else in that territory, you should have come to the Lubicon people in the first place, regardless of what position either Government has taken".
Chief Ominayak said "I think we're just going over the same thing time after time". He said "We all know that there was an agreement made in the past which we had hoped Daishowa would have been able to keep". "But in hearing you this afternoon", he said, "I think we're wasting our time and we're wasting your time and we're wasting everybody's time".
Chief Ominayak said "I hope next time we have an opportunity to meet with Daishowa we will meet some people with some substance who can make some decisions as to the direction your company takes within our traditional area".
Chief Ominayak reiterated "From our position there is not going to be any clear-cutting by anybody as long as the issue of our aboriginal land rights is outstanding".
Chief Ominayak concluded the meeting by saying "And with that I thank you for giving us the opportunity to meet with you, even though there's no results".