Canada's Future Forest Alliance
Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, Canada V0G 1S0
Phone (604) 358-2333, FAX: (604) 358-7950, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 23, 1996
Environmental Groups take Lubicon Boycott Issue to the International Community
A coalition of environmental groups from Canada and the United States have vowed to carry on the struggle of the Daishowa boycott on an international level.
A recent decision by the Ontario Divisional Court has ruled that the Friends of the Lubicon boycott against Daishowa is illegal. The court has granted Daishowa Inc. an interlocutory injunction, forcing a temporary halt to the boycott until Daishowa's case seeking a permanent injunction can be heard.
The Friends of the Lubicon began a consumer boycott in 1991 in order to help the Lubicon Cree people prevent clearcutting on their lands. A Forest Management Agreement (FMA) completely blanketing all 10,0000 square kilometres of Lubicon territory is held by Daishowa Marubeni International's subsidiary of the Japanese-owned Daishowa multi-national logging company.
"Consumers have a right to know that the products they are purchasing are coming from clearcut logging and forest destruction," stated Colleen McCrory, Chairperson of the Valhalla Wilderness Society. "Clearcut logging and roadbuilding will cause widespread destruction to Lubicon lands. Daishowa's new 1,000 metric ton/day pulp mill will need vast forested areas of the Lubicon's traditional territory which will clearcut 11,000 trees each day or approximately 4 million trees each year."
The Lubicon people have already been suffering severe hardship as a result of the environmental damage inflicted upon their lands by the oil and gas industry.
Daishowa Director of Corporate Development, Tom Cochrane was quoted in the Toronto Varsity News on February 8th, 1996 as saying "the Friends of the Lubicon think the livelihood of a hundred families is worth sacrificing for giving some Indians some land rights."
"We are shocked by this blatantly racist remark by a Daishowa representative," said Grey Jones, Executive Director of Western Canada Wilderness Committee in Edmonton. "This kind of racist speech does not belong in Canada."
The Ontario Divisional Court ruling must be appealed in the highest court in Canada as it jeopardizes the very foundation of the Canadian people's basic democratic right to freedom of expression. "It is a sad day when Canadians cannot tell their fellow citizens not to buy certain products from companies which are causing environmental damage and human suffering. In Canada, there are no laws against clearcutting and forest destruction, but if you dare to speak out against these injustices, you can't even depend on the courts to protect your democratic rights," said McCrory.
"Environmental groups in Canada and the United States will take this issue to the international community in support of the Lubicon people and the boycott of Daishowa. We will be asking groups in the United States to help the Lubicon. There is already a well organized boycott of Mitsubishi across the US," state Chris Genovali, of the U.S. Pacific Environment & Resources Centre.
Genovali said, "PERC is interested in protecting the boreal forest worldwide. We thought Canada was a very democratic country, but after seeing first hand the hardship of the Lubicon and then hearing of this court ruling, we are very concerned. We will be watching this issue very closely."
For more information call:
Colleen McCrory/Valhalla Wilderness Society (604-358-2333) New Denver, B.C.
Grey Jones/Western Canada Wilderness Committee (403-433-5323) Edmonton, Alberta
Chris Genovali/Pacific Environment & Resources Centre (415-388-9292) San Francisco, Calif. USA