Tuesday, July 7th27.0°C
25936

Greenpeace says defamation lawsuit an attempt to muzzle criticism

THUNDER BAY, Ont. - An environmental group has filed court documents saying a lawsuit against it is an attempt to silence its criticism of a forestry company's harvesting practices.

"Greenpeace states that the Plaintiffs’ claims for defamation and interference with economic relations, have no merit and in fact are being made to harass, intimidate and silence Greenpeace," the group said in a statement of defence filed Thursday.

The papers were filed in response to a defamation suit brought against it last year by Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products (TSX:RFP).

Resolute brought the case in 2013 after Greenpeace accused it of building roads and cutting trees in regions of Quebec it had promised it would stay out of under the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, an agreement on forest preservation and harvesting signed by environmental groups and Canada's main forestry companies.

Greenpeace later retracted allegations it had made about road-building, but Resolute accuses the group of repeating those charges nonetheless.

Resolute also accuses Greenpeace of falsely claiming it had mishandled workers' pensions, and that the group mischaracterized the amount of recycled fibre in Resolute products.

Those claims were circulated to Resolute's customers and at its annual general meeting. The company alleges they hurt its reputation and cost it a coveted eco-friendly certification.

"The full scope of the damage is not yet known by Resolute," says the statement of claim, which was also laid against two individual Greenpeace members. The lawsuit asks for $7 million in damages.

Resolute has also filed a similar lawsuit against an environmental auditing firm claiming its draft report helped lead to the company losing its Forest Stewardship Council approved status. The company claims the two auditors made errors and were biased against it.

The report has not been released, pending the lawsuit. Resolute is requesting a new audit be conducted.

"The lawsuits against Greenpeace and Rainforest Alliance meet the classic profile of a SLAPP suit (strategic lawsuit against public participation) because they have been brought to silence criticism of the company’s conduct," said the Greenpeace documents.

Greenpeace accused Resolute of filing the lawsuit in Ontario instead of their Quebec headquarters because that province has legislation against such litigation. Greenpeace says Resolute has lobbied heavily against introducing such a law in Ontario.

It denies Resolute's claims that it sought to damage the company and calls its statements fair comment.

"Greenpeace’s objective has never been to cause harm to Resolute Forest Products, but rather to promote an explicit vision for the future of the boreal forest which includes Resolute Forest Products and other forest companies playing an important role as part of a diversified forest economy," says its statement.

— By Bob Weber in Edmonton

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25354


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14624.50+30.93
S&P CDNX652.83-10.50
DJIA17776.91+93.33
Nasdaq4997.46+5.52
S&P 5002081.34+12.58
CDN Dollar0.7858-0.0005
Gold1151.30-1.10
Oil52.66-0.37
Lumber282.00+0.80
Natural Gas2.706-0.010

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.18+0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.50-0.02
Cantex0.05+0.02
Anavex Life Sciences0.53+0.01
Metalex Ventures0.065-0.010
Russel Metals22.58+0.19
Copper Mountain Mining1.04-0.05
Colorado Resources0.09+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0065+0.0005
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.165+0.005
Decisive Dividend Corporation3.00+0.00

 





FEATURED Property
23279697140 Brent Road
4 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,578,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Increase property value

Photo: Thinkstock.comHere are five of the best renovations you can do to your home to increase property value. These five renovations can sometimes have a return on investment five to six times what t...


Active listening

Has this ever happened to you? You had an initial meeting with a prospect. You asked that prospect what seemed to be all the right questions. You had what felt to you like a good conversation, and bas...


The price of money

Money is not a commodity. By definition, a commodity is a generic product that is bought and sold on price alone. Money, Canadian bills for example, look the same, smell somewhat the same, and are ava...

_



26370




Member of BC Press Council


26432