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ForestEthics launches two organizations to challenge Canadian government's oil and environmental policies

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ForestEthics launches two organizations to challenge Canadian government's oil and environmental policies

April 17, 2012 - 19:26
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VANCOUVER, BC, April 17, 2012 (CNW) -Prominent social and environmental justice lawyer, Clayton Ruby, joined ForestEthics co-founder, Valerie Langer, today to announce the inception of ForestEthics Advocacy and ForestEthics Solutions. ForestEthics is launching these organizations to strike back against the government's crackdown on charitable environmental groups, as well as its gutting of even the most basic environmental protections.

In recent months, the government has been conducting an unprecedented dismantling of environmental laws and review processes - heavily scrutinizing environmental groups, and suppressing public participation. The government has taken steps to gut a democratic public's basic rights by limiting advocacy.

ForestEthics Advocacy, a non-profit society, will be able to devote 100% of its time to environmental advocacy - including political advocacy - to ensure projects that are environmentally destructive and weakened environmental laws are successfully opposed. This is in strong contrast to the 10% political advocacy that charitable organizations are permitted.

ForestEthics Solutions will continue to work collaboratively to craft world-renown environmental solutions such as the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.

"While the rest of the world takes action to protect our planet, the Canadian government seems hell-bent on rolling environmental protection back to the dark ages," says Clayton Ruby, ForestEthics Advocacy board member. "The Harper government has just gutted the federal framework for environmental protection, dismantled the national roundtable for the environment and launched an unprecedented attack on environmental civil society, labeling them foreign radicals."

These direct threats by the government to democratic input on key industrial initiatives come as an unprecedented number of Canadians have expressed concern about major industrial projects like Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline, which will bring Tar Sands from Alberta to British Columbia's coast, where it will be transported through treacherous coastal waters by hundreds of supertankers, exposing the pristine shoreline to a direct threat of a catastrophic oil spill.

"The government is gutting basic environmental protections while stifling environmental groups' ability to advocate for conservation," said Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics Advocacy. "The time for bold action to support the people, animals, and places that define our country is now, and ForestEthics looks forward to playing that role."

"If the government thinks that Canadians will turn a blind eye to its dismantling of environmental oversight in order to pander to Big Oil interests, it has severely underestimated its people," continued Ms. Skuce.

Since the New Year attacks from the federal government, support and donations have been poring in to ForestEthics in record amounts, showing that Canadians care more about clean water, wild places and democracy than just tax receipts.

ForestEthics, which was founded in 1999 to protect forests worldwide, including Canada, has been a strong voice in environmental protection in Canada for more than a decade. There has always been close collaboration between ForestEthics Canada Projects and ForestEthics US to protect forests and wild places while simultaneously challenging major US corporations to buy environmentally sustainable products.