Greenpeace Canada presents case against Resolute lawsuit in statement of defence

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Greenpeace Canada presents case against Resolute lawsuit in statement of defence

August 22, 2014 - 10:17
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TORONTO, Aug. 22, 2014 (Press Release) -In response to a $7 million lawsuit by Resolute Forest Products, Greenpeace Canada's filed its Statement of Defence with Ontario Superior Court yesterday.

Richard Brooks, defendant and Forest Campaign Coordinator at Greenpeace Canada says:

"We lay out a compelling and detailed case demonstrating exactly how Resolute's lawsuit against Greenpeace is an attempt to silence us. We vigorously defend our rights to free speech and uphold our reporting as fair comment based on true facts concerning important matters of clear public interest, namely the environmental, social and economic impact of thelargest forestry company operating in Canada's Boreal Forest."

The Statement of Defence demonstrates Greenpeace's position as follows:

"The law suits 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 concerning matters of high public interest: the future of Canadian boreal forests, the threat to biodiversity in those forests, respect for First Nation entitlements to forest land, and concern for the future of other communities that are dependent upon the boreal forest".

Resolute saw three of its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates suspended in January of this year, for failing to protect endangered species, respect First Nations rights and maintain healthy forests.

The company then filed a $400,000 lawsuit against its independent forestry auditor, Rainforest Alliance, to avoid the publication of a report which would have made them lose a fourth certificate, this time in Northern Ontario.

"A socially responsible company would be collaborating, not suing, to solve its challenges," concluded Brooks.