If you had a chance to read yesterday’s post, you may remember the quote I used from George Orwell’s 1946 Essay — Politics and the English language:
[The] mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.
Now to be somewhat fair, I have been plowing through a leaked copy of the 70+ page agreement between logging companies and enviros – The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. Obviously, at great expense, signatories to the agreement had legal teams sift through these pages and added verbosity, adjectives, blather, bumpf, etc.
So I decided to take a look at the webpage for this agreement. One component that struck me first was noticing all of the corporate logos attached to bottom of the webpage; all neatly linked to the companies web pages – except for the odd dead link.
I began to think…. “Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Limited“? That doesn’t sound like a company that operates in Canada’s Boreal Forest.
That sounds like a company that operates… well… in Howe Sound, which is by Vancouver and Squamish, British Columbia.
A visit to their website… a look at the “where we are” and sure enough:
I flip to the back of the 70+ page agreement to “Schedule I” and well… they don’t have any tenures in the Boreal Forest; or at least not in the “caribou deferrals” section.
Oh yea… and they’re owned 50% by Canfor and 50% by Oji Paper of Japan.
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Very curious… so how about “Mercer International” ? I’d not heard of them before.
A visit to their website, and: “We conduct our pulp operations through three subsidiaries consisting of large-scale, modern pulp mills: one in British Columbia’s interior, and two in eastern Germany.”
Their only BC operation is in southeastern BC in Castlegar… that’s a little ways from the Canadian Boreal Forest; as is eastern Germany.
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How about “Mill and Timber Products Ltd.”?
A visit to their website quickly demonstrates this is a small company not too concerned about their webpage. They
“specialize in Western Red Cedar Products”
Ummm… yeah… for those of you who may not be too familiar with trees. Western Red Cedar most definitely does not grow in Canada’s Boreal Forest.
Great little company… but definitely not operating in Canada’s Boreal Forest… so why are they signatories to the “historic” Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement?
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How about F.F. Soucy Inc.?
Well this is a curious one. Visit the “website” and one finds that this was: ” the first newsprint mill in North America to obtain the ISO standard recognition.” And here’s the curious bit:
Formed in 1963, F.F. Soucy, Inc. and its majority owned subsidiary F.F. Soucy Inc. & Partners, Limited Partnership (formed in 1974 with Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and Rexfor)
Yeah, that’s the Dow Jones & Company that also owns the Wall Street Journal and other significant publications. Rexfor is now the Societe general de financement du Quebec and financial holding corporation of the Quebec government.
However, as I looked at another company signatory to the agreement: White Birch Paper or Papier Masson Ltee as listed on the leaked Agreement — I found that they are headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut (good Canadian company) and they in fact own the FF Soucy operation.
So why is FF Soucy listed separately from Whitebirch — as a signatory? They appear to be the same company. On the Whitebirch/Papier Masson website it also states: “the first newsprint mill in North America to obtain the ISO standard recognition.”
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How about New Page? I’ve never heard of the organization.
Well, a visit to their website — and apparently one of North America’s “leading” producers of coated papers. They are headquartered in Miamisburg, Ohio… yeah, Ohio.
That’s a long ways from the Canadian Boreal Forest. But… they’re deeply committed to “community”…
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Fibrek? This logo is on the CBFA webpage, but not listed in the Agreement.
Well, they don’t even have a website. It’s under construction.
However, Fibrek is formerly known as SFK Pulp Fund or SFK Pate as listed in the Agreement, which recently decided to move from an income trust to a corporation (thanks Jim Flaherty, federal Conservatives and your broken election promise on that one…).
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AV Group — the nice logo with three maple leafs on it (on the CBFA website) — well that’s AV Nackawic “fibres from nature” . This is part of the Aditya Burla Group which is based out of India. $29.2 Billion; 130,000 employees, operating in over 25 countries worldwide.
Yeah, that’s another one of those struggling Canadian logging companies in the struggling Canadian forest sector.
(I’m not so sure the Aditya Burla Group is facing too many “unprecedented financial challenges”, or is limited in its ability to “accommodate further constraints” …)
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I was familiar with this company as my wife and I got married last summer in Peace River, AB and I heard that they operated the pulp mill there.
This is a Japanese company, and they only have about 2.7 million hectares of forest tenure area — small potatoes in the scheme of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement.
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And thus, as I asked yesterday, what the [enter active expletive here]?
Why are there companies listed on this agreement that do not appear to have any operations in Canada’s Boreal Forest?
Sure, maybe they get a little bit of wood from there through second, third, fourth-hand distributors — but come on folks… this is not an agreement between 21 forest companies actively logging in the Canadian Boreal Forest.
In fact, if you read through the leaked copy of the Agreement — when it comes to “caribou habitat protection” this is an agreement with 8 logging companies: Canfor (Canfor and Canfor Pulp Fund are basically the same company), Lousiana Pacific although they’ve deferred a whole 539.43 hectares for “caribou action planning” from their small operations, Alberta-Pacific, Tolko, West Fraser (although they didn’t defer any areas for “caribou action planning”), Weyerhaeuser (headquarters in Seattle, WA), Tembec, and Abitibi-Bowater (currently under bankruptcy protection).
And this is actually stated in the agreement:
I won’t reproduce Schedule “D” here… however, I only count nine companies.
So I ask WHY?
Why is this agreement celebrated as an “historic” agreement with 21 logging companies?
Orwell in 1946:
All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.