Pulp and Paper Canada

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TimberWest seeks retraction and apology


October 2, 2007
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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Vancouver, BC — Timberwest is threatening to sue the United Steelworkers if the union does not retract and publicl…
Vancouver, BC — Timberwest is threatening to sue the United Steelworkers if the union does not retract and publicly apologize for making what it calls “false and defamatory statements” about the company’s harvesting practices in the Kweishun Bowl area on Vancouver Island and its forestry practices in general. TimberWest has given the union until the close of business on October 1 to deliver a retraction and apology, or it will take all actions it deems necessary to defend its rights.

On September 26, the Steelworkers made statements criticizing TimberWest’s logging practices in Kweishun Bowl, alleging that the company was felling cedars into a lake. The Steelworkers released a video clip purporting to record that action. TimberWest claims that these accusations are false and misleading, and contends that the video clip was edited. In addition, the union accuses the company of breaking the law, violating its certification requirements, poor forestry management practices, among other harms. The company charges that these accusations, and their timing, are simply tactics to put pressure on TimberWest during current labour negotiations.

TimberWest’s operations have been independently certified under the ISO 14001 program, and its private lands are certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program. “TimberWest takes pride in its logging practices and our company, employees and contractors have worked diligently to ensure harvesting occurs in a sustainable manner protecting biological diversity, forest productivity and key environmental values,” said Paul McElligott, president and CEO of TimberWest. “We will not stand by idly when false and defamatory statements are made and we will vigorously defend ourselves against these malicious attacks.”

The deadline of October 1 passed with no apology or retraction being made public by the Steelworkers.