SIERRA LEGAL DEFENCE FUND
For immediate release
July 28th, 1997
Victoria, B.C.—Government documents released today substantiate the information contained within Broken Promises: The Truth About What’s Happening to B.C.’s Forests, a report released by Greenpeace on April 21, 1997. The report first prompted Premier Glen Clark to call environmentalists “enemies of B.C.” who are engaging in a “misinformation campaign”.
The documents obtained by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund through a Freedom of Information Request reveal that “Greenpeace’s report was prepared based largely on, or interpreted from, forest industry and government data including Freedom of Information Requests...It would be difficult to attempt to discredit the report because of the source of so much of the data upon which it is based.”
Broken Promises chronicles a series of commitments made by the B.C. Government concerning our new “world class” logging and then contrasted these claims with recent government data to show the reality of what’s happening in B.C.’s forests. The report demonstrated that:
Shortly after the release of Broken Promises, the Ministry of Forests released the government’s official response entitled “Forest Management Facts vs. Greenpeace Claims”. One of the documents obtained by SLDF through Freedom of Information provides the Ministry of Environment’s assessment of the official government response stating that it is “a piece of garbage”.
“We’ve been exposing the gap between rhetoric and reality for months and now the Ministry of Environment has confirmed our assessment,” said David Boyd, Managing Director of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund. “It’s time to close the loopholes in the Forest Practices Code and start enforcing the law.”
“Glen Clark decided to go on a mudslinging campaign rather than deal with the fact that clearcutting continues, streams continue to be destroyed and that species that depend on old growth forests are being placed at risk of extinction,” said Tamara Stark, Forest Campaigner for Greenpeace. “Accusing environmentalists of being ‘enemies of B.C.’ is absurd, and only serves to incite violence and deflect attention from the real issues.”
“The release of these documents gives Glen Clark a second chance. Instead of attacking environmentalists he should acknowledge these problems and make a commitment to finding constructive solutions,” said David Boyd, Managing Director of Sierra Legal Defence Fund. “We are simply seeking the world class standards that have been promised.”
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