"Daishowa-Marubeni does not harvest or utilize any logs or residual woodchips obtained from the Lubicon area of concern to support its Peace River pulp mill operations. In the past, a small owner operator sawmill, which became a subsidiary of Daishowa-Marubeni (Brewster), traditionally harvested trees for 15 years without incident, from an area recently defined by the Lubicons as their area of concern. The Lubicon people objected to this practice after Daishowa-Marubeni's acquisition, therefore alternate sources of timber have been found for this sawmill." (Daishowa Boycott Fact Book, Daishowa-Marubeni International)We Respond:
In fact Daishowa is not "cutting or using forest resources from anywhere within the (so-called) Lubicon area of concern" primarily because of the massive efforts by the Lubicons and Lubicon supporters to block repeated attempts by Daishowa to clearcut Lubicon trees, efforts which, at the time, were not sufficient to stop a wholly-owned subsidiary, Brewster Construction, from clearcutting Lubicon trees in the fall of 1990. Daishowa made it clear that Brewster was going to continue clearcutting operations the next fall but was held back once people began to organize a boycott in the summer of 1991.
Daishowa is being asked to make a clear, public and unequivocal commitment not to cut or to buy wood cut in unceded Lubicon territories until a land rights settlement is reached with both levels of government and a timber harvesting agreement is negotiated which respects Lubicon wildlife and environmental concerns. What they have done instead is withhold clearcutting the area each winter in a effort, we believe, to wait out the boycott and carry on regardless. That's why the continued participation of companies like your own is one of the only ways that Daishowa can be convinced to do the honourable thing.
Brewster has been involved in the Lubicon area in the past, but their operations were small-scale, selective logging primarily outside of the Lubicon traditional territories, or in less sensitive areas. Once Daishowa came on the scene and bought Brewster Construction, it was proposed that Brewster and other sub-contractors simultaneously clearcut the Lubicon territory. This changed the picture from small-scale selective logging to accelerated clearcutting in sensitive Lubicon areas such as through trap-lines and across from the proposed Lubicon reserve area.
"Although Daishowa Marubeni International deeply regrets the ongoing land claim dispute, we cannot resolve it. This matter must be resolved by the Canadian and Alberta Governments and the Lubicons .... DMI is quite frankly puzzled that the Friends of the Lubicon continue to intentionally harass third parties to this land claim dispute. This strategy is apparently intended to pressure the Canadian government to capitulate to the Lubicon bargaining position." (Letter to Center for Economic Democracy from DMI spokesperson Jim Morrison, Oct. 18 1994)We Respond:
We've never asked Daishowa to resolve the land rights nor have we tried to use them to do so. The Lubicons have called for a boycott of Daishowa products for the sole purpose of keeping Daishowa from clearcutting Lubicon territories until a land rights settlement and harvesting agreement have been reached. We continue to make that clear to Daishowa, to its customers, and to the general public. It's quite simply wrong to clearcut lands whose title is in question -- destroying the territory in question precludes any possibility of resolving the issue.
"All Daishowa paper bags and cardboard products are manufactured using other sources of commercially available fibre. In fact, no Daishowa products of any type contain fibre from the area of concern to the Lubicons." (Daishowa Boycott Fact Book, DMI)We Respond:
Daishowa has never been subject to a boycott because of where its pulp comes from. They are subject to a boycott because as long as they refuse to make a commitment not to cut or to buy wood cut on unceded Lubicon territories until a land rights settlement is reached they pose a continuing threat to the Lubicon people. If clearcutting goes ahead before negotiations are allowed to resolve Lubicon land rights, there will be little left for the Lubicon people to negotiate.
"Daishowa-Marubeni uses a two pass harvesting system whereby we patch cut less than 1% (5,000 to 6,000 hectares) per year of our productive forest area in about 150 scattered blocks which average about 40 hectares each in size." (Daishowa Boycott Fact Book, DMI)We Respond:
The term "patch cut" used by Daishowa to counter charges of clearcutting is in fact just a cynically calculated euphenism for clearcutting, indicating a bunch of 40 hectare clearcuts instead of simply one continuous clearcut. For those unaccustomed to thinking in terms of 40 hectare plots, something upon which Daishowa is of course counting, they are in fact talking about clearcutting 150 areas each about the size of 80 football fields, and "harvesting" about 11,000 trees a day to produce 1,000 metric tonnes of dehydrated pulp per day.
"Daishowa Inc. does not have any interest in Daishowa Canada or DMI. The Packaging Division of Daishowa does not have any business relationship with either of those companies, nor does it obtain any raw materials from them." (Affidavit of Tom Cochran, Director of Corporate Development of Daishowa Forest Products Ltd.)We Respond:
Daishowa has launched a recent motion in Ontario courts seeking to outlaw the right to distribute information about a company whose business practices one disagrees with at the point where Canadian consumers receive that product. For the purposes of that lawsuit, the Daishowa branch that makes the paper bags came up with this notion that, notwithstanding an extremely obvious and visible relationship between all Daishowa companies, they were somehow completely unconnected with the Alberta pulp mill, and therefore the Lubicons were boycotting the wrong company.
In fact, in rejecting Daishowa's request for an interim injunction restricting the right to distribute information about a company whose business practices one disagrees with at the point where Canadian consumers receive that product, Madame Justice Frances Kiteley dismissed that argument: "Materials produced by the plaintiff [Daishowa Inc.] clearly indicate that, for purposes of corporate image, all of the subsidiaries and related companies are described as part of one entity .... Under all these circumstances, the defendants [Friends of the Lubicon] ought not to be subject to any suggestion that the wrong corporate target has been their objective." Even in subsequent appeals, no court has accepted Daishowa's "separate companies" argument.
After an assessment of thousands of pages of evidence, Justice Kiteley also noted that the boycott had to date been successful in its stated purpose of keeping Daishowa off of unceded Lubicon territory, and that "without the boycott, on the evidence, there is greater likelihood that logging will take place."
Daishowa responded by appealing that decision -- successfully obtaining a court injunction shutting down the boycott -- and taking the matter to a full trial scheduled to begin sometime within the next year.