Kenora councillors are considering supporting the province of Quebec as it stands up to non-governmental organizations. Mayor Dave Canfield put forward a resolution to call for a stop to what he describes as 'misinformed' campaigns against the forest industry in Ontario and Quebec.
"We are by far the top in the world in forest sustainability practices in Ontario and Quebec. Yet we continue to put up with this ideology that some people have that is affecting municipalities and the people that live and work here based on a need to continually shut everything down," he said.
The resolution condemns the campaigns by organizations like Green Peace and the Rain Forest Action Network against forest product companies. Canfield cites statistics that show that less than 0.5 per cent of the forest in the Boreal region is sustainably harvested annually and 44.2 per cent of the forest is unavailable for harvest.
The forest industry supports 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in over 260 communities.
"We've been fighting this in NOMA for some time now. I think this is going to be a more orchestrated group of people to get together and say, 'hold on a minute. Make decisions under science and not ideology,'" said Canfield.
The resolution calls for these organizations to be made aware and held accountable for the damaging effect these campaigns have on the industry, their workers and their families, and the communities. It also calls for Greenpeace and other like organizations to cease and desist all campaigns targeting consumers of renewable forest products sustainably harvested from Ontario's Boreal Forest region.
The resolution was unanimously deferred until next council meeting. Councillor Rory McMillan, Sharon Smith and Louis Roussin all said they wanted more time to research the issue as they did not feel comfortable passing something they knew little about.