Big cheques to Liberals means bad news for Boreal - Greenpeace reveals political donations from Quebec forest industry members



    MONTREAL, April 10 /CNW Telbec/ - An investigation released today by
Greenpeace revealed that Jean Charest's Liberals were the big winners in
political donations from senior executives connected to member companies of
the Conseil de l'industrie forestière du Québec (CIFQ). In 2005, the Liberals
received 70 per cent of all donations from people connected to the 103 members
of the CIFQ; in 2004 it was 88 per cent.
    "It's clear that Premier Charest and CIFQ spokesperson Guy Chevrette are
thinking more about forest companies than they are the health of the Boreal
forest," said Mélissa Filion, forest campaigner with Greenpeace. "But the
Boreal belongs to all Quebecers, not those writing big cheques. This ancient
forest isn't for sale."
    Executives and board members of CIFQ member companies donated at least
$44,215 to the Liberals in 2005 compared with at least $16,375 to the Parti
Québécois and $3,000 to l'Action Démocratique du Québec. In 2004, $31,130 was
donated to the Liberals, $4,020 to the PQ and less than $220 to the ADQ.
Executives with forest industry connections were also much more likely to
donate to the Liberal Party than the general population.
    "In the end, whether Liberal or Péquiste, Quebec governments manage the
forest in the interests of industry. How else to explain the delays in
creating new protected areas? Why are intact forest areas still being
fragmented? Why are we losing woodland caribou habitat at a great rate? These
excessive financial ties are part of the reason," said Filion.
    Donations from people linked to the CIFQ made up almost one per cent of
all contributions to the Liberal Party in 2005. "With less than four per cent
of the Boreal forest protected, and most of this in small parks, Quebec is a
laggard in forest conservation. Liberals are not managing the forest in an
independant conservation-based fashion," concluded Filion.
    Using the Registraire des entreprises du Québec, Greenpeace obtained
names and addresses of executives and board members of member companies. A
team of researchers with Greenpeace compared these to political donation
reports compiled by the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec for 2001 to 2005.
Only those with matching addresses to listings in the electoral reports were
considered.




For further information:

For further information: Jocelyn Desjardins, Greenpeace Communications,
(514) 212-5749


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