The Federal Government has decided to grant environmental approval for the Woodfibre LNG plant in Howe Sound. Critics of the project have long pointed to the alarming environmental and human rights record of businesses owned by Woodfibre’s owner, Indonesian billionaire Sukanto Tanoto. They question why, given such public commitment to pursuing the highest ethical standards, our government is handing over the future of this iconic place to a company controlled by an individual with such dubious ethical standards.
"For LNG, I believe the same three ground rules apply as when I was in office. Workers must see good-paying jobs, communities must see real benefits and we can never compromise when it comes to our environment.”
Mike Harcourt, former Premier of BC, Vancouver Sun op-ed, March 22, 2015
Documented1 examples of Mr. Tanoto’s companies’ actions include:
- Tax evasion: Asian Agri, his palm oil company, was convicted and fined US$206 Million for tax evasion2 using the British Virgin Islands tax haven3.
- Human rights violations: Tanoto’s company (PT Inti Indorayon Utama) allegedly used paramilitary forces to suppress complaints by indigenous populations forcibly evicted from their homes4. 6 dead, 100+ injured. Cited by Human Rights Watch.
- Rainforest destruction: Tanoto’s Pulp & Paper enterprise (APRIL) was removed from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program5 in 2013 for failing to meet minimum standards. Cited by Greenpeace International6.
- Animal right violations: Tanoto’s palm oil production enterprises linked to peatland destruction7 in Sumatran tiger habitat and killing of forest orangutans8.
- Bank fraud: Alleged to have defrauded depositors9 of Indonesia’s Unibank.
We believe that granting Mr. Tanoto’s Woodfibre LNG use of Howe Sound’s environment is inconsistent with ethical standards espoused by this Government.
- My Sea to Sky
4.https://www.facebook.com/myopenlettertosukantotanoto/videos/vb.537380416363975/796714490430565/?type=2&theater and http://www.redd-monitor.org/2013/03/05/indonesian-pulp-giant-april-is-bulldozing-indigenous-community-forests/