Secret Agreements

Fact:

  • J.D. Irving announced major investments (primarily Saint John, over 500 million) the day after the announcement;
  • Needs the new wood supply “to be able to compete in the global market”;
  • No industry invests without a guarantee that investments will pay off;
  • An contractual agreement was made public April 24th, with entire sections redacted (read the agreement) – the same day as a official request for information was honored releasing the document (redacted) to the individual having submitted the request.

What it Means:

  • There is a contract in place where we need to deliver the wood (guaranteed wood supply) or pay compensation to the industry for breaking the contract – the document released has blanked out portions, so the exact trade-offs are unknown, as are probably the most important of the implications;
  • The agreement ties the hands of future governments for 25 years;
  • A law professor at UNB (David Bell) indicates that “The essential deal is already done. The deal that says how many jobs for how many trees, the architecture of the relationship in the future between J.D. Irving and the Crown is already in place”, and that “there does not seem to be any realistic way that the government of New Brunswick can get out of this deal”. See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/j-d-irving-forestry-deal-already-done-expert-says-1.2627236
  • Government will begin working immediately with Licensees to develop and implement a more cost effective and transparent approach to managing our Crown lands.” (from document, March 12th, 2014) – this is already in the agreement dated February 7th, 2014;
  • Results-based management removes direct oversight of forest harvesting from the Department of Natural Resources, effectively allowing industry to self-regulate;
  • Don Floyd’s interview regarding royalties March 17th: NB looses on crown lands, around 50 million, as it receives royalties but pays licensees for management;
  • 2011 report from the crown lands task force: “The gap between DNR’s revenues and expenditures has been consistently negative and steadily growing over the last 10 years, reaching – $41.6 million in the 2009-2010 reporting year.”

« Il y a la fameuse phrase de Louis Robichaud qui disait que si veux runner la province, fais-toi élire. Il disait ça à K.C. Irving. Bien moi, je pense que ça s’applique encore aujourd’hui. C’est-à-dire qu’on n’a pas élu la compagnie Irving, on a élu un gouvernement qui est supposé gérer la forêt de façon durable pour le bien de tous. » Marc-André Villard

The agreement explained by Charles Thériault: Episode 23 Scrap the plan! Scrap the Irving 25 year contract!

Lack of public engagement and consultation: Majority of New Brunswick Citizens Oppose the New Crown Forest Strategy (June 13, Dr. Tom Beckley, UNB)

An article by Tom Beckley (December 2014): Public engagement in the Forest sector New Brunswick, 1997-2014

The agreements were made public on December 10, 2014:

Memorandum of Understanding with JDI from February 2014
Forest management agreement with JDI signed in July
Schedule E under the Forest management agreement with JDI
Schedule F under the Forest management agreement with JDI
Schedule G under the Forest management agreement with JDI
Memorandum of Understanding with Twin Rivers
Memorandum of Understanding with Chaleur Sawmills
First Nations Allocations