Rob MacDonald [President, Texada Land Corp.] maintains there is no clear-cutting on Saltspring. (CBC Radio, July 10, 2000)
THAT'S NOT CHAIN SAWS CLEAR CUTTING OUR FORESTS: IT'S MANULIFE'S MONEY
Without Manulife Financial Corporation's $16,000,000 in mortgage financing, the Texada Land Corporation would not have the operating capital to be clear-cutting our forests at 15-20 times the sustainable rate.
Robert MacDonald was the defendant in a suit heard before the B.C. Supreme Court in 1997 in which Nelson Skalbania was the plaintiff. Hon. Justice Parrett described their Arbutus Garden Homes project as "a $43,750,000 real estate transaction whose structure and documentation was more in keeping with the disposition of a neighbourhood kiosk than that of a major commercial enterprise."
2) Are you a member of the Canadian Automobile Association? Manulife is the underwriter for their current offer of specially designed term life insurance. Contact your provincial branch and tell them you don't want your automobile association selling Manulife insurance as long as Manulife continues to finance clear-cut logging.
There are, no doubt, many others. Check your own mutual funds to be sure. And then please contact your fund manager and Mr D'Alessandro. Tell them you are seriously questioning owning shares in a company that continues to finance clear-cut logging. Ask your fund manager to raise these concerns with Manulife directly.
Delete those clauses
Why did Manulife delete the "Environmental Protection" clauses from its mortgage with Texada Corp?
Quotes From the Globe and Mail article. May 5, 2000
Manulife chief calls for end to whining
Time for business to stop blaming government for woes, D'Alessandro says
Financial Services Reporter
Friday, May 5, 2000
...... Mr. D'Alessandro chose Manulife's annual shareholders' meeting yesterday to add his voice to a growing chorus expressing concerns about Canada's economy, despite signs of robust growth. He rattled off a list of woes including the weak Canadian dollar, high taxes and a lower standard of living relative to our U.S. neighbours....
.... Mr. D'Alessandro's philosophical mood was interrupted at yesterday's meeting by an environmental group that showed up to protest against a small loan that has become a big headache for Manulife.
Manulife lent $16-million to a logging company called Texada Land Corp. to help it finance its $50-million acquisition of a parcel of land on British Columbia's Salt Spring Island and Horne Lake. Texada has raised the ire of environmental groups and local residents because it is clear-cutting several thousand acres in the two areas.
"They're clear-cutting our precious forests seven days a week," Ken See (sic), a representative of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, said during a lengthy address at the meeting.
The environmental group put much of the blame at Manulife's door for lending Texada the money. "It is not chainsaws decimating our beautiful island. It is Manulife," Mr. See said.
Mr. D'Alessandro responded that Texada presented a "reasonable" business plan to harvest timber lands and develop the areas for housing.
But since becoming aware of local residents' concerns about the company's logging practices, Mr. D'Alessandro said he has met with Texada officials and has had Manulife's lawyers examine the loan agreement to see if it could "force or coerce" Texada to "behave" in a different manner.
"We regret, frankly, that it's created this controversy," Mr. D'Alessandro said. But Manulife is powerless to do anything because Texada is honouring all of its obligations under the loan agreement.
The loan to Texada represents only a tiny portion of the loan book at Manulife, Canada's biggest life insurer with a market capitalization of more than $11-billion.