‘Deforestation Inc’: the Halifax Examiner goes international

Introduction by Tim Bousquet, Publisher (originally published in Morning File, March 1, 2023)

Several months ago, Joan Baxter approached me about a project she was working on, and I agreed that the Examiner would take it on. 

Since then, I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but this morning I can tell you that Baxter is one of 140 journalists from 39 media outlets across 27 countries working collaboratively on ‘Deforestation Inc.’ a project of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). 

For this project, Baxter is working with journalists in France (Le Monde, Radio France), Canada (CBC / Radio-Canada, Glacier Media), and the United States (Inside Climate News), among many others.

For ‘Deforestation Inc.,’ the Examiner will publish at least five articles written by Baxter. The first will go live at 1pm today.

I’m excited about this project, and proud of the work Baxter has put into it. I’m certain that readers will find this work valuable, and I expect that it will affect government policies, both provincially, nationally, and internationally.

It’s important, impactful journalism.

It’s also the Halifax Examiner punching above our weight. 

I’ve always said I’d be honest with readers about the finances of the Examiner, and here we are: As the pandemic restrictions have abated and the world has opened up, people have been letting their Examiner subscriptions lapse. Add to that the additional costs of hiring Baxter full-time to work on the Deforestation Inc. project, and we’re facing an unprecedented financial crunch.

We need your help. Please consider subscribing to the Examiner to support work like that produced by Baxter and the other Examiner reporters. Or, if you’re unable to subscribe, please consider making a one-time donation to help us out. 

Thanks much.

The series, by Joan Baxter:

1. Deforestation Inc: How an email from China triggered an international investigative journalism project (March 1, 2023)

2. Deforestation Inc: Paper Excellence and the ‘environmental insult’ to a First Nation community (March 2, 2023)

3. Deforestation Inc: Are Paper Excellence and Asia Pulp & Paper linked companies? They say they aren’t. Here’s what we’ve learned (March 9, 2023)

4. Deforestation Inc: Paper Excellence’s rapid expansion in Canada is a ‘fibre grab’ to feed mills in China, say critics (March 10, 2023)

5. Deforestation Inc: Nova Scotia opts for forest certification scheme critics call ‘greenwashing’ (March 14, 2023)

6. Deforestation Inc: Canada is a ‘world laggard’ in sustainable forestry, say critics, and Paper Excellence’s expansion threatens this country’s boreal forests (March 17, 2023)

7. Deforestation Inc: Media investigation into Paper Excellence ignites concerns on Parliament Hill over the company’s mysterious ownership, Chinese ties, and rapid expansion in Canada (March 22, 2023)

8. Parliamentary committee to investigate ownership of Paper Excellence (March 31, 2023)

9. NDP Natural Resources critic Charlie Angus speaks about Paper Excellence (April 12, 2023)

10. Dalhousie study finds Northern Pulp Mill was by far the biggest polluter near Pictou (April 16, 2023)

11. Nova Scotia NDP to ask Natural Resources Committee to look into Paper Excellence (April 19, 2023)

12. Northern Pulp wants to burn biomass and sell the energy (April 28, 2023)

13. Court grants Northern Pulp 4-month creditor protection extension; company lists big demands for concessions from Nova Scotia (May 1, 2023)

14. Parliamentary committee may summon Paper Excellence owner Jackson Wijaya (May 31, 2023)

15. Internal documents show Nova Scotia’s Liberal government assumed Northern Pulp links to Asia Pulp & Paper, links Paper Excellence execs deny (June 1, 2023)