MPs push back on Paper Excellence acquisitions

New Democratic and Bloc Québécois MPs grilled officials from the federal department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development during a hearing held last week by the House’s natural resources committee. At issue was the government’s degree of scrutiny in approving Paper Excellence Group’s Canadian acquisitions in recent years, most recently that of Resolute Forest Products.

Though based in Richmond, B.C., Paper Excellence is owned by Indonesian businessman Jackson Widjaja. The Widjaja family’s other assets include Asia Pulp & Paper, whose environmental track record concerns ecologists. For his part, Widjaja denies any business connections with his family.