In an age where people are increasingly moving towards ethical and socially responsible investing , what would you think if you found out your pension fund was providing you with a good return partially from investments in companies you personally would never support? Better yet, what if those companies could stand to profit greatly from a project that puts the pristine coast of British Columbia and vast kilometres of natural forest, rivers, lakes and streams at risk of something like this?
While a large majority of British Columbians are busily protesting the Enbridge/Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal, and several communities have now openly opposed it, the BC Government Employees Investment Fund has among their 2011 holdings, quite a few companies that are in support of the pipeline, stand to profit from it and actively promote it.
Rather ironically, the website for BCIMC states that while they utilize a philosophy of environmentally and socially responsible investing where applicable, “bcIMC’s fiduciary duty is to act honestly, in good faith and in the best interests of our clients. Therefore, the primary aim of our corporate governance and environmental and social responsibility activities is to improve the risk and return profile of our clients’ funds. ”
From their investment inventory http://www.bcimc.com/publications/pdf/Inventory/Inventory20110331.pdf
Enbridge – $280 million
Suncor (Tar Sands) – $834 million
Canadian Natural Resources (Tar Sands) – $473 million
Canadian Oil Sands Ltd (Tar Sands) – $106 million
Royal Dutch Shell (Tar Sands Partner – NE BC Gas) – $160 million
Exxon Mobil (Tar Sands Partner) – $247million
Imperial Oil (Tar Sands – Refiner) – $113 million
Total (Tar Sands) – $96 million
BP (Tar Sands Partner) – $87 million
Encana (Tar Sands Partner and Tar Sands and Gas Pipeline) – $225 million
Conoco Phillips (Tar Sands Partner-Encana) – $70 million
Cenovas Energy (Tar Sands – ConocoPhillips/Encana) – $252 million
Transcanada Pipeline (Tar Sands and Gas Pipelines) – $302 million
PetroChina (Tar Sands Partner) – $60 million
Statoil (Tar Sands – Norway Pension Fund) – $20 million
This list is not complete as there are many other service related companies associated with the tar sands whose primary earnings are based on tar sand business.
Another interesting investment by the BC Government Employees Pension Fund manager BCIMC is:
Imperial Tobacco – $35 million
Johnson & Johnson (makers of a variety of nicotine “stop smoking” products) – $130 million http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2011/05/premier-christy-clark-announces-free-support-to-help-smokers.html
Thank you to Phil, for sending us something to think about.
6 thoughts on “Things that make you go Hmmmmm.”
I think you can add Island Timberlands to that list.
Island Timberlands are exporting logs to China & perhaps more importantly to the USA to Canadian owned sawmills.; which could not operate without Canadian logs!!
Lol..sad state of affairs, isn’t it? Makes you wonder how things will ever change if you keep feeding the beast… or investing in companies that have placed low priorities on the environment, people and high priorities on profit.
I remember back in 2003 preparing a news conference in BC with some of this information LY-and a forensic economist. Five of our group attended and despite a days notice – no one showed up the the press conference. Not a stringer – no one. Oddly, a last minute ‘ferry’ issue came up that morning that occupied all of the press.
That is why the gov – the courts – the corps – the media don’t want us in the game – they can fight but at the end of the day they are fighting for marbles only ‘they’ can keep.
It’s very interesting – in my polling I was doing some calls — and in a period of two hours of calling had two respondents (random call) refer to the Government as “mafia”.
The faster MORE people understand what is really going on – and quit running to one more favourite hostage taker than the last – the game will go bust and the changes that are necessary will take place. The people in the system now would rather have the province sink into the ocean than give up any power and the check book. Think what people are like even in instances involving small amounts of money ——- and imagine Christy Clark in charge of a large amount of it.
Brings a cold chill down your spine eh?
Reminds me of the good ol’ days. The BC Government funded BC Rail by using the BC Teachers’ pension funds at a low interest rate. At least it was a Canadian company–back then–that was being funded. This is information very few teachers know anything about. I’ll do my best to enlighten a few of them, especially the retirees..
Thank-you Laila for this information. I am totally devastated as I am a strong environmentalist and retired teacher. I guess that is now a contradiction in terms. After I pick myself up off the floor,I must get busy and send letters of complaint to the TPP.
Wendy,sorry to disappoint, but happy that you find the information useful. Writing a letter and pressuring investment fund managers is how change started in this venue, but there is far to go as you can see!
E.Olson,I think a lot of people would be surprised to see where their funds are invested.Good on you for sharing.As I just mentioned, pressure from those like yourself and others can make a difference.
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