Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor. (Photo by Bernard Thibodeau)

MacGregor introduces bill to enforce responsible investing of CPP funds

MP insists Canadians expect ethical and environmental standards to be met

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford NDP MP Alistair MacGregor has introduced Private Member’s Bill C-431, which would amend the investment policies, standards and procedures of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to ensure it’s in line with ethical, human rights, and environmental considerations.

“Despite the recent United Nations report showing that urgent changes are needed in order to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 C, the CPP board is investing billions of dollars in the oil and gas sector,” he stated. “Canadians know we are running out of time to prevent catastrophic climate change and want urgent action to address it. They expect the Canada Pension Plan to also be invested accordingly.”

MacGregor claims the CPP board has billions of dollars currently in direct private investments in the oil and gas sector and was recently found to have increased holdings in two private U.S. companies that run American prisons and incarcerate the majority of detained immigrants. He noted there are also significant holdings in various arms manufacturing industries and previous investments in companies implicated in human rights abuses.

“My bill sets out a principled legislative framework while ensuring investments are still made to maximize returns without undue risk of loss to people throughout the country,” added MacGregor. “The Canada Pension Plan is an important part of our country’s retirement system, but Canadians expect that the investments which ensure its continued funding are carried out with certain principles in mind.”

The bill does not change the mandate of the CPP Board, he asserts, but seeks to specify no investments may be held in companies that have performed acts or carried out work contrary to ethical business practices or committed human, labour or environmental rights violations.

It is expected MacGregor’s bill will be up for debate at Second Reading in the coming month.

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