Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor brought forward for debate his Bill C-231 to enshrine in legislation the ethical investment of more than $400 billion in Canadian Pension Plan funds.
Although the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board claims to operate with Principles for Responsible Investment to promote Environmental, Social and Governance factors, MacGregor pointed out there is no mention of human, labour or environmental rights.
“All we are left with is a policy of non-binding investment decisions,” he indicated of Section 35 of the CPPIB Act. “What is clear is that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s policy on responsible investing has not prevented it from investing our public pension dollars in companies with extremely poor corporate social responsibility records.”
Billions of dollars in pension funds are tied up in oil, gas and coal mining companies in addition to weapons manufacturers and formerly private for-profit American prisons that detained immigrants along the United States-Mexico border, something MacGregor would like to see changed.
Canadians are all shareholders in these companies that benefit from the fund’s investments and MacGregor thinks we can no longer remain silent on these issues and it is time to demand that CPP funds be used as a force for good while ensuring the financial security of Canadians in their retirement years.
“This money belongs to ordinary people and we all have a stake in the way it is spent and the resulting consequences of the companies around the world benefiting from our hard-earned pension dollars,” he added. “But many of the decisions on how it is invested are made behind closed doors. We can make good, sustainable investments that ensure Canadian pensioners are taken care of without supporting companies contributing toward human suffering and misery, that abuse human rights, or are actively destroying our environment.”