The Canadian Pension Plan, Ethical Investing, and Tax Havens
Presenter: Dr. Joan Russow
Should pensioners have a choice over the investments made by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)?
While investors can choose institutions, banks and investment firms that have positive and negative screens or others that have portfolios available with positive and negative screens, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) has neither. With the CPP, pensioner have no choice.
Should CPPIB Mission Statement be rephrased, positive and negative screens established, and declare what constitutes due diligence?
CPPIB invests in:
I. Nuclear arms industries firms even though 122 members of the United Nations adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of nuclear weapons: http://coat.ncf.ca/research/CPP/CPP-Nukes-2017.htm
ii. US detention firms: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/12/canada-pension-fund-invests-in-us-immigration-detention-firms
iiii . Glyphosphate pesticide (Monsanto) – a probable carcinogen: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/who-iarc-glyphosate/
UPDATE 1-Canada’s CPPIB to buy stake in Brazil’s Aliansce: https://uk.reuters.com/article/aliansce-cppib-generalgrowth-idUKL1N0FZ1LT20130729
The CPPIB may invest in Kinder Morgan if it abides by Canadian government request: https://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/cpp-investment-board-approached-about-trans-mountain-ceo-says-no-decision-yet
B. POSITIVE DIRECTION
i.There is also opportunity in climate change disruption and CPPIB has invested in a joint venture with Votorantim Energia in Brazil operating wind parks, Machin said. As well, the board has roughly $3-billion invested in wind and solar projects in Canada with Cordelio Power and Enbridge.
Ii While CPPIB holds a $186m investment in ExxonMobil, it joined other groups in demanding at ExxonMobil’ AGM that Exxon confront climate risks: https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/24/news/cpp-joins-influential-shareholders-urging-exxon-confront-climate-risks
C. IMPROBABLE REDIRECTION
2016 draft submission to CPPIB after presentation in Victoria: Should CPPIB Mission statement be rephrased, , positive and negative screens established, and what constitutes due diligence, redefined?
How do investment firms determine what is ethical when they offer ‘ethical investment portfolios’?
Bankers and investment councillors warn that personal portfolios must be ‘balanced’ to include fossil fuel, mining, and other environmentally unethical investments. How can individuals choose what not to invest in?
What can be done about big corporations and wealthy Canadians that are hiding their investments from the tax man by buying into off-shore banks that let them avoid taxes. More than $14.6 billion/year is hidden from the CRA: https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cra-tax-gap-foreign-holdings-1.4726983