Alistair MacGregor column: Bill to ensure our CPP funds are ethically invested

Would you choose to support global weapons manufacturers?

By Alistair MacGregor

How would you feel if your hard-earned money was helping to run American for-profit prisons and immigration detention centres?

Would you choose to support global weapons manufacturers?

How about big tobacco?

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which invests funds not currently needed to pay CPP beneficiaries, was recently found to have increased its holdings in two private U.S. companies that run American prisons and incarcerate most detained migrants. Many Canadians expressed outrage at this revelation and began to seriously question what other investments were held by our pension fund.

According to documents published last year, the CPPIB also holds tens of millions of dollars in defense contractors like General Dynamics and Raytheon, as well as a $202 million investment in tobacco firm Philip Morris International.

Is this where you want to see your retirement dollars invested?

In February I was pleased to introduce Private Member’s Bill C-431 in the House of Commons, which will amend the investment policies, standards and procedures of the CPPIB to ensure that they are in line with ethical practices and labour, human, and environmental rights’ considerations.

The CPPIB is responsible for investing billions of dollars on behalf of all Canadians. The board invests the assets of the Canada Pension Plan to maximize long-term investment returns without undue risk.

Despite a recent United Nations report showing that urgent changes are needed to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 C, the CPPIB is investing billions of dollars of your pension dollars into the oil and gas sector.

Canadians know time is running out to prevent catastrophic climate change. They want urgent action to address it, and they expect our CPP to be invested accordingly.

Successfully passing this bill will ensure that the CPPIB is bound by statutory rules not to invest in any company or entity that runs contrary to values that Canadians hold dear.

Canadians expect no less.

The Canada Pension Plan is a vital part of our country’s retirement system. However, Canadians expect that the investments which ensure its continued funding are carried out with certain principles in mind. My bill sets out a legislative framework in this spirit and will also continue to ensure Canadians’ CPP investments are still made to maximize returns without undue risk of loss.

I expect that my bill will be up for debate at Second Reading soon in the House of Commons. Details will soon be available on my website (alistairmacgregor.ca) and on my Facebook page in the coming weeks. I look forward to hearing your views on this important issue.

Alistair MacGregor is the NDP Member of Parliament for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: The registered owner is responsible

Have you ever stopped to consider the risk involved in handing your keys over to someone else?

Aquatic Centre renovations starting soon

More space promised for crowded fitness and aquatic areas

Mary Lowther column: Nutrition in our food on the decline

When crops don’t contain the minerals they need, they cannot provide other nutrients we depend on.

Sarah Simpson column: Bigger isn’t always better

One item there was a two-foot-tall candy cane.

Void of summer events going to be felt in Chemainus

CBIA cancels Classics Car Show and Canada Day celebrations

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

Most Read