Green Party of Canada

Green Party of Canada

January 10, 2006 13:58 ET

Ethical investing starts with the Canada Pension Plan

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 10, 2006) - Green Party MPs would push to ensure that ethics and accountability in government don't stop with advertising and polling contracts, but apply to all government operations and decisions, said Green Party of Canada leader Jim Harris today in Ottawa.

Making his point, Harris contrasted the investment policies of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) with those of Quebec's Caisse de dépôt as an example of how far the Canadian government still has to go to promoting Canadian values through all its actions. For instance, on one hand the CPP states that social investing can't be done on a large scale, while on the other the Caisse de dépôt already does, according to Harris who contrasted the value statements of both pension funds.

According to the CPP, "While social investing is easily applied by individuals and small groups of like-minded people, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to implement for an institutional investor…Consequently, we do not select or exclude investments through the application of positive or negative screens based upon religious, social, economic, political, or personal criteria, or any other non-investment criteria."

But according to the Caisse de dépôt, when "analyzing the risk inherent in any investment, portfolio managers must consider governance criteria as well as social, ethical and environmental criteria - factors that are now integral to performance measurement." The Caisse specifically includes as part of its strategy that the companies in which it invests conduct their activities with respect for rights and fundamental freedoms, to take all measures necessary to respect and to protect the environment in which they operate, and to respect the local communities in which they conduct their affairs.

Harris noted that the Caisse requires that its managers take into consideration social, ethical and environmental criteria in making their preliminary analysis of the risks inherent in any given investment and that they attend yearly training on socially responsible investment.

"Do Canadians really want their pension funds invested in Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, NIKE or Wal-Mart?" asked Harris. "The Green Party thinks not, and it's not because these investments are significant in the overall assets that the Canada Pension Plan manages, but because it sends a powerful message around the world about who Canadians are, what we believe in, and what we're ready to stand-up for."

- 30 -

For More Information:
Derek Pinto
Media Relations Officer, Leader's Tour
416.618.0613
David Kay
Media Relations Officer, Leader's Tour
514.250.4346

/For further information: www.greenparty.ca

Derek Pinto
Media Relations Officer, Leader’s Tour
416.618.0613
/ IN: POLITICS

Contact Information

  • David Kay, Media Relations Officer, Leader’s Tour
    Primary Phone: 514-250-4346
    Secondary Phone: 416-618-0613
    Toll-Free: 866-868-3447
    E-mail: media@greenparty.ca