Greens call out outrageous misuse of public funds by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

September 28, 2020

OTTAWA – The Parliamentary Caucus of the Green Party of Canada is outraged by the decision of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) to donate to a partisan Republican political action committee (PAC).

According to research undertaken by Friends of the Earth (Canada), CPPIB made a $600,000 donation through Crestone Peak Resources, which is owned and controlled by the CPPIB.

“This donation is a clear violation of the CPPIB’s own Code of Conduct,” said parliamentary Green leader Elizabeth May. “The purpose of the 2018 donation was to assist the fossil fuel lobby in Colorado fight against environmental regulations to control fracking.”

“We have called for the CPPIB to divest from fossil fuel investments. As Canadians, our retirement fund should not be betting on the world missing its climate goals and continue to hold such high-risk investments,” said Paul Manly, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith. “But this is even worse. We are funding an active campaign to assist Republican candidates in the effort to stop climate action in another country.”

“For its part, the CPPIB claims the funds did not come from its coffers, but from Crestone Peak Resources,” continued Mr. Manly. “But Crestone is 95 per cent owned by the CPPIB. The Chair of Crestone’s Board is Avik Dey, who is the Managing Director and Head of the Energy & Resources group at CPPIB. Two other CPPIB employees are on Crestone’s board as well.”

The Green Party joins Friends of the Earth in demanding that the money be recovered from the responsible employees. Greens further demand that the CPPIB controlled corporation cease and desist from making public statements such as when Tony Buchanan, CEO of Crestone Peak Resources signed a full page ad in the New York Times attacking Democrats published in May 2020 just before “Super Tuesday”.

“We are deeply disturbed by the activities of a corporation wholly controlled by our pension fund board,” said Jenica Atwin, (MP, Fredericton). “We fought hard to ban fracking in New Brunswick, with the leadership of the Elsipogtog First Nation. To see Canadian funds used for political campaigning to promote fracking is unacceptable.”

The Greens support the policy changes advocated by Friends of the Earth:

That all significant investments require an Environmental, Social and Governance Report (ESG) and that all ESG Reports be made public.
That the CPPIB and all business entities it controls (public and private) be prohibited from contributing to political campaigns or industry associations involved in political campaigns in Canada and globally. Political campaigns should include, but not be limited to elections, ballot propositions, referendums or other means of influencing government decisions.
That the CPPIB be prohibited from investing in or creating private corporations not subject to public reporting.
That the CPPIB be required to recognize that the Government of Canada has declared a climate emergency and conduct a 1.5 degree stress test on the fund and present a plan to manage climate risk to the Parliament of Canada.
And finally, that the CPPIB staff involved with Crestone Peak Resources repay the $600,000 political contribution.
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For more information or to arrange an interview contact:

Rosie Emery

Press Secretary

613-562-4916×206

rosie.emery@greenparty.ca