[ensu] OTPP and coal power

  • From: matt.niedzielski@xxxxxxxxxxx
  • To: ensu@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 21:24:38 -0500

A letter about the Ontario Teacher's Pansion Plan and their investment in coal 
and tobacco.




Campaign to Reform Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Launched

Toronto, February 11, 2004 - Greenpeace and the Sierra Youth Coalition joined 
forces to launch the It?s My Future campaign to reform the investment practices 
of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP), Canada?s largest pension fund. The 
OTPP is Canada?s largest investor in coal, and has extensive other fossil fuel 
holdings as well as investments in tobacco.

?Without their consent, Ontario?s teachers have become Canada?s coal barons, 
profiting from asthma, mercury poisoning, and global warming,? said Rob 
Milling, interim Executive Director of Greenpeace Canada. ?It?s time to give 
teachers and the people that invest their money the power to practice socially 
responsible investment.?

The OTPP was created in 1989 by the Ontario Teachers Pension Act. Teachers have 
no option than to be in the OTPP, and no say over where their money gets 
invested. The current OTPP managers use a narrow interpretation of 
their ?fiduciary duty? to argue that they must seek the highest returns 
regardless of the social or environmental impacts of their investments.

?It?s hard for students to see teachers preparing them for the future while 
investing in companies that are making their future worse,? said Lindsay 
Telfer, National Director for the Sierra Youth Coalition. ?Students today, are 
the future, it?s time we start investing in them.  Through the It?s my Future 
campaign, we?ll be asking students to work with their teachers to address the 
investment practises of the OTPP.?

Socially responsible investment is gaining ground in Canada and around the 
world. It can involve screening out investments in certain sectors, targeted 
investment in community based or progressive companies, and shareholder 
activism. Examples of large funds practicing socially responsible investment 
include the City of New York and the State of California. Repeated studies show 
that this investment approach achieves equal financial returns to other 

"It?s a myth that fiduciary duty forces fund managers to invest unethically,? 
said Matt Price, Coordinator of the It?s My Future campaign. ?Pension fund 
managers around the world are already proving that you don?t have to do bad to 
make money.? 

For more information:            

Rob Milling, Greenpeace, 416.597.8408 x3012

Lindsay Telfer, Sierra Youth Coalition, 613.241.1615

Matt Price, It?s My Future Coordinator, 

Visit: www.itsmyfuture.ca

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