Great News on Ethical Pensions

The following resolution passed unanimously — yes, unanimously — at the BCTF Winter RA on February 1:

That the provincial Rep Assembly urge the BC Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) to request that Island Timberlands protect and/or donate forest lands in the vicinity of Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island for Parkland and/or protection services.

This is the first time an ethical investment resolution has passed unanimously at a BCTF provincial assembly. It succeeded no doubt due to the hard work of the member who brought the motion forward with thorough research and enlistment of support prior to the RA. PAGE BC would also like to thank the person who stepped up to second the motion, and to Alberni teachers who endorsed the motion.

It should be noted that this is a significant change from five or ten years ago, when an ethical investing motion would never have passed at a BCTF assembly. It is likely an indication that teachers as a group are moving towards seeing things globally, understanding that immediate self interest is short sighted and that fiduciary responsibility extends beyond simple regard to corporate assets to have a broader global definition.

As to the mythology of fiduciary duty, there is nothing in the Pensions Benefits Standards Act that would prevent trustee board members from voicing the environmental concerns outlined in this motion. The Pensions Benefits Standards Act (sub 2) states that trustees should invest in a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would apply. Board is obliged to analyse whether the revenue generated would balance the costs, or would not be an undue risk of substantial loss.

The statutory obligations are entirely consistent with the CSR polices promoted by our trustees, BCIMC, and Island Timberlands

Up next: the BCTF Annual General Meeting. Leading up to that (1) keep your eyes open for the Reports and Resolutions booklet, and (2) watch our site for the PAGE (the Global Education PSA) survey to candidates.

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About

British Columbia Teachers for Peace and Global Education (PAGE BC) is one of 32 Provincial Specialist Associations (PSAs) of the British Columbia Teachers' Federation. PSAs are channels for members to exchange ideas on research, teaching strategies, curriculum development, and other shared interests. Peace & Global Educators teach for citizens of the world who demonstrate humanitarian concern & are cognizant of living in a socially responsible manner.

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