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NDP bill would turn off taps for CPP investments in oil and gas sector

Bill C-231 would prohibit CPP from investing in Canada’s oil and gas sector

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A private member bill currently in Parliament would see an end to the investment of Canada Pension Plan (CPP) funds in oil and gas companies, on the basis of environmental rights issues.

Bill C-231: “An Act to amend the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act (investments)” was originally introduced on February 26 by NDP MP Alistair MacGregor, of Vancouver Island.

It underwent its second reading on December 27.

The Bill describes the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) as, “a major pillar of Canada’s retirement income system and the Canada Pension Plan fund is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world.”

It goes on to say, “… whereas Canada, having a long history as a defender of human rights and freedoms, is committed to promoting responsible business practices and holding to account those who violate human, labour and environmental rights,” CPP policy will be amended such that, “no investment may be made or held in an entity if there are reasons to believe that the entity has performed acts or carried out work contrary to ethical business practices…”

Conservative MP and Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre was less than impressed.

“Bill C-231, on the surface, appears to be a noble attempt to direct our pension funds exclusively towards the common good. But the old adage is that ‘the how is even more important than the what’, and the devil is in the details. Because the Honourable Member who proposes this Bill is afraid of the devil, he has avoided the details altogether,” said Poilievre.

“The amendment would create a new requirement… that the investment policy standards and procedures, taking into account the environmental, social and governance factors shall provide that no investment be made or held in an entity if there are reasons to believe that the entity has performed acts or carried out work contrary to ethical business practices, including the commission of human, labour or environmental rights violations,” Poilievre told the House.

“What is meant by all the terminology that the Member puts in, but does not define?” asked Poilievre, “We don’t know what is meant because the Member does not tell us.”

“Environmental violations. Well, this particular Member has written that it would be a violation to invest in oil and gas companies.”

This would ban the CPP from investing in Canada’s largest exporting industry.

The CPP Investment Board has said the 10 biggest companies on the Toronto Stock Exchange would be banned from CPP under the Bill.

Ken Grafton is the Western Standards Ottawa Bureau Chief. He can be reached at kgrafton@westernstandardonline.com

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. UnLiberal

    December 31, 2020 at 8:22 am

    How about we do a trial run on Vancouver Island? Of course it will be the task of anyone to decide what is a violation of the various “rights” quoted! I wouldn’t think the trial would last through the winter when the Honourable member’s constituents realized that being unable to use fossil fuels can really suck!

  2. Charles Martell III

    December 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    No one of course has thought to think this through . . . .
    Without fossil fuels everything stops . . . no trucks bring food to the big cities, no plastics, no fabric for clothes, no medicine, no air travel & no gas to heat your home.

    So what happens in the Green Paradise?
    Millions in big cities are no longer able to feed themselves and die in the first few months . . .
    Dogs & Cats are now on the menu . . .
    Forests are cut down for wood to heat homes . . .
    after a year of this the country looks just like a 3rd world country . . .

    The Globe runs on fossil fuels . . . and will for the forseeable future . . .
    Windmills & Solar panels will never replace them . . . we have enough oil for over 100 years in Canada & enough Natural Gas for 200 years . . . by the time we use that up someone will have invented the “Dilithium Chrystal” . . . to power everything . . . but it won’t be the Government or the likes of our idiot Prime Minister & his Enviro-nazi friends.

  3. That's Dr. #SAND to you...

    December 30, 2020 at 6:43 am

    How about banning CPP investments in Ontario’s auto industry or quebec’s aerospace industry?
    Do airplanes use fossil fuels?

  4. ninetyninepct

    December 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    The hundreds of millions of dollars in the ensuing shortfall will be made up by seizure of the assets of all NDP members and supporters, both Federal and Provincial. Bank accounts, employment earnings, vehicles, pensions and real estate will all be confiscated as needed and given to real Canadians.

    I could easily see NDP MP Alistair MacGregor investing millions in solar power in the Arctic, hoping to put the profits back into the CPP. DUH. There is a reason he is an NDP.

  5. Charles Martell III

    December 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Something this foolish could only come from the NDP or Justin Trudope . . .

    They are probably all on board with investing in Solar & Wind Scams . . . that have short, Govt Subsidized lifespans and never make nickel one!

    • That's Dr. #SAND to you...

      December 30, 2020 at 6:44 am

      Thank the brain dead sponges that voted for them.
      The dumbest politician is of little danger until the idiots elect them.

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Energy

Fortune Minerals to purchase JFSL facility for $5.5 million to build cobalt refinery

Fortune Minerals’ proposed refinery will process concentrate for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, portable electronic devices, and stationary storage cells.

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Fortune Minerals is set to purchase JFSL Field Service’s former steel fabrication plant for
$5.5 million in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

Fortune Minerals intends to acquire the site to construct a $600-million hydrometallurgical refinery for the planned NICO Cobalt-Gold-Bismuth-Copper mine in the Northwest Territories.

Fortune Minerals’ proposed refinery in Lamont County would process concentrate for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, portable electronic devices, and stationary storage cells.

Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association represents five area municipalities that work together to attract chemical, petrochemical, oil, and gas investment. The group said the move is strategic for the region.

“Fortune Minerals’ innovative vision and metallurgical process technology for the NICO Refinery will promote further energy supply chain integration within North America, solidifying Alberta and Alberta’s Industrial Heartland as a critical jurisdiction for Canada’s energy future,” said executive director Mark Plamondon in a release.

The proposed refinery is anticipated to create 100 new jobs and maybe more should the refinery expand to recycling metals from post-consumer batteries from across Alberta.

The province took some credit for Fortune Minerals’ announcement.

“Alberta’s mineral strategy and action plan capitalizes on our untapped potential and helps meet demand for the critical and rare earth minerals which are essential to supporting a low-carbon economy,” said Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage.

“Fortune Minerals’ investment announcement demonstrates that our strategy is working.”

Plamondon cited alignment of the project with the province’s oft-touted environmental-social governance (ESG) values.

“The (project) supports our region’s robust diversification efforts and highlights our value proposition for companies looking to execute their capital growth strategies, develop new technologies and advance their ESG priorities.”

The new $231 million, 97-km Tlicho highway to Whati provided the necessary access for the project.

The highway “will allow metal concentrates to be trucked from the mine to the rail head at Hay River or Enterprise, NWT for railway delivery to the company’s planned refinery in Alberta.”

Alberta’s Heartland is Canada’s largest hydrocarbon processing region.

Goesselin is a Western Standard reporter

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Energy

IEA recognizes Canadian oil industry as the environmental world leader

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as by far the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

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Canada is doing great but should take measures to continue its reputation as a preferred oil and gas supplier on the global market, says the International Energy Agency.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol is a big advocate for net zero targets, but still recognizes the reliance on oil and gas that will persist into the future.

He said he prefers oil supply to come from “good partners” like Canada, he told a press conference.

“Canada has been a cornerstone of global energy markets, a reliable partner for years,” said Birol.

“We will still need oil and gas for years to come… I prefer oil is produced by countries … like Canada (that) want to reduce the emissions of oil and gas.” 

The same IEA report included recommendations for Canada to incentivise moves away from oil production, yet the director still recognizes Canada’s contribution to the global market.

World oil consumption returned to pre-pandemic levels and natural gas demand surpassed levels pre-COVID-19 last year, according to IEA data.

Yet Canada only supplies 6% of the current world market.

Consumption of both oil and gas is expected to continue rising even as more renewable energy sources come online. 

A Russian-caused natural gas crisis in Europe has many looking to Canada as a great alternative.

“The world needs reliable partners,” said Birol, of the European situation.  

Canada is the fourth-largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and home to the third-largest oil reserves.

“This creates employment for Canadians and secure and reliable oil and gas for both domestic and global markets,” the IEA said.  

The IEA recommends that remaining competitive in global oil and gas markets requires further emission reductions, to ensure the sector remains a major driver of the Canadian economy beyond 2050.

Emission reduction has already been steadily implemented in Canada, analysts praised the oil and gas industry’s “strong track record” of reducing emissions intensity.

The oilsands by have decreased emissions by 32% since 1990 and further reductions of up to 27% are expected by 2030. 

Canadian oil and gas companies spend an average of $1 billion per year on clean energy technology, in addition to billions in environmental protection.  

In 2018, oil and gas companies also invested $3.6 billion in environmental protection initiatives, recognized by the IEA as the largest environmental protection spend of any industry in the country.  

“Canadian oil and natural gas producers are leveraging their improving environmental, social and governance performance and Canada’s stringent environmental regulations to build a global competitive advantage.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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Energy

Oil price jump prompts additional $6 billion in investments

Oilsand investments alone are expected to increase to $11.6 billion in 2022, a 33% jump.

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The largest oil and gas industry group in Canada says it’s expecting $32.8 billion in oil patch spending this year, a 22% jump from last year.

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) says the increased investment will help capitalize on the surge in crude oil prices, the growth will amount to an additional $6 billion this year.

Oilsand investments alone are expected to increase to $11.6 billion in 2022, a 33% jump.

As of Friday, the price of West Texas intermediate crude oil today is $87.05.

Tim McMillan, president of the CAPP, said the seven-year high price of oil doesn’t mean bad news, as companies are recording record cash flows and investment remains well below what it was in the boom years.

For example, in 2014 the Canadian industry captured 10% of total global upstream natural gas and oil investment, and the oil patch received record investment at $81 billion.

“Today we’re at $32 billion, and we’re only capturing about 6% of global investment,” said McMillan.

“We’ve lost ground to other oil and gas producers, which I think is problematic for a lot of reasons … and it leaves billions of dollars of investment that is going somewhere else, and not to Canada.”

Alberta is expected to be the leader among provinces in overall oil and gas capital spending, with upstream investment expected to increase 24% to $24.5 billion in 2022.

Over 80% of the industry’s new capital spending this year will be focused in Alberta, representing an additional $4.8 billion of investment into the province compared with 2021, according to CAPP.

Investment increase is also excepted in British Colombia, Saskatchewan and offshore production.

This means major recovery for the industry, as 2020 was harsh with global demand crashing and oil prices collapsing.

Global investment is on the down turn, as potential investors are discouraged by Canada’s history of cancelled pipeline projects, regulatory hurdles and negative government policy signals.

McMillan explained many now see Canada as a “difficult place to invest.”

“Rapid demand growth for oil and natural gas globally and strengthening commodity prices mean there is opportunity for Canada’s industry for decades to come,” said McMillan.

“To ensure a true recovery takes hold in Canada, government at all levels along with the industry must work together to create an environment where the natural gas and oil industry can thrive and attract investment back to Canada.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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