Down With 'Divestment,' Up with Freedom
The Canadian organization InvestNow does a lot of valuable work countering the extremely pernicious divestment movement, whose object is to pressure banks and other large institutions not to invest in the resource sector. This would enable them to eventually achieve their environmentalist goals by non-political means, so as to prevent regular people, voters, from having any say in a massive, harmful, and mandated alteration to their lives and livelihoods.
For a taste of what InvestNow stands for, here is a selection from their resolution:
We consider divestment movements pushing for the divesting of Canadian resource company assets to be irresponsible and against the interests of shareholders, and Canadians at large. We believe divestment movements should be actively opposed and we are committed to speaking out against them. We hereby encourage others in the resource sectors and the broader investment community in Canada to do the same.
Moreover, they contend that investment in Canadian oil and gas is "good of the economy, the environment, shareholders and everyday Canadians.”
For their latest project, they've filed shareholder proposals at three of Canada's biggest banks – TD, the Bank of Montreal, and CIBC – asking them to commit to investing in Canadian oil and natural gas and to review their investment policies to ensure that none has "the effect of encouraging divestment from the sector." From their press release:
“It’s time for the banks to stop their demonization of and attack on the oil and gas sector,” said InvestNow Executive Director Gina Pappano. “Attacking the oil and gas sector means attacking the industry that fuels every other industry. It means threatening the livelihoods not just of the hundreds of thousands across Canada who work in the sector, but the millions – that is all of us — who depend on it in so many ways. Energy from hydrocarbons enables virtually everything we do. Encouraging divestment – directly or indirectly – means putting our economy at risk. And it means the growing demand for oil and gas around the world will be met by other, less responsible, less environmentally friendly, suppliers.” The adherence to anti-oil and gas investment policies like Net Zero suggest that the banks think that oil and gas extraction, development and use are not of essential value. “This couldn’t be more wrong,” said Pappano.
These proposals will come to a vote next month at the banks' annual general meetings. Lets hope that those banks' shareholders – perhaps having noticed some of the financial shakiness south of the border – will vote for sanity and against ideology.