Petition to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

We demand that the Ontario’s Teachers Pension Plan withdraw all Canadian taxpayer money from the company Goldcorp Inc. because through these investments we are helping to finance very controversial extractive projects in Guatemala known to cause serious human rights abuse and environmental damage.

We demand that the Ontario’s Teachers Pension Plan withdraw all Canadian taxpayer money from the company Goldcorp Inc. because through these investments we are helping to finance very controversial extractive projects in Guatemala known to cause serious human rights abuse and environmental damage.

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192 Signatures
192Claude DeschênesMay 01, 2016
191Jean HudonNov 07, 2015
190Vincent DuhamelSep 08, 2015
189Kassidy CroweJun 01, 2015
188Pascal LévesqueMay 14, 2015
187Luc BéginMay 13, 2015
186Line MartineauMay 13, 2015
185bruce hermonApr 22, 2015
184Marie-Christine DugalApr 11, 2015
183Mary CroftApr 09, 2015
182Ralph NeumannFeb 16, 2015
181Roberta PeressiniFeb 14, 2015
180Louise CoteJan 29, 2015
179Martin SoucyDec 22, 2014
178Rosemary KeenanOct 15, 2014
177Pam MaitlandOct 06, 2014
176Teprine BaldoSep 15, 2014
175Larry MartinJul 13, 2014
174Natasha DeSousaJul 09, 2014
173Oriana MuzzinJul 08, 2014
172Minta GrahamJul 08, 2014
171Bobbie FlowersJul 08, 2014
170Suzanne BlouinJul 08, 2014
169carole costelloJul 07, 2014
168Margaret SumadhJul 07, 2014
167Nancy O'ConnorJul 07, 2014
166Marta HernandezJul 07, 2014
165Patricia FinkJul 07, 2014
164Vilma CaceresJul 07, 2014
163John LissJul 06, 2014
162Ian AngusJul 06, 2014
161Susan LagosJul 06, 2014
160Marc SerpaJul 06, 2014
159William LankfordJul 06, 2014
158Cara-Lee MalangeJul 06, 2014
157 Curtis PennerJul 06, 2014
156Ian JohnstonJun 16, 2014
155MILTON CARRERAJun 10, 2014
154Ian GartshoreJun 07, 2014
153Gilles HumbertJun 03, 2014
152Pierre VaillancourtJun 03, 2014
151silke nebelJun 01, 2014
150Ariane Gagnon-LégaréMay 23, 2014
149Christian MacéMay 23, 2014
148Catherine CaronMay 04, 2014
147François GagnonApr 29, 2014
146Grace and Craig HamiltonApr 27, 2014
145yacine belhadjApr 11, 2014
144sonia bischApr 07, 2014
143Sal BrownApr 04, 2014

CALL TO DIVEST ONTARIO’S TEACHERS’ MONEY FROM THE CANADIAN COMPANY GOLDCORP INC.

It has come to light that the money of more than 300 000 current and retired teachers of Ontario is being used to support this company’s activities through investments made by their Pension Plan. Indeed, on September 30, 2013, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan invested about 175 million dollars of our assets in Goldcorp.

Numerous international human rights and environmental NGOs, as well as Guatemalan scientists, journalists and communities, continue to alert the public and the competent authorities to the extractive activities of Goldcorp Inc. in Guatemala. This Canadian company, which is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, owns three mining projects in Guatemala aimed at extracting gold and other precious metals (Marlin, Cerro Blanco and Chocoyos projects). In addition, Goldcorp is involved in the Escobal project of Tahoe Resources as one of its main shareholders. Goldcorp holds 40% of Tahoe Resources.

Very serious allegations of human rights abuse and environmental destruction have been leveled against these mining projects. Ecosystems, and in particular waterways and groundwater tables, have suffered long-term contamination due to the use of explosives and toxic solvents such as arsenic, mercury and lead. These extractive operations have caused serious public health issues in nearby communities, as is the case in the area surrounding the Marlin project, in operation since 2005. Disturbing heavy metal blood levels and a high frequency of miscarriages and respiratory and skin diseases have all been observed by several human rights organizations. Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources’ mining projects in Guatemala have been imposed on the local indigenous populations without them being able to exercise their collective right to free, prior and informed consent, even though this right is enshrined in several  instruments of international law, notably Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization ratified by Guatemala. The Guatemalan state has nonetheless granted exploration and operation licenses to the two Canadian companies without consulting and obtaining the consent of the peoples to be affected by these two extractive projects, in violation of international law.

There is considerable public opposition to these mining projects in Guatemala. In more than 74 informal popular consultations held since 2005, more than a million Guatemalans have clearly shown by a very large majority that they are opposed to these extractive projects, and especially those of Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources. Guatemalan individuals and organizations that oppose the mining industry often face threats and are targeted for attack. This life-threatening repression has already led to the deaths of several people, including human rights defenders. This alarming trend peaked in March 2013 with the kidnapping of four Xinca community leaders and the assassination of one of the kidnapped leaders, all of whom were opposed to the Escobal project.

Apparently, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan aims to base its investment decisions on certain ethical principles, chiefly because it claims to take into consideration the risks and extra-financial activities of the corporations of which it becomes a shareholder. It identifies responsible investment as a “method of managing risks and opportunities” and assesses that “investments will impact Teachers’ reputation”. Finally, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has adopted the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which recognizes the importance of institutions taking into account the risks and environmental and human costs of industries when making investment decisions.

Our financial ties with Goldcorp and Tahoe Resources make us key actors in the effort to bring the human rights violations and environmental destruction in Guatemala to a halt. Now more than ever, it is time to act, and especially regarding the very controversial Chocoyos extractive project, for which Goldcorp has obtained a license to operate but extraction has not yet begun.

We demand that the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan withdraw all Canadian taxpayer money from the company Goldcorp Inc. because through these investments we are helping to finance very controversial extractive projects in Guatemala known to cause serious human rights abuse and environmental damage.