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e-2776 (Economy and finance)

Initiated by Sean Wood from Parksville, British Columbia

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) manages over $400 billion of Canadians' pension savings;
  • The CPPIB currently invests over $200 million in foreign open-net pen aquaculture for imported Atlantic salmon;
  • Open-net pen salmon farms contaminate wild salmon habitat with chemicals, parasites, viruses and diseases - all of which threaten the health of wild Pacific salmon runs;
  • Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) is a common virus, found in over 80% of farmed Atlantic salmon;
  • PRV can cause heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI), which is a deadly viral fish disease. PRV and HSMI both threaten the survival of wild salmon;
  • For years, Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been aware that both PRV and HSMI are detected in Atlantic open-net pen salmon farms in B.C.;
  • To protect their wild salmon populations, Washington state passed legislation banning PRV-infected farmed salmon in 2018; and
  • Divesting Canadians' pensions from PRV-infected open-net pen aquaculture operations is an important step in protecting wild salmon.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to request the CPPIB to divest from any open-net pen aquaculture investment opportunities, foreign-owned or otherwise.

Response by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Chrystia Freeland

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) was set up by the federal and provincial governments to prudently invest Canada Pension Plan (CPP) funds. CPP assets managed by CPP Investments are strictly segregated from government funds. While CPP Investments is accountable to federal and provincial Ministers of Finance, it operates at arm's length from Canadian governments. CPP Investment's decisions are not influenced by political direction, regional, social or economic development considerations, or any non-investment objectives.

CPP Investments is recognized internationally as a leading example of sound pension plan management. It has an independent, highly qualified Board of Directors and operates with a commercial, investment-only mandate. Accordingly, it invests CPP assets with a view to achieving a maximum rate of return, without undue risk of loss. 

According to statements made by CPP Investments, it believes that companies that effectively manage Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are more likely to create financial value over the long term, improving investment performance. It considers ESG matters when evaluating opportunities, making investment decisions, managing investments and engaging with companies to seek improvements in business practices and disclosure. For example, CPP Investments was a founding signatory and abides by the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, which provide guidance for incorporating ESG factors.

Open for signature
August 25, 2020, at 3:14 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
October 24, 2020, at 3:14 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Paul Manly (Nanaimo—Ladysmith)
November 18, 2020 (Petition No. 432-00244)
Government response tabled
January 25, 2021
Photo - Paul Manly
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia
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