Councillor Reimer: Vancouver’s investment should align with its goals

From the Vancouver Sun:

Reimer is expected to introduce a motion to mayor and council Tuesday asking staff to explore how Vancouver can better influence where its millions in cash investments and pension plan are going, and ensure the money isn’t being used to fund companies and products that don’t fit with the city’s core values…

Reimer’s motion, if approved, would see staff report back to council, likely later this year, with information on how the city’s cash investments and pension plan align with the city’s “mission, values and ethical purchasing policy”.

I am very encouraged by this! Hopefully, it puts pressure on other large institutions and public pension plans to consider how their investment decisions currently work against their public health, climate change, or other goals. As the growing fossil fuel divestment campaign clearly shows, “fiduciary obligation” isn’t an acceptable excuse anymore.

This motion is broader than recent divestment plans from Seattle’s Mayor; “alignment” implies an extra step beyond divestment. Unlike Seattle, however, Reimer hasn’t made an explicit connection to the powerful fossil fuel companies whose profitability is based on wrecking the planet. Nor any specific unethical investment, for that matter.

Her motion may lack the sectoral focus of the wider movement for responsible investment, but it is early days and working toward the same goal: using the massive financial resource of the public sector to support, not harm, long-term public interest.

If you live in Vancouver, contact the Mayor and Council to ensure their support for this motion.

You can read the full motion here.