Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan criticized over U.S. prison company shares
Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan criticized over U.S. prison company shares Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan criticized over U.S. prison company sharesTo Wheaton Canadian pension plans are being scrutinised, Ontario teachers plan in Alberta at least raising a red flag about the choice of investment, cbc’s Lauren Penney has more detention. Centers South of the Border have stirred controversy amid allegations of subpar Medical Care. Poor living conditions since and segregation activist has brought their flight to the streets and writes the doorsteps of multiple facilities. Many of the sites are owned by Geo Group and the report from the internal Watchdog for u.s. Homeland set conditions at one of the company’s California. Facilities May violate detainees, rights and that’s why they were such a concern in such an uproar from Members across Ontario, because this doesn’t match your values after CBC Toronto. First reported this morning, the Ontario teachers Pension Plan invested more than half-a-million dollars in the private prison operator. In the first quarter of this year, the Alberta pension plan, a crown Corporation investor, close to 5 million dollars in both Geo Group and another prison operator and others invested in companies that may be associated with human rights abuses, is very, is very troubling. I’M wearing it. When people should be being careful about what it is that their Investments are, funding has reached out to both pension plans for their response. Representatives from Alberta didn’t comment, but a spokesperson for the Ontario teachers pension plan and it did have shares in Geo Group but divested them in early April. In a statement, the spokesperson said: we regret holding exposure to this stock. Our members care deeply about human rights and we are committed to investing responsive some Ontario teachers who are gathered for a conference today in Ottowa want to make sure it’s a promise. That’S upheld. This shouldn’t have slipped through the cracks. That’S the bottom line, even though it is a very small amount, we’re talking about $ 500,000 and 191 dollar plant. That’S very small, but it’s significant because it sends a message and teachers want to make sure that our you know that the Investments that the plan makes matches the values of weed promote in the classroom everyday Toronto tonight we’re asking our panel or Investments investment managers responsible For investing to make the most money for a pension plan or do they have an additional responsibility, returns from Toronto, and she is the founder of CEO of Absalom Communications Minister Sheikh. She is a partner and employment lawyers LLP and freelance columnist, Michael corn. Thank you fur. In joining us this evening, on this topic and Michael and the question here is what should take precedence? Is it the prophet or the social principles, kind of pension fund investment, euphemistic language, South Africa student, bringing it down repentant regime in Africa and women Supply their standards elsewhere? If it’s not just this is a high-profile case playing people little more than slave labor. We can take it further occupation in in the West Bank and Gaza. What about oilfield housing, garment, being treated wood County to put on taking to puritanical, but we have to be ethical. The ideas of morality and profit cannot go hand-in-hand. I think various governments and economies in northern Europe time I will say when looking at it from the legal perspective. Ultimately, the question really is: is there something that is there something here this illegally untoward? So you know where they aboveboard and making this investment and there’s been a lot of talk around the UN RI, which is he know, which I understand, the teachers pension Alberta pension are both signatories. No keep in mind. This is an entity. It’S a regulatory body of sorts that is technically not part of the UN but supported by the UN, and I got to say I’m not entirely sure what that mean. Being a signatory, you’ve got the teachers, the teachers pension plan, you got the Alberta plant and really the bulk of the major pension plans, whether public or private and Canada signed on and when they’re talking Charlie clear what that means. But as far as I’m concerned, there’s two aspects to look at here: there’s public accountability. So yes, when we’re talking about a public Pension Plan, there is an obligation to invest responsibly, but if they essentially done something, that’s proper from a legal perspective. Regulatory body called fiscal that no one’s really talking about, and that is responsible for taking any complaint as to whether or not there’s something improper. This happen, and you know Frisco other than Point not too long ago and ultimately finding that there was responsible investing. So I think from Teacher’s perspective, there’s two different aspects here: there’s a public accountability and you know dealing with the court of public opinion which we know who can be quite persuasive, but you know what I would say in support of teachers. That again, haven’t heard anything from Alberta. Pension fund is, if there isn’t a complaint of viable complaint to Fisco, then there’s nothing to be concerned about here. Teachers continually know that this was something that they were having their pension invested in compared to what teachers has. The portfolio is not a very large amount, so he’s paid his dad escapes the worthiness. If you will. The other piece, though, is, I think, unfortunately, you know this is a central dilemma: capitalism writ large, which is simply that the teachers in the pension fund obviously want the fund to make money for their pension. They trust managers to do that. Those managers make decisions based on financial output. Every effects are different in this case. I think no one will argue that this is a great investment from ethical standpoint. You can’t, but there are other situations – Michael mention oil fields, for example, where you have a big difference of opinion. You know they should be investing in petroleum Industries going forward or not. The country is divided on this issue. So when you start asking managers to make investment decisions based on how are they determined should have to be consulted on every decision? That’S that’s impossible because these decisions are made sometime in the course of a day you might purchase and then sell to make a profit of. So it is a very, very thorny issue and very hard a thing for an individual sure or anyone in a pension fund to keep on top of the line between what’s controversial versus what is a clear and obvious violation of our human rights. Canada’S on the world stage as one of the leaders when it comes to Human Rights, not just in terms of issues that we’ve spoken to, I mean within within Canada and internationally around human rights legislation. When you look at our federal legislation, so you need to be able to draw that line in here, and I take it slight issue with you know, especially when it comes to teachers taking the position that falls to fell through the cracks. I’M not sure that it did, because I know what teacher specifically I did a little bit of not only have they signed on as a signatory to the UN PRI, which is just a matter of you know, with adding your name to some Liz. They actually do not invest in companies that deal with tobacco. They don’t invest in companies that deal with Weaponry. I think there’s a very long list. I think it really was just an index investment forces. The bank has been invested in it. It’S not a policy about what is valid and what is more than what I understand compromising, but often it’s so clear that we shouldn’t be investing. The green economy is growing by Leaps and Bounds, easy to say it’s only about making money. If we think of a lot of people are suffering terribly right now because of the decisions of people, investing lots of money are some some areas, and you mentioned South Africa, for example, as a place with the global Community, though some countries reluctantly going to say you Know this is unacceptable. We will change policy, we will boycott sanction until this changes. Yet today we continue to want to do business as one country that is particularly a huge human rights violator. That’S China and our government, as well as your Pension funds, are invested in that depend on the Chinese market for their business. So when you start drawing lines, but things get cut, finer and finer as to which, which ethics do you choose, because at the end of the day, everyone’s going to disagree even just for one other thing, I went a legal product marijuana. Some people will not invest in let’s talk because they are opposed to the policy. What is legal to smoke marijuana, but they don’t agree with the idea that it should be legal. So again it really for a pension fund to take into the cab of decisions. As members, I agree if they make a list that people agree two in advance, but they will always exceptions like this at probably fall through the cracks in the sense of either they’re, not until the other flags. In a news item, they are not going to get the notice of the average investor principles for responsible investment rules. More like we’re going to work with. These are various organizations around the world. We’Ve got the support of the UN to help encourage responsible, investing, but try as I might. I was not able to find anything in terms of what that support actually looks like. So what there’s two things to consider here so, first and foremost, look at Geo Group. I mean ultimately, I understand that they own over, like a hundred and thirty prisons across the u.s. I mean is Anthony correct here, but I don’t think that’s the only thing that they do. It’S not just prison. That’S the first thing again, if you have allegations like this on the public record, so to speak with the court of public opinion wing and quite heavily, there needs to be a process in place in this. Is me just wearing my lawyer? Had I can never take it off, which is Ino filed a complaint ability to actually investigate and then let the teachers pension at Alberta, pension, respond and Sable? Actually, these are the various steps irregular investment. So I understand if it’s an index investment, it’s a group of companies are looking at horses if it’s an individual investment you’re, actually looking at the specific company. So, let’s disco is essentially do that investigation and make a determination as to what I’m just I’m, simply not convinced what they could have done, also as a shareholder. They could have worked with the organization once they found the organization within trouble to try to revamp some of their policies, and I don’t know why they would ever consider do. I think that was an option, but they jumped out in April. If they weren’t aware of the allegations, I mean, what is it about actually trying to restore people to a Civil Life not to deal with people humane way, but to make as much money as possible picture of young people today? Yet if you talk to someone who was an ex-smoker and vaping help them get off cigarettes, they’ll say it’s a great product, so you have product and situations that simple disagree, probably pretty angry about it. There are many situations where there are both. You know. People will defend and Michael you can’t assume. I don’t think that just because it’s a for-profit prison, you can’t necessarily as soon as I get it. That’S no. The allegations restart X, kroshus and, I think that’s indisputable Ivar, the peanut. They are Apartments but private prisons. If you look at the research, anyone can make the case heard. The NDP leader here in Ontario say that this is on us to look at where our money is to hold the pension plans. To account is this: something with should be paying attention to what I think. Of course, you should pay attention and the teachers who were upset about this should basically make their views her. The penchant, that’s their pension fund. Their pension fund has to make decisions if, as Michael said, there’s a list of no-go industry. This can be added to that list of things that crop up, which would not have been foreseen, can’t have it at listen to compasses everything, but certainly they should make their views hard. But again you have to make sure that you would think of using majority members. I think before you take how much should responsibility to people have to take? You know where your money is going and if nothing else again, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily the Improv. It’S happened here other than you know some reputational damage would she know both Pension funds are and have to run some damage control their vacation to do that in the coming days, but I think of anything by opener and maybe the members will take more interest. The kids are home, your perspectives this evening, The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board had shares in private U.S. prison companies that run immigration detention centres but divested them in early April.
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