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RBC’s attempt to divide and threaten with arrest and physical violence the Indigenous delegation – who all have received necessary proxies – and shut out Wet’suwet’en Hereditary leadership is further confirmation of the bank’s commitment to corporate colonialism. RBC is the primary financier of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which lacks consent from Hereditary Chiefs, the rightful titleholders of the land.
RBC has opted to apply a reserve system to its AGM, forcing Indigenous delegates into a second class room, with a colour coded pass.
Attempts by shareholders to hold RBC accountable and to seek change has resulted in the bank recommending the rejection of shareholder proposals around climate targets and Indigenous sovereignty as outlined below:
The Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, with the B.C. General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) brought forward a shareholder resolution to push RBC to operationalize free, prior and informed consent into its corporate policies and activities. While BMO and TD have expressed meaningful willingness to improve its policies, RBC has flat out opted to recommend the rejection of the proposal.
Stand.earth filed a resolution for RBC to end financing for fossil fuel expansion.
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and three of the New York City Retirement Systems (the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System, and Board of Education Retirement System) have brought forward a shareholder resolution asking RBC to set absolute greenhouse gas reduction targets. To date, the bank has only set targets for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases per dollar invested, which allows the growth of its financed emissions.
This irresponsible and disrespectful move by RBC comes days after traditional owners of the Tiwi Islands in so-called Australia lodged human rights complaints against 12 banks – including RBC – for involvement in a $4.7 billion gas project. Last week, a large force of RCMP C-IRG raided a Gidimt’en village site, and arrested five land and water defenders, mostly Indigenous women on behalf of the RBC-financed CGL pipeline.
All of this highlights that RBC has no interest in reconciliation or the rights of Indigenous peoples. They are more focused on their bottom line at the expense of human rights.
RBC is currently under investigation by the Competition Bureau of Canada for allegedly misleading consumers with climate-related advertising while continuing to increase financing for coal, oil and gas.
INTERVIEWS ARE AVAILABLE WITH INDIGENOUS DELEGATES IMPACTED.
For more information, please contact:
Kari Vierimaa, KPW Communications,
[email protected]; 416-578-0488
Laura Bergamo, Communications officer, Greenpeace Canada
[email protected]; 438-928-5237