TD, RBC, Scotiabank, HSBC: withdraw investments in Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) builders & affiliates
For a number of months, hundreds of Indigenous nations and non-Indigenous allies have been coming together to support the efforts of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they oppose Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Brave water protectors and allies have been facing militarized police head on to protect the lands and waters from further destruction and pollution from an oil spill.
DAPL plays into a pattern of deeply colonial behaviour on the part of resource extraction companies, consistently violating Indigenous rights declarations and reform proposals with every new pipeline project.
For example, The 92nd Call to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report states:
We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
i. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
The TRC report reinforces UNDRIP, the de facto statement on Indigenous rights globally:
Article 26.1 enshrines Indigenous peoples’ rights “to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired.”
Furthermore, Article 32.2 very clearly states that “States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.”
With a Canadian government completely unwilling to meaningfully support the TRC or UNDRIP, banks such as RBC, TD and Scotiabank are able to freely support companies that trample on the rights of Indigenous people across Turtle Island (North America). Nearly every one of the projects (including DAPL as well as the recently-approved TransMountain and Line 3 pipelines) referenced in the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, signed by over 89 First Nations across Turtle Island, has investments from these banks and others.
Now that you have the necessary background info, please read our short breakdown of how Canadian banks are fueling the situation in Standing Rock, and what to do about it:
Building a pipeline costs a lot of money. Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and its affiliate Sunoco, the companies building Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) have raised $3.75 billion of credit for the project from over 20 different banks. Several Canadian banks are involved in funding these companies:
RBC ($340mil in credit to both companies);
HSBC ($189mil in credit to both companies);
Scotiabank ($100mil in credit to one company);
TD ($365mil investment split between credit to one company and direct financing of DAPL).
This material support of ETP is crucial to the construction of DAPL, a project which has routinely violated the treaty right and human rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The loss of support from these banks would represent a huge blow to a project that is already on thin ice - not only is there unprecedented resistance to the project from water protectors, who have millions of supporters nationally and globally, but on January 1st many oil companies may cancel their contracts to ship oil through the pipeline, due to the the fall in productivity of the Bakken oil fields.
While this petition is focused on DAPL, funding of pipeline companies is almost universal across major Canadian banks. Funding data for TransCanada (Energy East, Keystone XL) and Kinder Morgan (TransMountain) obtained by the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition reveals that some of their top investors include the four banks mentioned above, as well as BMO, CIBC and CDPQ. This is why it is crucial that this conversation does not stop at DAPL, and that customers consider moving their money out of these big banks and into local credit unions or other community financial institutions.
Right now is a crucial time for banks to withdraw their funding from DAPL. The completion of this pipeline project would be a massive violation of the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux, continuing a genocidal process that has been ongoing for centuries. In a time when the Canadian public is acknowledging a history of colonialism and genocide and moving towards a climate of truth and reconciliation, it is unconscionable that the largest financial institutions in our society are providing support to this destructive and immoral project, without the consent or approval of their customers.
We are certain that most customers would not agree to have the money they have entrusted to these banks to be used to fund treaty & human rights violations. This is why we are calling on TD, RBC, Scotiabank & HSBC to follow the example set by DNB, the largest bank in Norway, and divest from Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco & the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Until these banks take this important step, we encourage their customers to move their money elsewhere. Many of us across the country have already done this, unwilling to continue to be complicit in the financing of DAPL and the other pipeline projects with which these banks are involved.
RBC, TD, Scotiabank and HSBC are all providing financial support to the companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in violation of the wishes and rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. We call on these four institutions to immediately divest from ETP, Sunoco and the DAPL project.
Winnipeg is throwing down for Standing Rock! At least 5 vehicles have travelled to Standing Rock since we all met a couple weeks ago, and local solidarity actions are popping up all over the place. A few important pieces of information and calls to action below:
There will be a solidarity action tomorrow (Tuesday) during rush hour on the four corners of Portage and Main. Please come. Please spread the word. Details here.Read more
The National Energy Board is the primary official way for citizens and organizations to participate in decision making about pipelines and other resource extraction projects. MEJC applied to participate as an Intervenor, the most effective designation for participants. We were not accepted as Intervenors and were instead downgraded to Commenter status. The denial of Intervenor status means that we do not have a strong voice in the NEB process, cannot effectively contribute our knowledge, and cannot voice our concerns within that process.Read more
In an effort to learn more about the provincial parties' positions on climate, environment, and the Energy East pipeline, the MEJC sent a list of questions to each party. We asked for simple yes or no answers to our very clear, unequivocal questions. Most parties included some commentary along with their answers, while some avoided taking an accountable position by responding with qualifications and conditions. One party (Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservatives) refused to participate at all despite numerous requests by email, telephone, and in person. We have included here our final report card as well as each party's complete response, together with a brief response from MEJC.
To view the full report card, please click this link: MEJC report card all v2
Today the Manitoba Energy justice Coalition released a report detailing the legal and political options the Government of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg have to protect citizens from the risks of the Energy East pipeline proposal.
This report explores additional regulatory and public intervention options, external to the National Energy Board review, that are available at the subnational level for assessing the Energy East pipeline project. The report is especially concerned with climate and environmental impact, and the threat to the Winnipeg aqueduct. Based on the research in this report, MEJC recommends:
- Move the pipeline away from the Winnipeg aqueduct, other drinking water sources, and natural gas lines
- Request the PUB to open an investigation into the safety of the Winnipeg aqueduct
- Request the Clean Environment Commission under its own authority to initiate an investigation into the implications of Energy East
- Carry out public education through the media of hearings (during the CEC and PUB assessments), open houses, pamphlets and flyers at political offices, and press statements.
For Immediate Release – January 11, 2016
Selinger has Fork-Tongued Position on Pipelines and Climate Change
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) denounced the Manitoba premier’s two-faced comments on the Energy East pipeline following his meeting with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. In a meeting on Friday January 8, Premiers Rachel Notley and Greg Selinger signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation on national energy issues.Read more
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) has expressed concern with the Manitoba Government’s throne speech and priorities going into the next election. The speech was devoid of clear climate policy or positions on key oil pipelines, such as TransCanada’s Energy East proposal.
The throne speech, while promising the necessary expenditures on key infrastructure and committing to protect Manitoba Hydro from privatization, highlighted how the Selinger government has yet to truly take climate change seriously as the foundation of its economic and social policies.Read more
What the Liberal Majority's Environmental Position Means For Manitobans in Opposition to the Energy East pipeline
With Justin Trudeau decisively anointed the prime minister-elect by a crimson wave, the country has waived goodbye to 10 years of Conservative majority rule and now has to reckon with the leftovers. The Conservatives have left a completely gutted environmental review process of pipelines and tar sands infrastructure, leaving pipeline projects stuck in review within a National Energy Board process which is fundamentally flawed. Under a new government there is some reason to be optimistic, though we have our work cut out for us and must remain diligent, in the short and long term, to ensure the Prime Minister is held accountable to his bold and promising campaign declarations.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2015
WINNIPEG – 350.org, Council of Canadians – Winnipeg Chapter, and Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition (MEJC) denounced Premier Selinger’s decision to sign — along with the other Canadian premiers — an agreement that fails to recognize that pipelines and climate leadership don’t mix. The agreement fails to acknowledge the importance of absolute emission reductions and and the need to stop expanding oil infrastructure in Canada.Read more
A new scientific report released today by our alliance of environmental, community, and religious groups shows that TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline would directly threaten the drinking water of more than 850,000 Manitobans, including the entire population of Winnipeg.
The report shows that every township in Manitoba has roads with ditches that channel water into streams or drains constructed around Winnipeg and other municipalities. This means that if the Energy East pipeline ruptured (the report documents TransCanada’s frequent pipeline failures), closing the valve on a major water crossing would not necessarily be effective as a rupture on even a minor water crossing could drain into waterways Manitobans depend on for water. Municipal water supplies would thus be impacted.Read more