I would like to follow up to COPE’s Jan. 29th press release “Vision Vancouver city councillor owns oil stock despite party’s green stance,” and a subsequent article that appeared in 24Hours “Vancouver councillor divests after oil stocks questioned“.
Ensuring accountability and transparency is a full time job, and one that none of us has the luxury of quitting. I try to do my part, and I am grateful when others do theirs.
Almost a decade ago I purchased stock in Canadian-owned Sherritt International because they were the only mining company in the world who defied the American embargo in Cuba. There they set up nickel mines, not coal as Mr. Louie asserts. Their Cuban nickel mines are world renowned for their environmental standards. One application for this nickel is to make cheaper solar cells. The Cuban government uses the royalties Sherritt helps pay for high quality and free health care, education and housing to its citizens. Sherritt and the Cuban government co-own electrical plants that are part of the National Electric System.
While it was an investment, it was motivated much more by the desire to support infrastructure in Cuba than by financial gain; in fact I have lost something like 75% of my initial investment as the stock has dropped considerably over the years. I mention this to underline why I selected Sherritt stock.
It is news to me that Sherritt diversified into coal mining. I do not endorse the coal industry nor do I believe in “clean coal”. I am grateful to Mr. Louie and other community members for bringing this to my attention. In my (new) understanding, the coal mining in question is done in Canada, and is a 50-50 partnership between Sherritt and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. That being said, I again emphasize that I do not believe “clean coal” exists, and disapprove of Sherritt’s coal operations. I am going to look into this immediately.
My original stance is unchanged however. Equating my investments with Mr. Louie’s investment and support for hydrauling fracturing (“fracking”) is cynical and misleading.
I’ll take Sherritt over Raymond Louie’s investments in fracking any day of the week.