Thursday, May 10, 2012

Enbridge AGM: resolution fails, but points well made

The vote was 28.5 per cent for, 60.7 per cent against, and 10.7 per cent abstained, said Jamie Bonham, Manager, Extractives Research & Engagement at NEI Investments, the parent company of Ethical Funds.

Co filers on the resolution were Desjardins Investment and Vancity Investment Management.

Here’s the text of the resolution:

Be It Resolved That:

The Board of Directors provide a report to shareholders by May 2013 (at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information) that details how the board has assessed the risks associated with First Nations’ opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline (Gateway). The report should discuss how First Nations’ opposition will factor into the final decision to pursue Gateway. If the project will be pursued regardless of opposition, the report should detail how the company will mitigate the operational, reputational, and legal risks of such opposition.


The company’s proposed Gateway pipeline is a $5 billion project that involves over 80 Aboriginal communities and organizations. Numerous court rulings have reaffirmed that Aboriginal communities must be consulted and accommodated on developments that potentially impact their title and rights, as guaranteed in the Constitution. Gateway faces vocal opposition from several Aboriginal communities who state the project will be detrimental to these rights.

For example:

-The Coastal First Nations have signed a declaration banning crude oil tankers off the coast of Northern BC.‐downloads/Coastal%20First%20Nations%20Tanker%20Ban%20Declaration.pdf

-The First Nations Summit, representing the majority of First Nation communities in BC, issued a declaration that Gateway must not proceed without the free, prior and informed consent of the affected First Nations.

-The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, whose territory covers over 30% of the proposed pipeline route, has been clear in its opposition to the pipeline. Tribal Chief David Luggi has stated, “…as far as we are concerned, this project is not going ahead. They (Enbridge) are misleading investors that they are achieving certainty. Carrier Sekani First Nations have unequivocally said no to the project, and it is not allowed in our territories.”‐supports‐first‐nations‐against‐the‐enbridge‐pipeline/

And here’s an excerpt from the comments Jamie made at the AGM, “At the heart of our proposal is the concern we have over the significant risks that First Nations opposition poses to the Gateway project, and beyond that, the risks that face the company as a whole as a result of this opposition. Enbridge provides a good deal of information about Gateway, but it does not address this vital issue adequately in its disclosure. There appears to be a fundamental divide between the plans of the company and the expressed aspirations of many of the communities along the proposed pipeline and tanker route. The opposition appears to be significant, widespread, and hardening daily.”

Stay tuned! We're still in the early innings of this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment