Peter Foster: “Look who’s demonizing Canadian oil“
Next month, in Montreal, an organization called the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition, CYCC , is set to hold a “convergence” on pressuring institutions such as pension funds and university endowments to ditch their shares in Canadian oil and gas companies.
… the CYCC isn’t some Quixotic group of young idealists. Its divestment thrust is the offshoot of an international campaign — backed by big U.S. foundations … part of the same movement that recently saw the Rockefeller Brothers Fund declare its intention to sell its fossil fuel interests.
Bizarrely, one of the most prominent Canadian agitators is Thomas Van Dyck, a senior executive in the Wealth Management division of the Royal Bank of Canada. CYCC has also been supported by TD Bank.
… Divest/Invest was inspired by American Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, which CYCC acknowledges as its partner in the “Fossil Free Canada” initiative.
… In January of this year, Ellen Dorsey, executive director of the Washington-based Wallace Global Fund – a major backer of radical environmental groups — launched Divest-Invest Philanthropy …
I put in a call to RBC asking how one of their senior employees could so vigorously attack their clients. In an email, the bank responded that “Tom’s stated views are his own,”
Look, I know that these greedy weasel banks are playing both ends against the middle to make a buck but they are playing with a fire that could get out of control and seriously damage the entire economy. Then where would their profits be? And our standard of living?
RBC’s email response to Foster ( “Tom’s [Van Dyck's] stated views are his own”) was disingenuous to say the least. In Moyers’ interview with radical “divest leaders” Van Dyck and Dorsey Van Dyck is identified explicitly as a Senior VP with RBC wealth management and RBC’s own web page touts his environmental activism and his eco-extremist connections:
“Van Dyck is the founder of As You Sow*, a shareholder advocacy foundation, and is active with environmental groups, including Rainforest Action Network, Baykeeper, Bioneers and Earth Rights International.”
RBC is fully aware of Van Dyck’s extreme views, connections and objectives which include the destruction of the fossil fuel industry. It is easy to conclude that RBC is more than proud to have him on “the team”. And by employing Van Dyck in a senior wealth management role RBC has put him in a strong position to promote and advance his radical, economy destroying agenda. RBC has implicitly endorsed that agenda.
If I were a major oil industry client of RBC I would be calling for Van Dyck’s head to roll, and failing that divesting myself of any business relationship with RBC.
FYC, Bill Moyers’ interview with Thomas Van Dyck and Ellen Dorsey: