Open Letter to the United Church Pension Board

September 19, 2017

March 2, 2017, Lent Day 2

 

To Whom This Concerns at the United Church of Canada’s Pension Board:

 

As a group of United Church clergy pensioners we feel alarmed that our church continues to hold investments with and in Goldcorp Inc.' operations.

 

A current analysis of this company's bad faith practices in Central America indicate explicitly that Goldcorp Inc needs to be challenged. In a thoughtful and balanced article in the current issue of Canadian Dimension, Jackie McVicar expresses that our General Council meeting in 2015 "voiced its will that its pension board divest from Goldcorp Inc. The vote passed with 78 per cent in favour, following a motion brought by four regional church bodies from across the country." She adds: Despite the UCC's recent call for solidarity with Standing Rock protesters, the church has a long history of colonizing practices..." (Winter Issue, 2017, p.23).

 

While the article adds that our pension board has, instead, sought to employ the old approach of dialogue with the practices of this bad practices mining company -- especially affecting the water, environment in general and especially indigenous peoples’ stake in the areas of Guatemala where Goldcorp Inc is at work -- we agree that mere conversation with Goldcorp Inc is insufficient. It may sound nice and even intend respect. But alas, significant pressure is required to really change damaging mining practices, tantamount to racism according the testimonies of those in the ground. Jesus’ sermon on the mount serves critical caution on how our investments are made, at whose demonic expense, so let us beware of serving mammon/wealth and: God (Matthew 6: 24!

 

We thus request our pension board to immediately reconsider its position and abide by the General Council position of 2015 to disinvest.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rev. Barry K Morris, Rev. Robert Wright, Rt. Rev. Bill Phipps, Rev. Marianna Harris, Rev. John Cashore, Rev. Dale Perkins, Rev. Dal McCrindle, Rev. Allen Tysick, and with others.

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