44 Hucknall Road
September 27, 2017
To: The UCC General Council Executive for its November 2017 meeting
From: The United for Mining Justice Network
Dear friends: The United for Mining Justice Network was established as a United Church advocacy network at a national gathering in 2013. The Network held a national meeting at the Sandy-Saulteaux Centre May 5 to 7, 2017. The gathering included United Church members and ecumenical and indigenous friends of the Network. At this meeting, the Network strongly endorsed the proposal of the Church in Action Committee of Maritime Conference which requested that the General Council Executive ask the UCC Pension Board to reconsider its decision to refuse to divest from Goldcorp. This proposal was subsequently passed overwhelmingly by the 2017 Annual Meeting of Maritime Conference and it will be considered at the November 17 to 19 General Council Executive meeting (proposal below).
We want to add that the United for Mining Justice Network meeting expressed dismay that the UCC Pension Board would continue to invest in Goldcorp. This is a Canadian mining company that has not respected the right to free, prior and informed consent when the United Church has taken a clear and public stance – in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – of supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and when the United Church has clearly expressed its will that the Pension Board divest from Goldcorp.
We are also attaching a letter sent to the UC Observer by Jacinda Mack, a representative of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining, and the inspiring guest speaker at the United for Mining Justice national gathering. She eloquently expresses the sentiment we in the Network share.
Yours in solidarity with suffering sisters and brothers here and abroad,
Rev. Robert McElhinney For United for Mining Justice Network
Maritime Conference Proposal passed at its May 2017 Meeting
The Maritime Conference ask the General Council Executive to request that the UCC Pension Board reconsider its decision to refuse to divest from Goldcorp.
Backgrounder to Proposal
Whereas the UCC Pension Board has refused to divest from Goldcorp, in spite of the will of the United Church expressed in the General Council 42 resolution: The 42nd General Council (2015), responding to the ethical imperative of our faith as expressed in the social policies of the United Church of Canada, and commitments to partnership and right relations including free, prior and informed consent, instructs the General Secretary to communicate to the UCC Pension Board that the will of the church is to divest of its shares in Goldcorp and make public that divestment.
Whereas the Maritime Conference Mining the Connections Working Group sent a letter in April 2017 to the General Council Executive, as the Administrator of the UCC Pension Plan, asking that the General Council Executive request that the Pension Board reconsider its decision, based on the detailed information and social harms of Goldcorp mining projects in Guatemala provided by the Mining the Connections Working Group in its letter of April 2017