Thursday, November 09, 2006

Donald M. Raymond

Vice President - Public Market Investments
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
One Queen Street East
Suite 2700, P.O. Box 101
Toronto ON M5C 2W5

Dear Mr. Raymond,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the CPP Investment Board for adopting a new policy on responsible investing. I believe that socially responsible corporate behaviour can have a positive influence on a company’s long-term financial performance, and therefore I commend you for announcing that you are going to engage with companies to encourage improved environmental and social practices.

Secondly, I would like to draw your attention to six shareholder resolutions that address the human rights policies and practices of Canadian and American companies:
  • Alcan shareholders are calling on the company to sponsor an independent advisory committee to develop recommendations for improving community relations in Kashipur, India.
  • Chevron Corporation shareholders have submitted a resolution calling on the company to report the total costs relating to the health and environmental consequences of hydrocarbon exposures and Chevron’s remediation of Texaco drilling sites in Ecuador.
  • Dow Chemical shareholders are requesting that the company provide descriptions of any new initiatives instituted by management to address specific health, environmental and social concerns of the survivors of the Bhopal gas leak in India.
  • A Power Corporation shareholder requests the company to prepare a report describing its policies and management practices that promote and protect human rights in China and Tibet.
  • A Nortel shareholder has asked the company to cooperate with independent human rights assessments and prepare a report describing its policies and management practices that promote and protect human rights in China and Tibet.
  • A Bombardier shareholder has submitted a resolution calling on the company to develop and adopt a human rights policy.
I am concerned that the value of the Canada Pension Plan could be affected by human rights concerns associated with the companies it invests in. Lawsuits and other costs associated with these scandals could result in an increased financial burden or liability for these companies.

Furthermore, the negative publicity generated by such cases is damaging to the companies’ credibility as socially and environmentally responsible corporate citizens, and can jeopardize their ability to compete in the global marketplace. Therefore, I urge you to vote favourably for these shareholder resolutions.

Lastly, I am aware that an Ivanhoe Mines shareholder filed a resolution asking the company to describe its direct and indirect security arrangements with the Government and Military in Myanmar, and its policies and management practices that preclude it from benefiting from forced labour in Myanmar. The company has refused to circulate the resolution to its shareholders. I would appreciate it if you would engage with Ivanhoe Mines on this issue.


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