Decolonial Solidarity calls on RBC to defund the CGL pipeline, stop the criminalization of Wet’suwet’en land defenders

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by Decolonial Solidarity – RBC at Bank St and First.

The Toronto Star reports: “[RBC CEO Dave] McKay said the bank is poised to release new targets for reducing emissions across its lending portfolio by 2030. The numbers, which he said will be released in the next two to three weeks, will include information on the current level of emissions across the majority of RBC’s lending operations.”

Significantly, Stand.earth has documented: “RBC is among top commercial banks providing the CGL project with working capital, including CAD $275 million in project finance, a co-financed $6.5 billion loan, a $40 million corporate loan, and $200 million in co-financed working capital – while acting as financial advisor for the pipeline.”

And according to the Indigenous Environmental Network and Oil Change International report Indigenous Resistance Against Carbon (page 16), the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline could produce 125 million metric tons of CO2 pollution annually.

Construction on the pipeline is scheduled to be completed in 2023 and would be in service for a minimum of 25 years (to 2048).

Since January 2019, more than 74 land defenders, legal observers and members of the media have been arrested in three militarized Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) actions on the territory. And over the three-month period of March to May 2022, the RCMP have been at their main camp near the drill pad site 269 times.

That drill pad site is now operational and boring under the Wedzin Kwa river.

Photo: Land defender Sleydo’.

Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokesperson Sleydo’ has stated: “By financing the Coastal GasLink pipeline, RBC is choosing to bypass our right to free, prior, and informed consent and instead justify police violence against unarmed Wet’suwet’en people to push the project through. As an Indigenous woman, I have experienced violence by militarized RCMP to forcibly remove me from my own territory, criminalize me, and jail me. RBC is willing to risk the killing of unarmed Wet’suwet’en people by police to push this project through sovereign lands.”

In response to calls for divestment, McKay says: “The worst thing we can do is take capital away before we decide how we’re going to make the transition. We need a plan.” But a significant part of a transition is respecting inherent rights and the United Nations recognized right to free, prior and informed consent now.

RBC CEO McKay.

More than 392 people have called McKay this week demanding that he defund CGL. To find out how to leave a voicemail for McKay, click here.

For more on Decolonial Solidarity, click here.

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