Discussion of push by Canadian Medical Association (CMA) to get the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) investments out of the tobacco business. I do not have a strong position on the subject matter. What concerns me is the motivation behind the chair's position on retaining full investment flexibility to 'protect' the mandate of CPP. Decisions made without consideration of factors beyond the straight forward objectives often lead us into trouble.
For example, in the name of profit maximisation, a company may pollute a river since after all it is built for profit not environment stewardship. Likewise, in the name of maximum return and flexibility an investment plan like CPP can act without regard to social morals, impacts of investment choices and the large role towards a positive society and economy that a $75 Billion+ investment fund can play.
*****Full Story*****from the Toronto Star
Should our CPP savings go up in smokes?
It would appear that John MacNaughton is trying most diligently this season not to be seen as the man utterly out of step with what's in, and what's out.
MacNaughton is the president of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and as the near-autumn leaves preeningly commence their transformation to fall colours, he has embarked upon a coast-to-coast road show keeping Canadians informed of the performance of the CPP, also known as your money.
Having made four western pit-stops, MacNaughton is headed next to Toronto (Oct. 7 — mark it on your calendar) and thence to St. John's and other Atlantic destinations. This is the public's chance to query the board's policies re: investing what is currently a $73 billion pot.
Granted, the CPP tour doesn't have quite the wattage of the film festival or other social scenes. The last time board reps hit the road, two years ago, just six people attended the meeting in Saskatoon, and that was in the pleasing month of June. Barely more than 100 made the pilgrimage to the Toronto gathering.
Perhaps attendance numbers will pop this year, buoyed by a fashionable controversy. To wit: the decision taken last month by the Canadian Medical Association to "implement a detailed advocacy plan" to push the government to push the CPP out of the tobacco business. The association wants to see an amendment to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board Act, one that would prohibit investments in the tobacco industry.