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Eco group targets pipeline investors

May 11 2012

A Vancouver Island-based environmental group is pushing Vancity Credit Union to divest itself of investments linked to Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline.

Zoe Blunt, spokeswoman for WildCoast.ca and the Forest Action Network, said she was surprised to find Vancity, considered socially conscious, included Enbridge stocks within its "socially responsible investment" mutual funds.

"We have given Vancity a deadline at the end of the year and, if they don't divest from Enbridge, we are going to divest from Vancity," Blunt said.

Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman could not be reached, but a statement from the credit union said it uses socially responsible investing as a tool to try to improve "the social, environmental and governance performance of companies."

The approach Vancity has taken with Enbridge is consistent with the changes credit union members want to see, it said.

"If the Northern Gateway Pipeline proceeds, given the position we have taken that considers the environmental, membership, market and financial conditions, we would be compelled to re-evaluate our position on Enbridge," the statement said.

Blunt said groups that oppose the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline, which would carry bitumen from the Alberta oilsands to Kitimat, would continue to target Enbridge investors.

"This is just the start, and from small cracks you get big faults," she said.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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