Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Annual Meeting
On April 13, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 5:00pm to 7:30pm at the Toronto Reference Library, in the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon on the 2nd floor. During the meeting, pension fund executives Steve McGirr, Chair; Jo Taylor, President & CEO; Charley Butler, Chief Pension Officer; and Ziad Hindo, Chief Investment Officer will “highlight our investment performance, member services and the plan’s funding status.”
The meeting is for the fund’s shareholders, who are every teacher in the publicly funded education system in Ontario who pays into the fund. A major concern at this time is how the retirement savings of teachers and education workers in Ontario are invested. The Fund’s investment in Stone Canyon Holdings Inc., is a serious concern. One of the Fund’s asset managers, Ashfaq Qadri, is even on Stone Canyon’s Board of Managers. This is a US holding company that forced concessions onto salt miners in Pugwash, Nova Scotia in 2021 after engaging in a series of dirty tricks in lieu of negotiations in good faith. It is now engaged in amoral activities which show an intention to break the union of the salt workers in Windsor, Ontario. The company hired a notorious U.S. union-busting law firm named Jackson Lewis and their Canadian counterpart, Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti LLP, to represent their interests in what are supposed to be negotiations for a new contract. But Stone Canyon is refusing to negotiate anything and instead using the power of money, the state and privilege to impose contracting out of union work and elimination of union time release.
The OTPP annual meeting meeting is an opportunity for plan members to ask questions about the OTPP’s investments and to raise the values the pension fund should base its decisions on when considering its investments. Demands to divest from unethical or morally ambiguous projects such as fossil fuel extraction are not uncommon. Divestment is the opposite of an investment — it simply means getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous or unacceptable.
To attend in-person, members had to have signed up in advance. There is currently a waiting list to attend in-person, however the meeting is also being streamed for those who register to attend virtually and those who register can also submit questions. Click here for more information.