March 3rd Rally Against RBC Oil Sands Support

by Emily on March 2, 2010

in Activism, Climate change, Oil sands

Tomorrow, March 3rd, representatives from several First Nations groups are attending the RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) general meeting of shareholders at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Their intent is to demand that RBC recognize the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent for Indigenous communities and for the company to suspend its monetary support backing the tar sands expansion.

They intend to voice their concerns about the tar sands’ negative impact on the rights of Indigenous peoples, as well as the destruction of ecosystems and increase of Canada’s carbon emissions.

Speakers will include:

  • Eriel Deranger – Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  • Gitz Crazyboy – Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  • Terry Teegee – Vice-Chief Carrier Sekani Tribal Council
  • Warner Naziel – Wet’suwet’en First Nation, Hereditary Chief
  • Ron Plain – Aamjiwnaang First Nation
  • Chief Al Lameman – Beaver Lake First Nation
  • Music will be provided by Samba Elegua

There will be a non-violent rally outside of the Convention Centre at 2:00 pm to show solidarity with First Nations representatives.

  • When: morning actions, rally @ 2:00pm, March 3, 2010
  • Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

For more information on the rally please contact: Dave Vasey (

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan March 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

Outside the building where I work in Ottawa, there are five or six anti-oil sanads advocates. (There is an RBC down in the lobby.)

They are handing out an AdBusters style pamphlet making fun of RBC’s greenwashing and commitment to the oil sands.

. March 3, 2010 at 9:30 am

Last week, over 5,000 of you sent emails asking the CEO of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to stop financing the dirtiest oil project on Earth-the Alberta tar sands. Thank you so much!

Rainforest Action Network is continuing to keep the pressure on RBC this week and we hope you will, too.

Make a toll-free call to RBC today and ask them to quit backing the tar sands.

At this very moment, representatives from four Indigenous communities across Canada have joined RAN inside RBC’s annual shareholder meeting to demand that the bank stop backing the tar sands project, which is poisoning their homeland.

More than 150 activists are rallying outside the RBC shareholder meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Center today to support Canada’s First Nations in demanding that RBC honor the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This declaration includes the essential right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for tar sands mining within their homelands.

Stand behind these Indigenous communities and protect the last remaining boreal forests by calling RBC now.

Thank you so much for rallying behind Canada’s First Nations and one of the most biodiverse regions in North America.

For the forests,
Brant Olson, Eriel Deranger and Joshua Kahn Russell
Freedom From Oil Campaign

. March 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

A fund for climate chaos
RBS investment in tar sand exploitation is a highly irresponsible use of public bailout money

Do you feel comfortable about your money financing global warming and weakening government transparency in poor countries? If not, take a hard look at the Royal Bank of Scotland and ask yourself ask why a bank that depends on public funds is subverting national policies on climate change and international development.

Unlike banker bonuses, the lending practices of recapitalised banks have so far escaped scrutiny. When RBS issued its recent results statement media interest locked on to operating losses and pay awards. Few questions have been asked about what the bank has been doing with the government’s 84% stake.

But next week, parliament’s environmental audit committee will hold an inquiry on the mandate of UK Financial Investments (UKFI) – the body charged with looking after the taxpayer interest in RBS and other banks. It will ask whether that mandate is helping or hindering Britain’s efforts to promote low-carbon economic growth.

With RBS this is an open and shut case. Since recapitalisation, it has been bankrolling some of the world’s most ecologically destructive investments. RBS is a global leader in underwriting loans for companies such as Shell and Conoco Philips, exploiting oil tar sands in Canada’s Alberta province. Detailed analysis by People and Planet, the environmental organisation, documents a tar sand portfolio that has grown by $2.7bn since the government bailout.

The damage inflicted by this lending is hard to overstate. When it comes to climate change, tar sand is a toxic asset. This is because the oil has to be released through high pressure steam pumping – producing a single barrel of oil from tar sands releases three times as much CO2 as a barrel of conventional oil. So why is a government working for an international agreement to cut carbon emissions allowing RBS to back investments that are driving up global warming?

Official answers to that question have lacked credibility. Lord Myners, the financial services secretary, maintains that UKFI has a duty to manage the taxpayer stake on “a commercial basis”. Leaving aside Treasury rules requiring ministers to consider the environmental impacts of public spending, tar sand investment is only commercially viable if you resort to madhouse economics.

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