Gillian Flude

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What were the Mine Action Fellows up to in 2023?

Do you want to know what the Mine Action Fellows were up to last year? Read our new report on their activities in 2023! 

Mines Action Canada was able to hold two in-person forums alongside international meetings in Geneva, Switzerland and 33 youth from 20 countries around the world attended. At each Forum, a Mine Action Fellow delivered opening remarks on behalf of the ICBL-CMC and delivered a final youth statement in Plenary. The Fellows also participated in activities such as having meetings with States, holding peer learning sessions, and attending Plenary. The Fellows received great recognition and feedback from diplomats and civil society who also attended the meetings. This year, the Mexican Presidency for the Cluster Munition Convention 12th Meeting of States Parties asked for a Mine Action Fellow to deliver opening remarks for their youth contest demonstrating that the Mine Action Fellows are regarded as youth leaders in disarmament spaces. In addition to the Forums, all Mine Action Fellows received a monthly learning email to increase their disarmament knowledge and promote connection with the youth network.

To learn more about what the Fellows were doing in 2023, read the report here!

Implementation is Key: EWIPA Conference 2024

Today, States who endorsed the Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA) Political Declaration gathered in Oslo, Norway for the first follow-up conference after signing the Political Declaration.

The day was filled with hearing from survivors and civil society experts, as well as statements from States. States have made some progress, but there is still much to be done. It is important that States take their commitments seriously and bridge the gap between words and action. Namely, condemning all use of EWIPA by any actor is paramount to upholding the integrity of the Declaration. Survivors brought the reality of the harm from EWIPA into the room, and we urge States to listen to survivors first and foremost. 

Canada delivered a statement which thanked survivors and first responders. Canada also highlighted that distinction, proportionality, and precaution- all basic principles of International Humanitarian Law- are not being met frequently enough. They also placed on emphasis on the importance of data- data collection, disaggregated data, transparency, and the need to develop best practices for gathering data. Mines Action Canada agrees that data plays a vital role in highlighting the issue and ensuring that victims receive the support they need. Finally, we were pleased to hear that Canada stated the importance of including gender advisors at highest level of command. This is a welcome suggestion, as it is important for gender equality to be taken seriously at all levels. Overall, we are pleased with Canada's statement but the real test will be if they follow through and implement their words, in all situations. 

Mines Action Canada hosted the first international youth seminar on EWIPA in London this February, bringing together youth from Syria, Philippines, Ukraine, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Argentina, France, and more to learn more about how to advance universalization and implementation of the EWIPA Political Declaration. At the end of the Seminar, the youth participants drafted a statement which spoke to the reality in their affected countries, and urged states to make EWIPA a practice of the past. The statement was recorded, and shown at the Oslo conference today for States, survivors, and civil society to hear.

We have uploaded the statement to YouTube and encourage you to listen to the youth's message.

 

 

          

published Canada, Don't Bank on the Bomb! in What's New 2024-04-16 16:10:18 -0400

Canada, Don't Bank on the Bomb!

What if you invest responsibly, but your bank doesn’t? This year’s “Don't Bank on the Bomb” report shows that your Canadian bank may be investing in companies that produce nuclear weapons. Check out this post to see if your financial institution is banking on the bomb, and if it is, take action!

PAX and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), regularly publish a report that details nuclear weapons producers and their investors. Their newest report, Untenable Investments, published in February 2024 finds that there are currently 287 financial institutions that invest in 24 nuclear weapons producers in the world. The good news is that there were 306 investors in the last report, so we are down 19 investors! Every year, the number of financial institutions investing in these companies decreases, showing that divestment is working. 

There are no Canadian companies producing nuclear weapons, but there are producers from some of our allied countries: the United States, United Kingdom, and France. A full list of countries who produce nuclear weapons can be found in the report

Just because Canada doesn't physically produce nuclear weapons, doesn’t mean we aren’t complicit. Investments are one way that Canada shows its support for nuclear weapons, and it does significant damage. When billions of dollars from investments go towards creating these weapons, it funds their creation. And where do these investments come from? It could be your own bank!

In Canada, there are 13 financial institutions which invest in a nuclear weapon producing company. This year, Canadian institutions invested a total of $36,601,000,000 USD in investments - that’s $50,365,538,070 ($50 billion) Canadian Dollars going towards the most indiscriminate weapon to ever exist! Some bad news is that this number is up significantly from the number last year. Canada is now investing almost 15 billion CAD more into nuclear weapons. Here is the list of financial institutions that have invested in one or more of the 24 nuclear weapons producing companies*:

  1. AGF Management:Jacobs Solutions
  2. BMO Financial Group: Boeing; Fluor; Jacobs Solutions; Leidos; Peraton; RTX
  3. Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board: Airbus Group 
  4. CI Financial: Jacob's Solutions 
  5. CIBC: Bechtel; Honeywell; L3Harris Technologies 
  6. Manulife Financial: Airbus; Huntington Ingalls Industries 
  7. Mawer Investment Management: BAE Systems; Thales 
  8. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan: Safran 
  9. Power Corporation of Canada: Northrop Grumman; Safran; Textron 
  10. Royal Bank of Canada (RBC): Airbus; BAE Systems; Boeing; Fluor; General Dynamics; Honeywell; Jacobs Solutions; L3Harris Technologies; Leidos; Lockheed Martin; Peraton; Rolls-Royce; Safran
  11. Scotiabank: General Dynamics; Honeywell; Huntington Ingalls Industries; Jacobs Solutions; L3Harris Technologies; Leidos; Northrop Grumman; Peraton; RTX
  12. Sun Life Financial: General Dynamics: Honeywell; Jacobs Solutions; L3Harris Technologies; Leidos; Northrop Grumman; Rolls-Royce; RTX; Thales
  13. TD Bank: Airbus; BAE Systems; General Dynamics; Honeywell; Huntington Ingalls Industries; Jacobs Solutions;  L3Harris Technologies;  Leidos; Lockheed Martin;  Northrop Grumman; Peraton; Rolls-Royce

If your financial institution is on the list, now is your chance to take direct action against nuclear weapons. Call, write, or email your bank and let them know what you think. Speak with customer service, and just let them know you don’t want your money invested in nuclear weapons companies. To make it easier for you, ICAN has a letter that you can copy paste and just add your and your bank’s name. 

Mines Action Canada was shocked to see that the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan is also investing in a nuclear weapons producing company, Safran. We believe that if teachers knew their hard earned pension money was being invested into this company, they would object. We think we can get the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to reconsider this investment, and hopefully drop them off the list for next year. We have written a letter specifically to target this investment, which you can download here. You can send them an email: [email protected], or write a letter to this address: 5650 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2M 4H5.

The bank’s job is to listen to your concerns. Telling your bank your concerns makes a difference- as we mentioned, 19 investors have dropped off the list since last year. We need to keep this momentum going and continue to put pressure on our financial institutions to invest responsibly. For more tips on how to express your concerns to your bank, visit this page on the Don’t Bank on the Bomb website. Let us know how your call goes by emailing us at [email protected].

Your money matters and so does your voice - so let’s use them to abolish nuclear weapons!

*Full information on Canadian Investments: 

Name of Investor (Share and bond holding) Amount in USD Millions Amount in CAD Millions Money Invested Per Weapons Company (USD Millions)
AGF Management $83 $114 Jacobs Solutions ($83)
Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board $682 $938 Airbus Group ($682)
CI Financial $114 $157 Jacob's Solutions ($114)
CIBC $176 $242 L3Harris Technologies ($176)
Manulife Financial $160 $220
Airbus ($49), Huntington Ingalls Industries ($111)
Mawer Investment Management $506 $696 BAE Systems ($271), Thales ($236)
Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan $414 $570 Safran ($414)
Power Corporation of Canada $592 $815
Northrop Grumman ($520), Safran ($24), Textron ($48)
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) $2,289 $3,150
General Dynamics ($544), Honeywell ($1,327), Leidos ($21), Safran ($397)
Sun Life Financial $8,733 $12,017
General Dynamics ($1671), Honeywell ($3275), Jacobs Solutions (86), L3Harris Technologies ($266), Leidos ($254), Northrop Grumman ($1896), Rolls-Royce ($466), RTX ($614), Thales ($205)
TD Bank $212 $292
Huntington Ingalls Industries ($42), Jacobs Solutions ($89), Textron ($81)
       
Name of Investor (Lenders and Underwriters) Amount in USD Millions Amount in CAD Millions Weapons Company
BMO Financial Group $1,798 $2,474
Boeing ($300), Fluor ($497), Jacobs Solutions ($178), Leidos ($583), Peraton ($18), RTX ($221)
CIBC $783 $1,077 Bechtel ($225), Honeywell ($558)
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) $8,347 $11,486
Airbus ($498), BAE Systems ($91), Boeing ($3004), Fluor ($100), General Dynamics ($1056), Honeywell ($684), Jacobs Solutions ($33), L3Harris Technologies ($151), Leidos ($107), Lockheed Martin ($556), Peraton ($1507), Rolls-Royce ($276)
Scotiabank $5,259 $7,237
General Dynamics ($791), Honeywell ($584), Huntington Ingalls Industries ($801), Jacobs Solutions ($361), L3Harris Technologies ($1218), Leidos ($1028), Northrop Grumman ($138), Peraton ($265), RTX ($72)
Sun Life Financial $482 $663 Peraton ($482)
TD Bank $5,971 $8,217
Airbus ($321), BAE Systems ($91), General Dynamics ($467), Honeywell ($1035), Huntington Ingalls Industries ($255), Jacobs Solutions ($494), L3Harris Technologies ($1433), Leidos ($263), Lockheed Martin ($742), Northrop Grumman ($198), Peraton ($265), Rolls-Royce ($406)
       
TOTAL $36,601 $50,366  
TOTAL IN BILLIONS $36.6 $50.4  

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