In the News

Items pop up in the news with a socially responsible investing (SRI) angle. Sometimes I write about their immediate impact and sometimes I examine their historical context or wider impact.

“GivingTuesday is the world’s largest generosity movement.”

This special day is now celebrated in over 80 countries around the world. On top of that, there are 47 different local chapters right here in Canada. 

Here it is, the first Tuesday after American Thanksgiving. As Canadians, we finished our turkey leftovers weeks ago, but… 

As polls show Canadian voters beginning to sour on Justin Trudeau, speculation has grown around the possibility of his resigning as Liberal leader and Prime Minister before the next election and the selection of a new Liberal leader in time for the next federal election. And even if he does run again in the next election  and win that one, there will come a time when Trudeau will need to step down,

Although the most popular choice to replace Trudeau is Christia Freeland, the current Minister of Finance, another name getting a lot of attention is Mark Carney.

I have been thinking a lot about boycotts this year because they seem to me to have taken on a new dimension here in 2023. And as we say goodbye to another Pride month, the efforts at boycotts based on conservative anger at “woke” corporate identification has taken up a lot of space in the media of late.

If someone had asked you about boycotts this time last year, you would have probably thought of the boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics, the anti-Apartheid campaign throughout the second half of the last century, or maybe even the Montgomery Bus Boycott from the 1950s. Now the news is filled with stories calling for the boycott of various American companies because of their support for the LGBTQ community and Pride.

Boycotts have a long history in various communities’ efforts to bring about social change through economic pressure. And as you will no doubt agree, some of those campaigns gained a great deal of attention – some even brought about social change. Others never caught on, died away, and were forgotten. Read more

Putin’s little escapade has fundamentally affected many political and economic conversations, including the need to push towards renewable energy. A significant portion of the oil and LNG used in Europe originates in Russia and threats to shut off that supply threatens to have a significant immediate impact on the European economy. By converting to renewable energy, Europe can avoid that trap.

During the summer of 2020, in the midst of COVID quarantines, economic shutdowns, and social and political unrest, one story jumped out to catch my attention. At the end of August Brookfield Asset Management announced that Mark Carney was joining their management team as a vice-chairman responsible for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategy.

Carney has been an advocate for active financial investment on environmental issues for a long time. This appears to be the perfect opportunity for him to continue that work.

In addition to his role at Brookfield, Carney is also the UN special envoy for climate change and finance.

Were you as shocked as I was when they announced that Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) had been sold to Kingsway Capital Management, an American investment firm, in the fall of 2020? I think it’s safe to say this shook many members deeply – how could that be?

Postal banking – say what?
Last year, I read about an effort to bring basic banking services back to US post offices. There have been efforts in Canada in the last few years to re-introduce postal banking here as well.

Postal banking is not a new idea. According to Wikipedia, the Brits introduced the first postal bank in 1861. That article listed postal banks in 31 countries around the world. While some of those services are not running anymore, many are still serving their communities.