Working and retired public sector employees from across Canada are calling on the federal government to remove Miranda Hubbs, director of Imperial Oil Ltd., from the board of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board with cause.
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet today, 39 PSP Investments’ members and retirees said Hubbs’ role, interests and legal obligations as a director of Imperial Oil can’t be reconciled with her fiduciary duty to contributors and beneficiaries, the core attributes and competencies of PSP’s directors or PSP’s code of conduct.
The letter cited Hubbs’ role as director and chair of the company’s community collaboration and engagement committee when Imperial Oil leaked millions of litres of oil sands tailings and toxic chemicals into Alberta waterways from its Kearl oil sands project and then hid it from regulators, the public and downstream Indigenous communities for months. It also noted Imperial Oil is under investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada for the incident.
“If a director of Imperial Oil is unable to fulfill her duties to act ethically and oversee climate-related financial risks as a director of an oil company, I have little reason to believe she can do so as a director of the Public Service Pension Investment Board,” said Cory Proulx, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and contributor to the Canadian Armed Forces pension fund, in a press release.
In May 2023, at Imperial Oil’s annual general meeting, shareholders in the oil company, including other Canadian institutional investors, voted against Hubbs’ re-election as a company director. The other investors included the British Columbia Investment Management Corp., the Investment Management Corp. of Ontario and the University Pension Plan. In the UPP’s case, it said the “UPP does not support the election of this nominee because they appear to have demonstrated a lack of sufficient [environmental, social and governance] oversight in the past.”
“Someone who serves as the director of a company that violates Indigenous rights, works to undermine Canada’s climate commitments and casually pollutes our country’s lands and waters should not be on the board of my pension fund,” said Tony Ferguson, a program officer at Natural Resources Canada and member of the Public Service Pension Plan, in the release.
The Canadian Investment Review reached out to PSP Investments for comment, but didn’t hear back in time for publication.