The 2022 CPPIB Year-end results show increased public pension investment in Israeli war crimes
CPPIB had $524M (up from $513M in 2021) invested in 11 companies of the 112 companies listed on the UN Database as complicit with violations of international law. Investments in WSP, the Canadian headquartered company providing leadership to the Jerusalem Light Rail was $2953M (up from $2583M in 2021, and $1683M in 2020). In addition, the CPPIB is invested in 27 companies, (valued at $7016M) identified by AFSC Investigate as complicit with Israeli human rights and international law violations. CPPIB is also invested in two other companies of concern, ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, $3M, and Wix.com Ltd, $4M. In total, the CPPIB is invested in at least $10500M funds supporting Israeli war crimes.
See full results below
Third CPPIB Annual report, with thousands of calls to CPPIB to divest
In March 2021, 70+ organizations from across Canada and around the world, and 130+ individuals including former federal members of parliament Libby Davies & Jim Manly, former UN rapporteur John Dugard, Chris Hedges former NY Times bureau chief, academics, faith community leaders, labour leaders & many others sent a letter to the CPPIB urging divestment from funds listed on the UN Database—funds complicit with Israeli war crimes.
The Canadian Postal Workers Union, the American Friends Service Committee, Al-Haq, the Palestinian Canadian Congress, Independent Jewish Voices, the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, Boycott from Within, World BEYOND War, and many other labour, faith, civil society, human rights and grassroots organizations joined with the Canadian BDS Coalition and its member groups in this call. See the full list of organizations below.
The message to the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board was that Canada’s public pension plan needs to divest from companies identified by the UN as supporting Israeli war crimes.
See the full list of signatories and the letter to the CPPIB.
Thousands of Canadians say: CPPIB stop investing our public pension in war crimes. Over 5600 letters were sent during 2021 to the CPPIB and Federal Finance Minister.
The UN Database
The UN Database was released on February 12, 2020 in the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/43/71) after the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the oPt, including East Jerusalem. There are a total of 112 companies included on the UN list.
CPPIB 2020 Year-End Investment in Israeli War Crimes
Based on CPPIB’s March 31, 2020 annual listing of equity holding, the CPPIB showed being invested in eight companies that are listed in the United Nations database. The United Nations (UN) Database of companies complicit with human rights violations. The CPPIB investments in the companies listed in the UN Database made up $97 M of $101,255 M of CPPIB Foreign Publicly-Traded Equity Holdings as of March 31, 2020.
Based on our review of the 2020-year end CPPIB’s Canadian public equity holding, the portfolio was dominated by one company. It seems unusual that any company would make up over 50 percent of Canadian investments in the CPPIB. This company, WSP Global, is a Canadian management and consulting firm that specializes in engineering projects. This company, according to Who Profits, is involved in the planning of the Israel railway system that crosses into the occupied West Bank and constitutes settlement infrastructure. The CPPIB investment in WSP Global was 21,064,000 shares with a market value of $1,683 million as of March 31, 2020. This one investment made up more than 53.6% of Canadian publicly traded equity holding. See Canadian Publicly-Traded Equity Holdings.
Read more about the 2020 year-end CPPIB investments.
Commitment to Review by CPPIB
In March 2021, the CPPIB indicated they would do a review and be back in touch. So far, since then the CPPIB has remained silent.
CPPIB 2021 Year-End Investment in Israeli War Crimes
The 2021 CPPIB Annual Report indicated increased investments in Israeli war crimes with at least 10 companies identified by the UN as complicit in war crimes.
The CPPIB investments in the companies listed in the UN Database made up $513 M of $134,226 M of CPP Foreign Publicly-Traded Equity Holdings as of March 31, 2021. USA companies, Airbnb and Expedia make up $481M of this investment, with the other nine entities valued at $32 M.
Changes since March 31, 2020, included investment in Airbnb and Delek. There was a decrease in shares held and value of Expedia, and an increase in shares held and value of Booking Holdings and Motorola.
The CPPIB investment in WSP Global was at over 21K shares with a market value that increased from March 31, 2020 of $1,683 million, to $2,583 M as of March 31, 2021.
Read more about the 2021 year-end CPPIB investments.
CPPIB 2022 Year-End Investment in Israeli War Crimes Grows
- Increased CPPIB investment in companies listed by UN as complicit in war crimes
CPPIB 2022 investments in companies listed by the UN as complicit with Israeli war crimes include:
Airbnb Inc. (12 shares, $3M), E, United States
Bank Hapoalim B.M, (794 shares, $10M), E, F, Israel
Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M, (992 shares, $13M), E, F, Israel
Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication Corp Ltd. (1010 shares, $2 M), E, G, Israel
Expedia Group Inc., (566 shares, $138 M), E, United States
First International Bank of Israel (33 shares, $2 M) E, F, Israel
Israel Discount Bank Ltd., (790 shares, $6 M), E, F, Israel
Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd. (99 shares, $5 M), E, F, Israel
Shufersal Ltd., (137 shares, $2 M), E, G, Israel
Booking Holdings Inc (114 shares, $334 M), E, United States
Motorola Solutions Inc., (30 shares, $9M), B, United States
.38% of the total $136,107 M
*Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 defined the database by reference to the listed activities compiled by the fact-finding mission in its report. (See the codes below)
You can review the details associated with each of these companies listed on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report.
Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc made up $472M (90%+) of the investment. During 2022, CPPIB divested from Delek Group Ltd – Delek US Holding Inc., (50 shares, $1M), E, G, Israel & USA but added First International Bank of Israel (33 shares, $2 M) E, F, Israel. All remaining holdings increased in shares and/or values, with all maintaining or increasing in fair value except for a drop in Booking Holdings Inc.
- CPPIB investment in WSP, the project manager for the Jerusalem Light Rail project
This company, WSP Global, is a Canadian management and consulting firm that specializes in engineering projects. This company, according to Who Profits, is involved in the planning of the Israel railway system that crosses into the occupied West Bank and constitutes settlement infrastructure. AFSC Investigate describes WSP as “a Canadian management and consulting firm that specializes in engineering projects. Involved in the planning of the Israel railway system that crosses into the occupied West Bank.”
WSP continues to dominate the Canadian public equity fund, with $2953 Million of WSP holdings representing over 35% of the total portfolio. While the percentage of holdings has reduced from 54% in 2020, the total holding has increased with 2020 holdings being valued at $1683 Million and 2021 holdings at $2583 Million.
- CPPIB is invested in 27 additional companies deemed by AFSC to be in violation of international law
There are an additional 27 companies that CPPIB is invested in that have been deemed by AFSC Investigate to have substantial, ongoing, and intentional complicity in severe violations of human rights and international law related to occupied Palestine and the Syrian Golan.
(in Millions of dollars)
Note: information about the mentioned companies, have been verified by Who Profits, an independent Israeli research organization and/or the American Friends Service Committee “Investigate” as per links provided with each of companies listed.
- Two additional companies that CPPIB is invested in that the Canadian BDS Coalition have boycott campaigns include:
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd, $3M
Wix.com Ltd, $4M
Included in the AFSC Investigate is several organizations that the Canadian BDS Coalition has ongoing campaigns underway.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, and both companies are part of an oligopoly of companies who benefit from selling to the Palestinian captive market as verified by Who Profits, an Israeli research center.
Palantir Technologies Inc. provides their Artificial Intelligence (AI) predictive system to Israeli security forces, to identify people in occupied Palestine. Palantir provides the same mass surveillance tools to law enforcement agencies and police departments, circumventing warrant procedures. In the USA, Palantir has multi-million-dollar contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that aid in human rights abuses, like family separation and deportations. The Canadian BDS Coalition has a campaign related to the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) over 2 M shares valued at over $56 M USD in Palantir holdings. This relationship flies in the face of the recently offered RBC option of a market-linked guaranteed investment certificate based upon environmental, social, and governance investigations which preclude investments in divisive and dangerous elements of society.
PayPal, described by AFSC Investigate as a global leader in online payments and money transfers. Discriminates against Palestinians in its services.
The letter to the CPPIB
The CPPIB is accountable to Parliament and to federal as well as provincial ministers who serve as the CPP stewards. The CPPIB is governed and managed independently from the CPP itself and operate at arm’s length from governments.
The accountability is ultimately to our stewards – the federal Finance Minister and the Finance Ministers of the participating provinces.
Along with the CPPIB, we bring this investment in war crimes to the Federal Minister of Finance.
Demands of CPPIB
1.Divest immediately from:
-United Nations (UN) identified companies held by CPPIB, and ensure that no investments in the future include these UN identified companies
-companies identified by AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) Investigate
-Zim Shipping specifically related to its role in supporting two way military trade between Canada and Israel, and in facilitating the shipment of products from illegally occupied Palestine and the Syrian Golan.
2. Take steps to diversify the Canadian equity portfolio.
3. Review all portfolios for any other investments that are in violation of international law
4. Put in place a transparent process to ensure that companies are vetted for violations of human rights and international law.
The concerns that we raise are also in the broader context of ethical investment related to Canada’s public pension fund investment including in mining, fossil fuels, private health care, and other issues of justice and humanitarian concern.
We ask the CPPIB to take all steps necessary to ensure that the activities of all companies included in all of its portfolio are in compliance with international law governing war crimes. We remind you that in Canada, parties that are complicit in war crimes are liable to criminal prosecution under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, including corporations.
 S.C. 2000, c. 24. R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, ss. 22.1-22.2.
Academics for Palestine-Concordia
Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition
American Friends Service Committee
Australian Palestinian Professionals Association – APPA
BACBI (Belgian Campaign for an Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)
Barrnard-Boecker Centre Foundation
Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
Canada Palestine Association
Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver
Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet)
Canadian Arab Network
Canadian BDS Coalition
Canadian Council for Justice and Peace
Canadian Foreign Policy Institute
Canadian Friends of Kashmir
Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec (CPFQ)
Canadian Syrian Cultural Association
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
Canadians Against Israeli settlements
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
Canadians for Peace and Justice in Kashmir
Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land (CJPHL)
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Victoria
Coalition to Oppose Arms Trade (COAT)
Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche Orient
Council of Canadians, Kitchener-Waterloo Chapter
Council on International Relations – Palestine
Denman Island Peace Group
Educators for Justice (Waterloo Catholic School Board)
Educators for Peace and Justice
Foundation for Sustainability and Peacemaking in Mesoamerica
Friends of Kashmir Canada
Hamilton Coalition To Stop The war
Independent Jewish Voices Canada
International Solidarity Movement
Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
Just Peace Committee-BC
Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, St. John’s, NL
Justice for Palestinians, Calgary
Labor for Palestine, USA
Labour for Palestine-Canada
Mid-Islanders for Justice and Peace in the Middle East
Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine-Israel (NMJPI)
Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Palestine Solidarity Collective at York University
Palestinian and Jewish Unity
Palestinian Canadian Congress
Palestinian Solidarity Collective at York
Palestinian Youth Movement – Toronto
Pax Christi Toronto
Peace Alliance Winnipeg
Press for Conversion!
Regina Peace Council
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Science for Peace
Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group
Socialist Action / Ligue pour l’Action socialiste
Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) Queen’s University
Spring Socialist Network
Sudbury Palestinian Solidarity
The Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec
The Vanier Team
Toronto Solidarity with Palestine
U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Union Juive Française pour la Paix UJFP
Vegans for BDS
World BEYOND War
The Legend for Human Rights Council Resolution 31/36
*Human Rights Council resolution 31/36 defined the database by reference to the listed activities compiled by the fact-finding mission in its report, which include:
B: The supply of surveillance and identification equipment for settlements, the wall and checkpoints directly linked with settlements.
E: The provision of services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements, including transport.
F: Banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and the development of businesses.
G: The use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes.