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Council asks Ontario teachers to divest from private water

The Canwest News Service reports that, “The Ontario Teachers’ Federation is being urged to stop its pension plan managers from investing in Chile’s private water sector.”

“In a letter sent by the Council of Canadians, a social democratic advocacy group, Maude Barlow wrote that it was ‘distressing’ and of ‘great concern’ to see money from the (Ontario teachers’) pension plan being used to fuel a shift toward privatization of a public service.”

“‘I understand that the (pension plan) is supposed to be run at arm’s length but I deeply believe that if ordinary teachers in this province knew and understood that their hard-earned pension funds — public pension funds — were being used to undermine public services in other countries, they would be outraged,’ wrote Barlow, the council’s national chair.”

“She said she received a special request from utility workers and social justice and human rights groups to raise this issue during a recent trip to Chile. The record of privatization projects have in the past resulted in rate hikes, reduced environmental controls and layoffs from the companies which want to drive up profits, the letter said.”

The full article is at http://www.edmontonjournal.com/mobile/story.html?id=2529049.