In-Sights: Not-Net-zero, on steroids

In 2016, the BC Liberal Government boasted that its four year program of executive salary restraint “demonstrates the effectiveness of ongoing measures to increase affordability, transparency and accountability in public sector compensation.” Increases paid to senior managers in the public sector were to be “consistent with increases provided in collective bargaining agreements under the Economic ...

In-Sights: Investing our money in companies that kill us

BC Gov't pension managers invest over $125 billion without any stated plan to invest ethically. #bcpoli #climatechange — Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) November 3, 2015 BC Gov't pension investment managers placed nearly $600 million in 11 of the world's dirty dozen companies. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/MTZ6EjIPEZ — Norm Farrell (@Norm_Farrell) November 3, 2015 BC Gov't pension investment managers ...

In-Sights: Wheels of justice turn slowly

The legal processes may be slow but that provides years of opportunity for people devoid of morality and ethics to speculate in stockholdings of the merchants of death. In the 1990s, the Government of British Columbia began legal action against tobacco manufacturers, seeking recovery of damages and costs arising from wrongful conduct of the tobacco ...

In-Sights: Farrell with Jessop, CFAX1070 August 13, 2015

The audio file below is a recording of my time with Ian Jessop August 13. We talk about bcIMC, provincial debt and other matters. Your browser does not support this audio

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Executive sweet

Thousands of BC government employees lost jobs to privatization and service cuts. Even more lost income through reductions in employment and pension benefits and, with efforts to reduce public services continuing – over 1,000 jobs gone in the last fiscal year – job security is scarce for British Columbia’s civil servants. There is however, one ...

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: The entitlement mentality

[View the story “BC Investment Management Corp.” on Storify]

Northern Insight / Perceptivity: Public service: a rewarding career

This is a small piece of information learned in my recent examination of business in Norway. In the article Two Oil Economies, I mentioned Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, the sovereign wealth fund that collects the nation’s oil and gas revenues. Based on last year’s average exchange rate, the fund is worth $1.2 trillion CAN. ...

Northern Insight: In the land of Not-Net-Zero

Teachers were advised about a year ago that their pension contributions were rising again because the plan had an unfunded liability of $855 million, up from $289 million two year before. One of the reasons was underperformance of the investment portfolio. Other pension contributors in public service — excepting senior executives and politicians — also ...

Northern Insight: The states of state affairs

Comparing remuneration of senior public officials in Washington State to BC counterparts can leave one astounded. The most obvious examples are at the publicly owned investment management agencies and the ferry operations. Despite paying substantially less to executives, both Washington State Investment Board and Washington State Ferries outperformed equivalents north of the border. In recent ...

Northern Insight: Numbed by numbers

I’ll be talking with Ian Jessop, Monday June 9, on CFAX1070. While the BC Government lays seige to public education, it seems a good time to see if all the cupboards are bare, or just the ones that might improve learning conditions in classrooms. BC teachers claim they are paid 11th best of 13 provinces ...

Northern Insight: Norm on CFAX1070 with Ian Jessop 3/31/14

Gadget Google – Lecteur multimédia de Google – http://www.liens-du-vin.ch/google-audio_player-script.htm

Northern Insight: Not a puffball comparison

A Vancouver Sun article recently offered a few outdated items about salaries paid to executives of the British Columbia Investment Management Corportion (BCimc). It was a public relations piece devoid of detail, dictated to a Postmedia stenographer. That was followed with a letter to the editor from a pension investment industry insider, not identified as ...

Northern Insight: FYI

The tobacco industry is being sued by Canadian provinces that aim to recover more than $100 billion in healthcare costs associated with tobacco related illness. British Columbia is one of the plaintiffs. Despite those principled actions, the BC Investment Management Corporation is continuing to increase its holdings of tobacco companies.

Northern Insight: Pushing back on the pushback

Anonymous reader argued through earlier comments that comparisons between BC Investment Management Corporation and Washington State Investment Board are inappropriate “apples and oranges.” The person attempted to justify huge increases in executive compensation because “Much of the compensation is based on results over the past 4 years.” This question was also posed, “What are the ...

Northern Insight: A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money

Was the Royal Bank of Canada hurt by public consternation about exporting jobs, importing foreign workers and telling tall tales about the actions? Only slightly, and only briefly, as their stock price reflects: That does not mean that individuals cannot apply continued pressure on the Royal Bank and their CEO, who earns a quarter million ...

Northern Insight: BC`s unethical investments not smoking hot

BC Investment Management Corporation may come to regret its rush to invest in big tobacco firms. After adding shares in eight of nine tobacco stocks in fiscal 2012, bcIMC had $237 million more invested in cigarette manufacturers. I can`t determine if they are still buying but eight of the nine companies in the portfolio have ...

Northern Insight: Pro-media: watchdogs or lapdogs?

Katie Hyslop has a worthwhile piece in The Tyee about the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation. Teacher Decries Pension Plan’s ‘Unethical’ Investments, The Tyee, Nov. 13/12 “[Paul] Hutcheson started researching the B.C. Teachers’ Pension Plan in 1999 after learning the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan invested in Talisman Energy. At the time Talisman, an oil and ...

Northern Insight: SNC-Lavalin & BC Liberal commonality

A reader of the piece about BC Investment Management Corporation’s holdings in unethical companies asked if the agency has a relationship with SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, it does. And, it has been a costly relationship. At the end of March 2011, the agency’s shares in SNC-Lavalin were worth over $100 million dollars. A ...

Northern Insight: Ethical performance lacking at bcIMC

I’ve been comparing the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation to the Washington State Investment Board. They’re very similar in terms of purpose and goals. Here are a few key stats: bcIMC managed $92 billion as of March 31, 2012; earned a return of 10.8% in fiscal 2011; paid top five executives $4.1 million in year ...

Northern Insight: Money speaks louder than words

According to a March 2012 Canadian Press report, “British Columbia and five other provinces are teaming up to sue Canadian tobacco firms for health-care costs. “B.C., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island are retaining a national legal team to help them prosecute Canadian tobacco companies. “…Every Canadian province and Nunavut have ...

Northern Insight: British Columbia invests in tobacco industry

Quebec launches $60B lawsuit against tobacco companies, Canadian Press, June 8, 2012 “More than half of Canadian provinces have now sued big tobacco companies in an attempt to recoup health costs, with the Quebec government announcing a $60 billion lawsuit Friday. “Six provinces have filed similar lawsuits — British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Manitoba ...

Northern Insight: Comparing investment returns WA & BC

My earlier article pointed out the vast difference in overhead costs for government investment agencies in British Columbia and Washington State. One of our readers asked: “How did our group do compared to the Washington group. Is our investment strategy so much better they deserve more money?” A quick review of agency reports provides the ...

Northern Insight: Needing leadership, we get greed

Province pundit Michael Smyth slammed provincial court judges – bellyachers of the bench, he called them – for demanding richer packages of salaries and benefits. Maybe Smyth is grinding an old axe; maybe he prefers targets that don’t answer back or don’t buy him lunch. Regardless, I’d like to introduce the columnist to a group ...