Dozens of celebrities are voicing their opposition to the Coastal GasLink pipeline that is to cross unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in northern British Columbia by demanding that the Royal Bank of Canada divest of its financial support for the project.
RBC is the parent company of City National Bank, sometimes called the “Bank of the Stars” for its Hollywood connections. On Wednesday, an open letter was posted on nomoredirtybanks.com signed by celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Taika Waititi, Ava DuVernay and Julianne Moore.
“By bolstering RBC’s portfolio, rating and spare capacity, our ‘star bank’ helps projects that violate Indigenous rights, as stated by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. male. We refuse to allow our industry’s bank of choice to be unethical at any level, to accelerate the climate crisis, or to facilitate the abuse (of) the rights of Indigenous peoples. we in the letter.
“We, the undersigned, demand that City National Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Canada, withdraw its support for the Coastal GasLink pipeline, effective immediately. »
The letter highlights RBC’s significant involvement in the pipeline – the bank is leading the list of financiers for the $6.6 billion project by co-financing a $6.5 billion loan, a $40 million business loan and $200 million in co-funded working capital.
The call comes after Wet’suwet’en leaders promised to take the fight against Coastal GasLink to the banks. In December, Hereditary Chief Wet’suwet’en Woos urged the National Australia Bank to abandon the pipeline.
In an online press conference launching the letter, Gidimt’en Checkpoint spokeswoman Sleydo’ spoke about the ‘reoccupation’ she and others have undertaken over the past few years in the territory Wet’suwet’en in an effort to stop construction of the pipeline, which was met with raids by militarized police and numerous arrests. The event was moderated by Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Senior Director of Indigenous Climate Action.
Sleydo’ said, While this campaign is about the Coastal GasLink pipeline, it addresses a much larger issue of violence: the Canadian government and corporations are undermining Indigenous sovereignty and Wet’suwet’en law by enforcing an injunction granted to Coastal GasLink.
“Most recently, in November 2021, we experienced one of the most violent raids to date on Wet’suwet’en territory. It was only a few months after a letter was sent to RBC asking them to meet with us to talk about the atrocities that were happening on our territory, where we received a generic response explaining how RBC respects indigenous peoples and respects the rights Indigenous peoples and believed that Coastal GasLink did the necessary consultation and due diligence to move forward with this project,” Sleydo’ said.
“And meanwhile, a few months after that response, I was surrounded in my home on the land with indigenous youths and other land defenders as they pointed assault rifles at my face.”
The parent company of City National Bank, sometimes referred to as the “Bank of the Stars”, is facing pressure from high-profile Hollywood stars like @MarkRuffalo over its funding of the #CoastalGasLink pipeline in northern BC.
Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief Na’Moks was also present and stressed the importance of lobbying financial institutions like RBC, noting, “It’s time to make choices and to make those choices for the best of all. .
In response to the next steps following the letter, Ruffalo said that if RBC did not withdraw its money from Coastal GasLink, the signatories would withdraw their business from City National Bank and post the alternative financial institutions they would go with on their campaign site. .