February 16, 2017

Université Laval Divests from Fossil Fuels, Responses from across Canada

Multiple Cities – In response to the Université Laval announcement yesterday that they would be divesting from all fossil fuel companies, divestment organizers across Canada issued these responses:

“We welcome the creation of this committee and we will actively participate in it to showcase the environmental values that motivated our approach, but also to bring a student voice in this process.

Without doubting the sincerity of Laval University, we will make sure that this announcement is more than a public relations exercise or that it sinks into oblivion after the rectorate elections. Throughout the divestment process, exemplary transparency will be required. This is in particular what will enable Laval University to maintain the support and trust of our movement as well as of the student community.”

Alice-Anne Simard, Organizer with ULaval sans fossiles
[email protected] | 418 803-4992

“The University of Laval announced today that they will fully divest from fossil fuels. It’s the first time a Canadian University to take a stand like this against the industry. This commitment will no doubt be a huge boost for the hundreds of students across the country also pushing for their administrations do the same. The University of Laval is demonstrating what climate leadership really looks like. It’s time for others to follow suit.”

Katie Perfitt, 350.org Canada Divestment Organizer + co-coordinator of Fossil Free Canada
[email protected] | 613-250-0302

“The announcement today that the Université Laval has publicly and formally committed to divest from fossil fuels is a win for students and for ULaval sans fossiles. At a time when new, real leadership on climate change is so needed, it is heartening to see the University of Laval take this step away from the fossil fuel industry. Student-led campaigns across Canada will continue to push hard to see their administrations follow in these footsteps.”

Kiki Wood, National Director of the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition + co-coordinator of Fossil Free Canada, [email protected] | 902-489-3925

“We hear all the time from our administrations that divestment is unrealistic, that it’s too drastic, that it just can’t be done. This is despite the fact that the moral and the financial case for divestment are on our side. Up until this point, the fact that no other university had agreed to fully divest was used as a trump card for our administrations to get out of making such a commitment. With Université Laval’s choice to divest, universities don’t have that to fall back on. This is a huge win for our movement in Canada.”

Mitchell van Ineveld, organizer with Divest uWinnipeg
[email protected] | 204-793-7877

“I applaud the University of Laval administration for their decision and congratulate ULaval sans fossiles for their win. Despite our years of campaigning, universities like Dalhousie have now lost the opportunity to be leaders in fossil fuel divestment. However, we strongly encourage them to follow U Laval’s lead and divest now.”

Laura Cutmore, organizer with Divest Dal in Halifax, Nova Scotia
[email protected] | 647-381-3686

“Earlier this week, the University of British Columbia announced that 1% of its 1.4 billion dollar Endowment will be put into a fossil free fund. It’s amazing to see the University of Laval commit divesting 100% of their endowment and I hope UBC takes note of what true climate leadership looks like.”

Stephanie Glanzmann, organizer with UBCC350 in Vancouver, BC
[email protected] | 778-927-1275

“At McGill University, after four years of campaigning, our Principal is still convinced that fossil fuel companies do not cause grave social injury. Thus, it is incredibly encouraging to see university administrators in Canada finally side with science and students over the fossil fuel industry. Hopefully, this brave first step by Université Laval will give McGill administrators the necessary courage to take action for justice; to take the community’s longstanding calls for divestment to heart and commit to a more ethical endowment fund.”

Jed Lenetsky, Organizer with Divest McGill in Montreal, Quebec
[email protected] 514-889-5882

““Mount Allison University should feel deeply ashamed and embarrassed, in light of this news, for dismissing its opportunity to be the first university to commit to fossil fuel divestment. Instead, we see climate leadership from University of Laval, who not only has a greater endowment than Mount Allison University, but has also demonstrated dedication to students by investing in their future –something that Mount Allison University refuses to acknowledge. University of Laval is climate justice leader, and I hope that Mount Allison University can follow in their footsteps.”

Tina Oh, Organizer with Divest MTA in Sackville, New Brunswick
[email protected]