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One of the trustees responsible for making pension plan decisions for the University of Victoria is defending more than four million dollars worth of investments in Enbridge, the company behind the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project.
"Our practise has not been to divest. Our practise is to use our influence as a shareholder to work on the responsible management of companies."
Kristi Simpson is responding to criticism from environmentalists, who say U-Vic has an ethical responsibility to make better choices.
"These are investments of individual plan members, not of the university, so as a trustee on that board, my first responsibility is always to the financial best interest of members. Members interests are very diverse. We, as a board of trustees, our role is to look at interests of all members collectively."
Similar pressure applied last year saw Vancity Credit Union stop investing in Enbridge, but Simpson says no complaints have been filed by any members of the pension plan.