Tar Sands Protesters Hang Banner at RBC’s Toronto Headquarters

Primary tabs

July 28 (Bloomberg) -- Protesters hung a 15-foot-long banner at the Toronto headquarters of Royal Bank of Canada, asking the wife of Chief Executive Officer Gordon Nixon to help end the bank’s involvement in funding tar sands projects.

“Please Help Us, Mrs. Nixon.com,” read the banner, hung this morning on poles near the entrance of the headquarters of Canada’s largest bank. A group of firefighters, reporters and about two dozen onlookers watched as police removed the banner.

Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based

environmental-activist group that led the protest, said Royal Bank lent C$2.2 billion ($2.03 billion) in 2007 alone to oil and gas companies operating in Alberta’s tar sands, which hold deposits of bitumen, a type of crude that can be processed by

oil refiners.

The group wants Janet Nixon to “lend her strong and

influential voice to the campaign,” said Joshua Kahn Russell, a spokesman for the group. Kahn Russell said Janet Nixon was named on the banner because she is a “committed environmentalist.”

Janet Nixon didn’t immediately respond to a message left at her home.

“The idea is to send the message that RBC is the ATM of the tar sands,” Kahn Russell said in an interview. “We’re asking them to pull their financing from the tar sands and protect indigenous rights.”

Royal Bank spokeswoman Katherine Gay said the bank has been having an “ongoing dialogue” with the group for months.

“We’re really proud of our reputation in terms of

environmental responsibility,” Gay said.


Sean B. Pasternak and Doug Alexander
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.