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Last week was the RBC annual shareholder meeting (AGM). And let me tell you – what a whirlwind. Less than 24 hours before the RBC AGM, AFTER Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs announced that they were in Toronto for the meeting, RBC coincidentally cancelled the in-person portion of the meeting.

Thanks to your support, we were able to pivot fast. We used proxies to make sure that Chief Na’moks, Chief Gisdaywa, and Chief Madeek were able to ask critical questions of RBC CEO Dave McKay, albeit virtually. When Melina Laboucan-Massiomo, the Senior Director of our partner, Indigenous Climate Action, asked about RBC’s tar sands financing doubling in the last year, they suddenly weren’t taking any more questions and quickly called the AGM to an end. 🙄

We have them on the back foot, Jeanne. During the questions, Dave McKay was visibly rattled. And it wasn’t just in Toronto. Across the country, people organized marches at RBC branches, glued themselves to ATMs and called attention to RBC’s consistent violation of Indigenous rights and fossil fuel financing.

RBC wasn’t expecting the mountain of support behind Indigenous leaders and climate activists, and struggled to control the narrative on this flagship day for the company.

(Photo by Joshua Best)

None of this would have been possible without you Jeanne. In the lead up to the AGM, community members sent over 15,000 emails to RBC executives demanding that they defund the Coastal GasLink pipeline, stop fossil fuel financing and respect Indigenous rights. We developed social media content to tarnish RBC’s brand, ran ads aimed at RBC’s target customers so that others know about RBC’s destructive practices, and we organized RBC shareholders to vote for the 3 climate resolutions at the AGM.

All this, and we’re only getting started. This is just the beginning of our campaign to force RBC to stop funding climate chaos and projects that violate Indigenous rights. Knowing that we have so much people power behind us gives me so much hope, thank you.

Sarah Beuhler
Senior Climate Finance Campaigner

P.S. Watch this video of Chief Na’Moks, Chief Gisdaywa and Chief Madeek leading a march to the RBC headquarters in downtown Toronto. challenges corporations, industries, and governments to prioritize the well-being of people, our environment, and our climate by creating long-term, effective solutions. None of this work is possible without your support.
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