Aug 17th Letter to CAMSR and Reply


Mr. Strople,

We would very much appreciate if you could pass on the attached public letter from Divest McGill to all current members of CAMSR. 

Thank you in advance.

Divest McGill



August 17th, 2015


TO: The McGill Board of Governors’ Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR)

CC: Steering Committee of McGill Faculty and Librarians for Divestment (MFL4D)


As you know, it has been over 6 months since Divest McGill made our second formal submission to CAMSR on February 2nd, 2015, and nearly 3 years since we started our campaign for divestment from fossil fuels.


As a society, we can no longer wait for individuals, institutions or governments to act. Climate change is urgent and the evidence supporting fossil fuel divestment is clear. We are glad to hear that you have decided to focus your resources on considering our submission directly instead of commissioning an overly broad study that would have delayed a decision by an estimated further 6-18 months. We hope that this is an indication that CAMSR is now quickly working towards a positive decision on divestment.


During our April 15th presentation on the ethical imperative of fossil fuel divestment, we requested that CAMSR respond to the substance of our research brief with a recommendation to the Board within an extended period of 6 months. Additionally, following our discussions in the spring, the McGill Faculty and Librarians for Divestment (MFL4D) requested a ruling on the social injury by July 1st in advance of a decision on divestment, following a process in line with CAMSR’s terms of reference.


We are concerned by the lack of feedback that we have had regarding the committee’s progress since our last presentation to you on May 2nd. As far as we are aware, CAMSR has neither made a final recommendation nor even a ruling on social injury. We would appreciate an update regarding your process to meaningfully address these concerns as soon as possible.


To highlight the lack of advancement and inspire action on this issue, Divest McGill will be hosting a week for climate justice on campus this fall with a range of events from workshops and film screenings to speaking events and teach-ins. We aim to draw more attention to McGill’s ongoing investment in the fossil fuel industry, as well as further demonstrate the community’s broad support for divestment and climate action. We hope that you will also take this opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to this issue. We invite members of CAMSR and the Board of Governors to join us, and will keep you informed of details as our programming schedule develops.


We hope to hear from you soon.


Divest McGill




Dear Divest McGill,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of August 17 directed to members of the Board of Governors Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility. The letter has been circulated to members of the Committee.

While CAMSR understands the Divest McGill request for a ruling on the issue of social injury within six months, you will recall that the Committee committed to serious consideration of your submission but also explained why it was not in a position to respond by a fixed deadline. Your submission raises a number of complex issues and questions that merit thorough review and analysis. This will take some time to complete. The Committee will continue to meet and to deliberate on your submission, and will issue a report on its findings in due course.

In the meantime we look forward to the events that Divest McGill is planning for this fall to build awareness of climate change in the McGill community.

Stephen Strople