Take Action: Stop Canada Pension Plan money from funding water privatizing in Brazil

April 21, 2021

To: MoveUP Members

We need your help. Money from the Canadian Pension Plan is being used to privatize water in Brazil. MoveUP and our international union  – Public Services International (PSI) – are very concerned that public money is used to privatize water in another country.

PSI discovered that the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is planning on using $266 million of Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) dollars to fund water privatization in Brazil through the acquisition of a 45% stake in Igua Saneamento, a Brazilian sanitation company which is one of two potential investors in Brazil’s largest-ever water privatization concession.

This has significant negative ramifications on both workers and the general population in Brazil, jeopardizing access to an essential service necessary for survival as well as 4,000 to 5,000 workers losing their jobs.

How you can help?

PSI is fighting together with a key partner union, the National Federation of Urban Workers (FNU) in Brazil, to keep water public. You can help stop the Canadian Pension Plan and fight to protect water from privatization by writing a letter directly to the CPPIB demanding that public money does not fund water privatization.

Please send your email to all of these addresses: contact@cppib.com; jgraham@cppib.com; nbeaumont@cppib.com; ecass@cppib.com; mleduc@cppib.com; grubin@cppib.com; pwalch-watson@cppib.com; dorida@cppib.com

Here is a sample email

You can use the sample email below as a guideline for your email. Please change to make it your own and have your voice heard.

Dear Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board,

As a union member, worker and contributor to the Canada Pension Plan, I am appalled by the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board’s plan to acquire a significant stake in Igua Saneamento, allowing the company to have the capital needed to privatize and auction off public water services in Brazil.

This investment of workers’ dollars should not be used for companies that do not reflect Canadian values. Our money should not be used to privatize public services and deteriorate services and infrastructure in other countries. Our money should not be used to deepen inequality, especially when it comes to access to clean water and sanitation.

I call on the CPPIB to immediately end all plans to acquire a stake in Igua Saneamento.


Your Name Here

Additional background information

  • Igua Saneamento is seeking capital in order to participate in the privatization and auctioning of public water services in the state of Rio de Janeiro scheduled for April 30.
  • A 45% stake in Igua Saneamento would amount to $266 million. If the acquisition goes through, it will mean our public pension funds would be funded directly by Brazilians who already suffer from fragile and unequal access to clean water and sanitation.
  • The privatization effort is led by the far-right wing government under the authoritarian rule of Jair Bolsonaro, whose election in 2018 was made possible thanks to the illegitimate result of the 2016 political coup.
  • Opposition leaders in Brazil have been calling for the impeachment and removal of Bolsonaro amid concerns of an illegal attempt to co-opt the armed forces and engineer a coup ahead of the 2022 national elections.
  • A successful privatization effort would support the agenda of the Bolsonaro government and strengthen his position. On the other hand, blocking privatization would weaken this incredibly disruptive government.
  • PSI is engaging in many similar fights against opportunistic privatizations of essential public infrastructure in the middle of a global pandemic in Brazil.
  • Water is an essential service needed for survival, especially during this pandemic. More than 40,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the state of Rio de Janeiro alone and over 365,000 across Brazil.
  • Any investment in Brazilian infrastructure is inherently risky. If a Workers’ Party (Lula) returns to power in the 2022 national elections, there would be a strong possibility that key infrastructure sold off during Bolsonaro’s term will be brought back under public control.

In solidarity,

David Black

File Number: 21-MOVEUP-COMM-BLTN- Call to CPP April 21
Union Label: mm:usw2009


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