I caught up with Liberal MP Rob Oliphant after Question Period today. Tomorrow, Oliphant is holding a press conference to introduce his Private Members’ Bill regarding Environmental, Social and Governance Considerations in pension fund investment.
Q: How was your summer?
A: I had a great summer. Worked hard, had a couple of weeks’ holidays, it was all good.
Q: And a trip to Israel was part of that?
A: Israel and the West Bank. It was good, it was intense. Always come back a little bit depressed, always come back a little pessimistic – not despairing, but somewhat pessimistic. But great food, great time, great fun.
Q: What’s up on your agenda for the fall, assuming that we don’t go to an election?
A: I’ve been working on an issue around pensions – I’ve got a press conference tomorrow, actually, on pensions, on transparency, on reporting, on environment, social and governance factors, on how pension funds invest, and how they report on their investing. That’s been my project the last few weeks, working on that. Other than that, we’ll see what the committee brings. We’ll see what happens.
Q: What brought on this interest in investing? It seems a little out from what we’ve come to expect from your usual range of interests.
A: My background is in business. My first degree was in commerce and finance. I worked as an accountant for my first career, so I have a history with that. Secondly, I’m getting older, and I start to worry about my pension fund. We’ve been looking at all of the pension issues, and most people are concerned about things like the Nortel pension issue, which is out today, other pension issues. There’s a lot of issues in pensions that you can look at – this is one little area that I could carve out for myself and take on as a Private Member without having a lot of party interference, so that’s good for me.