First, Madam Speaker, I can understand that the individual member may be concerned about how her money is invested in this plan, but I can tell the House as a general comment that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is a fiduciary agent for all the people in Canada, not just the individual member of Parliament. It has to take some kind of criteria that all the people of Canada are going to agree to. One of those things is that it has a fair and reasonable rate of return.
Some of the investment funds that I quoted were in fact over a five year period. Statistically speaking, those funds were significantly underperforming their indices within the market.
Finally, it is very important to realize what we are talking about here: ethical behaviour. How do we measure this? It is very subjective. If it is a legal activity in Canada, then that can be the only criteria that an investment board can use. If it is not illegal, then it must be a legal thing that we can invest in. We are trying to make a judgment call on people that goes beyond some kind of basic rule of law, some kind of feeling of judgment or something which is just not part of investment criteria.
The member talked about some of the companies. The tobacco industry, unfortunately, is not an illegal activity in Canada. There are many others: the medical science industry, Nortel Networks, all the technology companies, and some of the great and wonderful things we do as a nation. We as Canadians can take some great pride that we are investing in our country. The vast majority of funds in the Canada pension plan is invested in this country to keep Canadians working and to give opportunities to Canadians. I think that is just what the board was originally set up to do.