Internal TD bank review of financing Dakota Access pipeline still weeks away

Tom Fennario
APTN National News
Lawyers working on a review of how the Toronto Dominion bank is investing in the Dakota Access pipeline said it has not idea when the project will be complete.

In December, the bank issued a statement stating that it would undertake a review after protesters blocked several branches in Canada and the United States in an effort to get the bank to stop investing in the Dakota Access pipeline.

“We’re focusing our attention on TD partly because it has invested the most money out of any Canadian bank into the Dakota access pipeline.” said Montreal demonstrator Meara Kirwin outside a downtown TD bank on a frigid February day.

TD Securities is part of what’s called a lending syndicate – a group of banks that lends expensive projects money.

In the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) TD has put in more than $360 million to help finance the controversial project.

“We don’t think that banks should be funding human rights violations the way the Dakota access pipeline is doing in cooperation with the local police forces,” said Mohawk protester Kenneth Deer at a demonstration targeting a Montreal TD bank this past November.

The response from the bank was to hire a human rights expert to conduct a review on behalf of the lenders and advise on recommended improvements.

But Foley Hoag, the Boston law firm in charge of the review told APTN National News that despite having worked on it for more than three months, there’s no time frame to release the report.

This comes at a time when court documents state the Dakota access pipeline might be operational as soon as next week.

Now the demonstrators are wondering what’s taking the review so long.

“Taking that long to do a review when the reality of the situation is very clear ethically and economically is completely unacceptable,” said Kirwin.

TD declined to be interviewed for this story.

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