RBC Bank branch stock photo

RBC chief executive Dave McKay defended the bank’s climate plan at its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday as numerous attendees criticized it for not doing enough.

Speaking at the event held this year in Saskatoon, McKay emphasized the importance of an orderly and stable net-zero transition since shortages of critical needs like food or energy will throw off efforts to rein in climate change.

His comments come as the bank faces a barrage of criticism from those pushing for shareholder resolutions, especially on stronger climate action but also Indigenous rights, racial equity, and executive pay.

Attendees speaking for the resolutions, including Union of B.C. Indian Chief president Stewart Phillip and Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Na’Moks, also criticized the bank for relegating them to an overflow room at the meeting where they were unable to address bank executives in person.

Protesters also gathered outside the meeting, some holding signs calling RBC the “Oil Bank of Canada” and called for the bank to “stop funding eco-cide,” similar to protests held against the bank on the weekend.

McKay thanked those who had spoken at the meeting, saying that he thinks they agree on the destination and that they disagree only on how to get there.