Shell Canada's $600K donation to Dalhousie University spurs protest

A group of Dalhousie University students raised a "Shellhousie" flag on campus Tuesday afternoon to protest the school's close relationship with the oil and gas industry.

Divest Dal says Shell endowment comes with big price tag

Dalhousie University student Emma Hapulka speaks after the group Divest Dal raised a "Shellhousie" flag on the school's campus Tuesday afternoon as a protest against the school's close relationship with the oil and gas industry. (CBC)

A group of Dalhousie University students raised a "Shellhousie" flag on campus Tuesday afternoon to protest the school's close relationship with oil and gas companies.

Divest Dal opposes the university's decision to accept $600,000 from Shell Canada, $100,000 of which is dedicated to offshore  exploration.

"This demonstrates that our school's relationship with the fossil fuel industry is problematically close," said Emma Halupka, a Dal environmental science student and group organizer.

 "The school is now beholden to an industry."

She said her group is committed to challenging the university's move to invest in climate crisis rather than climate progress.

The flag raised in the Dalhousie Quad bears the Shell logo intertwined with the Dalhousie crest.

Halupka calls the deal a "contract" rather than a gift because it restricts how the funding is used.

The $100,000 is slated for an offshore energy fund that will provide student training related to oil and gas exploration and development.

"What we should be doing is divesting and leaving the oil  in the ground," Halupka said.

In November, Dalhousie's board of governors rejected the group's request to divest its endowment fund of oil and gas industry contributions.

Today's flag protest shows Divest Dal will continue to fight that decision, member Bethany Hindmarsh said.

"If the board of governors thought we would go away after November, they were wrong."        

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.