Settler Colonial and Indigenous Geographies

Aligning against Indigenous jurisdiction: Worker savings, colonial capital, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank

This paper considers the significance of the newly conceived Canada Infrastructure Bank in relation to the political economy of settler colonialism in Canada. I argue that the Canada Infrastructure Bank is a fundamentally colonial institution that marshals private capital to reproduce and extend the jurisdictional power of the setter state. The Bank is an arms-length financing institution whose purpose is to leverage private and institutional capital for investment in large scale, nation-building infrastructure, including infrastructure that supports resource extraction in remote and northern Canada. The first section of the paper examines the specific configuration of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. I suggest that the need to attract private investment into certain kinds of infrastructure development must be understood in relation to state struggles to exercise territorial jurisdiction over Indigenous lands and resources. This struggle is reflected in the specific configuration of the Canada Infrastructure Bank. The second part of the paper focuses on some of the implications of pension securitization. The Canada Infrastructure Bank has deliberately been designed to leverage Canadian pension fund capital; I ask what it means to grow settler workers’ savings through investment in privatized, resource development infrastructure.

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Volume 37 Issue 6