MONTREAL - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has joined several large institutional investors in withholding support for the re-election of Bombardier's executive chairman and opposing the company's executive compensation plan.

The CPPIB, which manages Canada's largest retirement fund, is withholding its vote for Pierre Beaudoin and two other director nominees recommended by the board of the Montreal-based firm.

It's also voting against Bombardier's executive compensation proposal, according to a tally posted on the CPPIB website as part of its routine disclosure of its voting intentions.

The vote is only an advisory to Bombardier's board -- shareholders can't vote against board nominees but they are able to formally withhold votes to express their displeasure.

The CPPIB's vote -- while not enough by itself to sway the outcome at Bombardier's annual meeting on Thursday -- follows an outpouring of anger that included protests outside the company's Montreal headquarters over pay hikes for Beaudoin and other senior executives.

That came after the company received assistance from the federal and Quebec governments totalling nearly US$2 billion over the past year.