Canada Connects: British Columbia

Canada Connects BC

Alberta Enterprise Group (AEG), in conjunction with sponsors local partners, will host a delegation of business leaders in Vancouver, B.C. from November 5-7, 2015.

Canada Connects: British Columbia will immerse business leaders from across North America and beyond in a high-impact learning experience about the opportunities and challenges in British Columbia. Participants will come away from this event with an insight into economic opportunities in BC as well as a better understanding of the cultural, environmental and regulatory landscape.

With events based at one of Vancouver’s oldest and most respected private clubs – the Terminal City Club – participants will meet and interact with hundreds of senior and executive business leaders and political decision makers to gain a greater understanding of the BC economy, investment opportunities, challenges, First Nations dynamics, and potential resource developments.

About AEG’s Canada Connects series of events

Since 2007, AEG has organized a series of events aimed at promoting trade ties with jurisdictions around the world, learning about the challenges and opportunities in other locales, and exposing AEG members to investment and partnership opportunities.

AEG delegations have travelled to Washington, D.C., Geneva, Quebec, Ottawa and Atlantic Canada. We have also hosted delegations of business leaders and policy makers from BC, Quebec, Atlantic Canada, and around the world in Alberta to tell the Alberta story and introduce business leaders to the abundant opportunities in our home province. These targeted, high-impact initiatives have resulted in millions of investment dollars flowing to and from Alberta while enhancing cultural awareness and building relationships among participants.


Prices include the meals, access to all scheduled activities for Canada Connects: British Columbia, including the Coal Harbour tour and access to the CFL game between the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions. A block of rooms have been reserved at the Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver starting at $199 + taxes. Please call Reservations at 1 866 540 4509 and use the our conference code ALBE1115 or click here to book online:

Member price: $1,750 (plus GST)

Non-member price: $2,250 (plus GST)

Click here to register

November 5, 2015 – Day 1

Terminal City Club

7:00 a.m. – Registration

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast speaker – BC Political scan — Iain Black, President and CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade

Iain Black

Iain Black is the President and CEO of The Vancouver Board of Trade. Prior to joining the organization, Iain served as the MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam (formerly Port Moody-Westwood) for six years. During this time, Iain was also appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Public Transportation to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; Minister of Labour; Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development; and Minister of Labour and Citizens’ Services.

Before entering provincial politics, Iain was the President of the Banking Solutions Group of Open Solutions Canada and served as President or Chief Operating Officer of both publicly traded and private technology companies.

In the community, Iain’s volunteer roles include coaching youth soccer in Coquitlam and serving as a board director of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

He is a 1998 recipient of Business in Vancouver‘s Forty-under-40 award, which recognizes top business achievements among British Columbians.Iain holds an honours degree in business from the University of Manitoba. He lives in Coquitlam with his wife and three children.

9:15 a.m. – BC Economic Overview – Helmut Pastrick, Chief Economist for Central Credit Union 1

Helmut Pastrick

Helmut Pastrick is Chief Economist for Central Credit Union 1, the central financial facility and trade association for the B.C. and Ontario credit union systems.

Pastrick is the editor of the Economic Analysis of British Columbia and the Economic Analysis of Ontario publications. These sources provide authoritative, unbiased analyses and insights on the provincial economy. Typical issues include forecasts of provincial and regional economies, housing markets and nonresidential construction. In addition, Pastrick provides economic analysis and forecast services to the credit union system.

Prior to joining the Central 1 Credit Union in 1997, he spent many years with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in BC analyzing and forecasting the provincial housing market and economy. Helmut Pastrick is former President of the Association of Professional Economists of BC, a member of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, and the BC Economic Forecast Council.

He is frequently called upon by the media to provide comments on economic events; and his presentations are in demand by many organizations and groups, including credit unions, trade and professional associations, and service clubs.

Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 2.9 million members and holds $80 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 45 in BC and 113 in Ontario.

10:20 a.m. – Insights into doing business in BC, Earnscliffe Strategy Group’s Mike Witherly and Mike Drummond

10:50 a.m. – Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman

12:00 p.m. – MEG Energy CEO Bill McCaffrey (sponsored by CAPP)

Bill McCaffrey

Bill McCaffrey is the Founder, President and CEO of MEG Energy Corp, which was formed in 1999. Under his leadership, in just 10 years MEG grew to become one of the largest private oil and gas companies in Canada, focused on bitumen development and production. Independent reservoir engineers estimate that MEG has 2.96 billion barrels of proved and probable reserves and 3.7 billion barrels of contingent resources. If the categories were combined, this would be roughly equivalent to 24% of total U.S. proven oil reserves.  The company went public with an IPO in August 2010, is currently producing over 70,000 barrels per day and is working on plans to grow bitumen production capacity to over 100,000 barrels per day in 2017.  Corporate assets include ownership of major pipeline and tank terminal infrastructure linking its bitumen leases to key energy hubs in Edmonton, Alberta and beyond. To fund its growth, MEG has raised more than $8.0 billion in equity and debt in the last ten years. In 2006 MEG received the E&P sector’s “Deal of the Year” for the company’s innovative institutional Term Loan B debt transaction. In 2010, Oilsands Review Magazine awarded MEG the Producer of the Year award, and MEG’s public offering was awarded IPO of the year.

Mr. McCaffrey brings 31 years of direct oil sands experience to MEG.  Prior to founding the company, Bill spent 17 years at Amoco Canada Petroleum Company in various managerial positions including Manager of Business Development and Growth for Amoco’s oil sands developments.  During his time in this position, Bill was responsible for the growth plans of Amoco’s oil sands leases, which contained nearly 80 billion barrels of oil in place. At Amoco, Bill also led the team responsible for the initiation and development of the Primrose thermal oil sands project, a 25,000 barrel per day project, that was one of the first examples of commercial in situ bitumen production.

1:30 p.m. Eric Denhoff, President and CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association

Eric Denhoff

Globally, hydrogen and fuel cell products are moving towards commercialization. The Canadian sector is a global leader as a result of pioneering technologies, world-renown expertise, and a 25-year history of partnerships between industry, academia and Canadian governments.As the collective voice of the hydrogen and fuel cell industry, the Canadian Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA) raises awareness of the many economic, environmental, and social benefits of hydrogen and fuel cells.

Eric Denhoff is President and CEO of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA), the national association for Canada’s hydrogen and fuel cell sector.

Eric has served as a Chief Negotiator for the Government of Canada; as a Deputy Minister for the Province of British Columbia and as Chairman and CEO of BC Transit, Canada’s sixth largest transportation company. The Canadian hydrogen and fuel cell sector will benefit from his depth of experience in complex, consensus-building roles. He has significant international trade and business development experience in Europe and Asia representing both private and public sector organizations.  He also chaired the BC Advisory Board for Canada’s largest engineering and construction company; served as a Director of the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and was Senior Trade Advisor to a BC Forestry association. He serves on the board of the Energy Council of Canada, Fair Trade Canada and other associations.

2:15 p.m. Dr. Richard Wiefelspuett, Exectutive Director of Clear Seas

3:30 p.m. Chris Sacré – President and CEO of Sacré-Davey Group

Chris Sacre

Christopher Sacré is the President and CEO of Sacré-Davey Group.  He is a business entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in the fields of construction, engineering, project development, company finance, strategic planning, administration and corporate leadership.  At the helm of Sacre-Davey since 1995, Chris has led the company’s transformation from a regional civil engineering and project management firm into a global, full service, multi-disciplinary EPCM and project delivery firm.

An out of the box thinker, Mr. Sacré utilizes his background in business, engineering, and construction to develop practical solutions to company and client challenges across a multitude of sectors.  He is committed to customer service and is dedicated to cultivating a company culture of teamwork, service, integrity, innovation and personal growth.

Chris has orchestrated acquisitions, launched international ventures and is a founding member and current director of two green technology companies – S2G Biochemicals and HTEC Hydrogen Energy & Technology Corp.  Additionally, Mr. Sacré is a Director of the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and also sits on the National Research Council of Canada’s National Advisory Board. When not pursuing business, Chris can be found mountain biking, windsurfing or skiing with family, friends and business associates.

Opening Reception – Mike Watson, Principle of Wazuku Advisory Group

Mike Watson

Mike is a trusted advisor to many of Canada’s most influential businesses across the private, public and social sectors. He has more than 18 years of progressive management experience and industry expertise in all facets of organizational management, including marketing, human resources, technology, sales and finance sectors.

Director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Past Chair of the BC Chamber of Commerce
Past Chair of the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce
Active participant in Canucks for Kids and Special Olympics’ Sports Celebrities Festival
Angler, sports enthusiast and political junkie
BSc from the University of British Columbia
Proud father of two

6:00 p.m. – Dinner with Resource Works Executive Director Stewart Muir

Stewart Muir

“Can we have an honest conversation about resource development?”

Stewart Muir is Executive Director of Resource Works.

Muir is a historian and award-winning journalist with a passion for the natural legacies of British Columbia. A graduate of Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, he was a director of The Nature Trust of British Columbia from 2006 until 2014. During a fellowship at the renowned Centre for the Study of European Expansion at Leiden University in The Netherlands, he studied economic botany and the long-term consequences of deforestation and climate change.

Muir was a contributing author to The Sea Among Us: Life and History of The Strait of Georgia, an award-winning book edited by Richard Beamish and Sandy McFarlane. Published in November 2014, The Sea Among Us covers the natural and human history of a body of water that is of fundamental importance in every sense to all British Columbians. In April 2015, the title was awarded the BC Book Prize as “the most outstanding work that contributes to an understanding of British Columbia.”

As lead writer of a civic-provincial review of Vancouver’s 2011 Stanley Cup riot, Muir helped to frame recommendations to prevent such incidents in future.

In his work as a public historian, Stewart has shed light on incidents of racism and censorship from British Columbia’s past.

While business editor and later deputy managing editor of The Vancouver Sun, Muir sought to make economic coverage compelling for a general audience. In the role of  managing director, he launched Pagemasters North America, a Toronto-based enterprise producing editorial print sections of The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star newspapers.

His writing has been published in numerous publications including The Vancouver Sun, The Province, the National Post, Saturday Night magazine, The Independent (London), The Georgia Straight, The Kelowna Courier, The Asian Post, the Far Eastern Economic Review and The Bulletin (Australia).

November 6, 2015 – Day 2
Terminal City Club

7:30 a.m. – Breakfast keynote – Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett was re-elected to a fourth term as MLA for Kootenay East in 2013 and was appointed Minister of Energy and Mines and Minister Responsible for Core Review June 10, 2013.

He previously served as Minister for Community Sport and Cultural Development, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Minister of Community and Rural Development, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, and Minister of State for Mining.

Bennett has chaired the BC Legislative Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, and chaired the BC Legislative Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides. He has been a member of various legislative committees and government committees, particularly focused on land use and natural resource issues.

Before being elected, Bennett was a partner in a law firm in Cranbrook. He also owned and operated fly-in wilderness fishing and hunting lodges in the Northwest Territories and Manitoba.

9:15 a.m. – Clean Energy BC Executive Director Paul Kariya

Paul Kariya

Paul Kariya is Executive Director of Clean Energy BC.  Prior to this he was Executive Director of Pacific Salmon Foundation.  Kariya has also worked in the public sector both federally and provincially.  He was CEO of the provincial crown corporation, Fisheries Renewal BC and Executive Director of the BC Treaty Commission.  Paul holds a BA (Hon) from UBC and a MA and PhD from Clark University in Massachusetts.  He is an adjunct faculty member at Trinity Western University.  Paul serves on a number of boards and commissions, including A Rocha International (Christians in Conservation). Between 2005–2010 Paul was a Commissioner representing Canada on the Pacific Salmon Commission.

10:15 a.m. – First Nations Energy and Mining Council’s Dave Porter

Dave Porter

Mr. Porter is a member of the Kaska Nation whose traditional territory covers a large part of north-eastern British Columbia and south-eastern Yukon. His career includes journalism, politics, communications and extensive public service on behalf of aboriginal organizations as well as public governments in the Yukon, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Porter spent the first seven years of his life on a trapline near Good Hope Lake, BC. His education included Lower Post Indian Residential School, F.H. Collins Secondary School in Whitehorse, Confederation College in Thunder Bay and Pre-Law at the University of British Columbia.Mr. Porter was founding Chairman of Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon and was elected as Vice-Chair of the Council for Yukon Indians through two terms (1978-1982), holding several portfolios including Land Claims, Housing and Economic Development.

In 1982, Mr. Porter was elected to the Yukon Legislature and upon re-election in 1985 he served as Deputy Premier.  He has also served as Minister of Renewable Resources, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Minister Responsible for Constitutional Devolution.After leaving the Legislature, Mr. Porter was named Executive Director of the Yukon Human Rights Commission, then Deputy Minister of Culture and Communications for the Government of the Northwest Territories.In the 1990’s Mr. Porter served as Assistant Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for the British Columbia government. He later led the Fur Industry European Lobby on behalf of the Governments of Canada and the United States.

Mr. Porter was also the first Oil and Gas Commissioner in British Columbia, where he strived to build an open environment that would bring various interests in the province to a common table.In 2002, Mr. Porter was elected Chair of the Kaska Dena Council, with a special commitment to preserve Kaska culture and create greater opportunity for Kaska youth.

Mr. Porter was elected to the three member political executive of the First Nations Summit, the Summit Task Group, in June 2004. The Task Group is authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in British Columbia.  The First Nations Summit, which is comprised of a majority of First Nations and Tribal Councils in BC, provides a forum for First Nations in British Columbia to address issues related to Treaty negotiations as well as other issues of common concern.

10:30 a.m. – Site C Clean Energy Project overview — BC Hydro Deputy CEO Chris O’Riley

Chris O'Riley

Chris O’Riley was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer of BC Hydro in February 2015.

Chris began his career at BC Hydro in 1990 and has been a member of the Executive Team since 2007. Over 25 years, he has worked in many groups throughout BC Hydro including Generation, Customer Care, Powerex and Corporate Risk.

Chris is responsible for the delivery of capital infrastructure projects across BC Hydro including Engineering, Aboriginal Relations and Environmental Risk Management. He also has responsibility for Dam Safety, Strategic Emergency Management, Human Resources and Corporate & Legal Services.

Chris is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration. He is a board member of Powertech and Science World, and is a board advisor to Yukon Energy Corporation. Chris lives in Vancouver with his wife and three children, where he is active in his local community.

11:00 a.m. LNG Canada Overview from Susannah Pierce, External Affairs Director, LNG Canada

Susannah Pierce

Susannah Pierce is External Affairs Director, LNG Canada. Susannah leads the Environmental, Regulatory, First Nations and External Affairs functions for the project. Roles prior to this included Vice President, Value Chain Integration, Shell Canada; Vice President, Communications, Upstream International, Shell Canada; and before joining Shell in 2009, Susannah was head of US Public Sector Affairs for TransCanada Pipelines.

Susannah has a Masters from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from The George Washington University. Born in Canada but living the balance of her life in the US and Europe, Susannah now considers BC home for the long term with her two children.

12:00 p.m. – “The Canadian Energy industry during a time of change” — Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Vice President Jeff Gaulin

Jeff Gaulin

Jeff Gaulin is the Vice President, Communications at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. He is responsible for enhancing public confidence in Canada’s oil and gas industry to enable both production and export growth.

Prior to CAPP, Mr. Gaulin was Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Government Relations at Tervita Corporation. Over his tenure he successfully led an internal cultural reorganization and spearheaded partnerships with the Calgary Stampede and Government of Alberta for Tervita to provide emergency response services during the Alberta floods in 2013.

Mr. Gaulin also worked at TransAlta, where he was the Vice President Communications, Government Relations and Aboriginal Affairs. With TransAlta, he helped secure $778 million in federal and provincial funding for Project Pioneer, Canada’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project in the electricity sector.

He also spent five years as the head of government and public affairs for Molson Breweries in Western Canada and worked as a director in the B.C. Ministry of Health where he was responsible for issues management, media and strategic relations.

Mr. Gaulin has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Victoria, a Master of Arts (Journalism) from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. He is of Metis ancestry from Ontario.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP’s member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil. CAPP’s associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP’s members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $120 billion a year.

2:00 p.m. – Gateway to Asia discussion with Stewart Beck, President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Stewart Beck

Stewart Beck is the President and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Prior to joining APF Canada, Mr. Beck served as the Canadian High Commissioner to the Republic of India with concurrent accreditation to the Kingdom of Bhutan and to Nepal.

Mr. Beck joined the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1982 and served abroad in the United States, Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China.

In Ottawa, he held a number of positions, including Director General of the North Asia Bureau, Director General responsible for senior management, and rotational assignments and Assistant Deputy Minister for international business development, investment and innovation.

He was Consul General in Shanghai and prior to his posting to India he was Consul General in San Francisco.

2:15 p.m. – Paul Hemsley, Founder and President of Hemmera

Paul Hemsley

Paul Hemsley is the founder and president of Hemmera, an environmental consulting firm specializing in environmental planning and management, site assessment and remediation, and community engagement and social science services. Founded by Paul in 1994, the company has matured into a leading consultancy employing over 250 professionals, with offices in Burnaby, Victoria, Calgary, Whitehorse, and Toronto.

Paul is personally committed to establishing sound and sustainable business practices. He was a nominee for BC Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002, was recognized as a 40 Under 40 Achiever in BC, and holds an MBA from Dalhousie University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Queen’s University.

In addition to his business and leadership skills, Paul is recognized as an environmental assessment specialist with project leadership ranging from contaminated sites to First Nations land development. Paul’s project management experience includes significant marine port developments, as well as wind energy and infrastructure projects across western Canada.

Paul is fully conversant with the extensive provincial and federal regulatory framework related to projects being proposed in Canada, and is also experienced in land use management, having played an integral role in the evolution of public policy and planning since 1990.

4:00 p.m. – Wazuku’s Mike Watson – Closing message and thoughts on entrepreneurship

5:00 p.m. – Closing reception — Ledcor Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs David Hoff

November 7, 2015 – Networking and tour day

11:00  a.m. – Board vessel for Coal Harbour Tour

Magic Charm Boat

A tour of Coal Harbour and Port Metro Vancouver guided by Port Metro Vancouver’s Robyn Crisanti with a Chef-prepared lunch on the award winning ‘Magic Charm’ yacht.

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and trades $172 billion in goods annually with more than 160 trading economies, generating across Canada an estimated 100,000 jobs, $6.1 billion in wages, and $9.7 billion in GDP.

Robyn Crisanti

Robyn Crisanti

As Director, Public Affairs, Robyn oversees government and media relations for Port Metro Vancouver and drives the strategic management of issues. Robyn has over 25 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications, working for organizations in the advertising, financial services, association, utilities, biotechnology and regulatory sectors. She has also been a change management leader and project manager on major, enterprise-wide technology implementations. Robyn obtained her BA in psychology from the University of British Columbia and her MBA in marketing from McGill University. She is an accredited and awardwinning member of the International Association of Business Communicators and a guest lecturer at UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

3:00 p.m. – VIP closing reception at BC Place with special guest Wally Buono

Wally Buono

Over a 19-year coaching career, Buono has led his clubs to 10 division titles and four Grey Cup championships. Highly respected among coaching peers, he has amassed a regular season record of 227-112-3, putting him second only to Don Matthews in all-time CFL wins (231). His consistency and success have been recognized with the CFL’s Coach of the Year award in 2006, 1992 and 1993.

Born in Potenza, Italy, in 1950, Wally moved to Canada in 1953 with his family, later playing minor football in Montreal. He attended Idaho State University and was a linebacker for the Bengals. Wally returned to Canada and played 10 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes as a linebacker and punter, appearing in 152 games. Shortly after his retirement, Wally tried his hand at coaching, landing an assistant position with the Montreal organization in 1983. Four years later, Wally found himself in Calgary where he worked under Larry Kuharich until 1990 when Stamps President Norman Kwong hired him as head coach of the Stamps.

Aside from being an accomplished CFL coach, Wally is a noted contributor to the community, being recognized for his work with the Paul Harris award in 2001. Wally continues to donate a significant amount of time as an ambassador of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation and as a spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

4:00 p.m. – kick-off: BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders

Delegates will enjoy private box seats for the game between the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions at BC Place.