2021 ANNUAL REPORT | MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD
More Than the Tip of the Iceberg
We usually prepare our annual report in the middle of summer: a time to swelter under the sun or enjoy a cool beverage on a hot patio. So maybe it’s not surprising that this year, as we talked about the report, icebergs came up in the conversion.
Most people know that only a small portion of an iceberg is above water. Its visible beauty is supported by a massive body below – unseen, but responsible for shaping the iceberg’s trajectory.
At the Canada West Foundation, what the public sees – our reports, newsletters, webinars, presentation, etc. – are the tip of our iceberg. Below the surface lie the efforts, expertise and networks which enable us to see what’s below the surface for developing issues.
In 2014, for instance, our Trade and Investment Centre saw a problem in Canada’s inability to fix systemic issues that harmed our trade infrastructure system. Over the last eight years, we did a deep dive into the transport and trade sectors to find solutions to the decline through research and convening the full range of public and private players in the system. And now, when COVID and weather damage have amplified trade network weaknesses, our solution is ready for adoption by a receptive audience.
Similarly, the Human Capital Centre was an early champion of the competency-based system of workforce development. In 2015 we published our first paper and seven years later when governments, businesses and post-secondary institutions are working to build a system more responsive to the needs of individuals and employers, we’re there to provide evidence-based guidance on micro-credentials, broader application of the apprenticeship model and how to better match jobs with people and people with jobs.
So when you see the Natural Resource Centre issue a What Now? briefing the day after the release of the Alberta Appeal Court’s ruling on the federal Impact Assessment Act – think of icebergs. Yes, our expert was up all night reading the decision, but the team was able to quickly formulate a well-reasoned response backed by years of experience in impact assessment, Bill C-69 and constitutional challenges.
Good policy work needs vigilance, expertise and optimism as well as a belief that together we can build a better future for the West and all of Canada. We bring these qualities to our work because of the generosity of individuals, families, companies and governments and we offer a whale of a thank you to our supporters for enabling the work that you don’t see, as well as supporting the tip of the iceberg that you do.
|Honourable Gary G. Mar, KC
President and CEO
Canada West Foundation
|Honourable Doug Black, KC
Chair of the Board
Canada West Foundation