Public policy is important.
Now, more than ever.

The year 2020 will be indelibly etched in our collective memories as the year a pandemic virus gripped the world. Everything will change: how we deliver health care, education and other public services; how business is conducted and where our supply chains are located; commitments to international protocols and agreements will be tested. Good public policy, implemented and competently executed by Canadian governments, will determine the shape of Canada’s economic recovery. Sound and well thought out policies in Natural Resources, Human Capital and Trade and Investment are important – now more than ever. Canada needs evidence-based policy making, not policy-based evidence making.

If you want to travel fast, travel alone.
If you want to travel far, travel with a team.

I write this message on Day 15 of my tenure at the Canada West Foundation as the President and CEO. But the institution is not new to me. My knowledge of CWF spans back more than two decades from my time as a Minister in the Alberta government. I believe that I became a better  Minister of the Crown because of the efforts of then CWF President and CEO, Dr. Roger Gibbins. I believed then, and believe now, that the CWF, as an objective, non-partisan but politically engaged institution, can make a difference in the public policy choices of governments. How has Canada West Foundation lasted for half a century in this role? I have concluded it is because they have travelled as a team of talented analysts, hardworking staff and dedicated supporters.

Our Focus on the West

We focus on Western Canada and make no apologies for it. The West is where we are from and it is what we know best. While we can never forget our roots, we also recognize our global reach. Innovative technologies developed in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are valued in places around the world. Nobel Prize winners have been educated in our schools. Commodities from energy to agriculture are produced at the highest standards and our natural resources are the envy of the world.

I look forward to this new challenge of taking on the role as President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation. I am very aware that a large measure of any success we have in the future is because of foundational cornerstones laid by those before me. That is a lesson I learned during my time in government because that’s how public policy works: I got credit for things done by my predecessor and my successors got credit for things that I did. I am also very aware that we cannot succeed without our supporters who fund us and travel with our team. Thanks for your past support. We ask you for your future support.

But more important than my introduction, is the message that I want to hear from you. You are a vital part of this team, and we value your input. I look forward to hearing from you.

Gary G. Mar, Q.C.
President & CEO