In memory of Dr. Roger Gibbins

The Canada West Foundation is deeply saddened at the passing of Dr. Roger Gibbins, President and CEO from 1998 to 2012.

During his tenure at the helm of the Foundation, Roger inspired people across the West and Canada to think differently about policy issues. His approach was rooted in his long career as an educator at the University of Calgary; if you show people the possibilities, they will be motivated to explore options and produce ideas that drive toward positive change.

In Roger’s own words …

The “new West” is really the new Canada, ours to fashion if we are prepared to take up the challenge.

Today, whether Canada will prosper in the years ahead depends very much on what happens here.

The changes and challenges in western Canada should be of more than idle curiosity for Canadians living elsewhere in the country. I believe that the story about the evolution of western Canada is, at its very core, the story about the evolution of Canada. What might appear at first blush to be a regional story is, in fact, a national story, maybe the national story of our times.

However, if today’s opportunities are great, so too are the challenges. We will not simply fall into success, or inherit success.

An extraordinary future for Western Canadians is one where the region is thoroughly embedded in the global economy, providing not only the energy, food and industrial raw materials required by that economy, but also the related technical and business skills; we will have built a knowledge economy on a natural resource foundation.

Our global connections will be numerous and strong. We will be the world’s best, and will be seen as the best, for our stewardship of natural resources.

Policy Innovation Fund

These were truly new ideas for the new West. In his 14 years with the Foundation, Roger pushed torward this new ideal – that a strong west would lead to a strong Canada. When he retired, it was only fitting to create a fund in his honour that would support cutting edge policy research and citizen engagement. The fund helped mine the next wave of leaders and engaged citizens for innovative ideas. Thank you to supporters who honored his vision through their support of the Roger Gibbins Policy Innovation Fund.

Roger was a big presence in the West and especially at the Canada West Foundation. In a very big way, he helped shape the organization into what it is today. Those of us who worked with him still feel his influence as well as his warmth and kindness. And all of us offer our deepest condolences to the Gibbins family.