events


WESTAC brings together transportation leaders at a variety of events throughout the year.

  • Member Forums: WESTAC’s signature event is its bi-annual Member Forum, a one- to two-day member-only event offering in-camera presentations and discussions about topical issues. Featuring high-profile speakers, they allow for the lively exchange of ideas and opinions and provide opportunities for informal meetings between senior industry representatives and decision-makers.
  • Roundtables: WESTAC regularly hosts member-only roundtables for newly appointed Ministers of Transportation from across the region. The Council is called upon to convene and facilitate seminars and workshops on specific issues impacting transportation across Western Canada.
  • Conferences: Periodically, WESTAC hosts high-quality larger conferences that are open to the wider transportation community.


Upcoming Events



2021 Spring Member Forum

Future in Focus: Understanding New Imperatives

Apr 30, 2021 – May 14, 2021
Online Event

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that no institution or individual alone can address the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges facing our complex world. The pandemic accelerated many of the systemic changes that were underway. As we move into recovery, it’s essential to understand the lasting market impacts, learn from those organizations that thrived during the pandemic and most importantly, reset priorities and reform systems to address the even larger global challenges that are on the horizon.

The 2021 Spring Member Forum will focus on the economic and market changes that were underway or that have emerged as a result of the pandemic and their impact on the western transportation network. Speakers will examine the complexities of the three key imperatives—environmental responsibility, a new U.S. administration and export markets—that will influence and shape the future of Canadian prosperity. An emphasis will be given to Canadian transportation trade networks, the significance of resiliency and why the climate crisis is more critical for transportation than ever before.

2021 Fall Member Forum

Dec 8, 2021 – Dec 9, 2021
Westin Bayshore, Vancouver

Program and registration details will be available in the fall.

PAST SPEAKERS

WESTAC hosts thought-leaders and expert speakers at its annual forums. Below is a small selection of speakers.

  • David Bach, Deputy Dean & Professor in the Practice of Management, Yale School of Management
  • Nikolas Badminton, Futurist
  • Pieter Bottelier, former Chief of World Bank office in Beijing and former Professor, China Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
  • Dr. Linda Duxbury, Professor, Sprott School of Business
  • Hon. David Emerson, Chair of Canada Transportation Act Review, former Federal Minister
  • Martin Ford, Futurist, New York Times Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • Dr. George Friedman, Founder & Chairman, Geopolitical Futures
  • Buzz Hargrove, Former President of the CAW, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management
  • Patricia Mohr, ‎Vice-President, Economics & Commodity Market Specialist, The Scotiabank Group
  • David Rosenberg, Chief Economist & Strategist, Gluskin Sheff + Associates
  • Stijn Rubens, Senior Advisor, Drewry Supply Chain Advisors
  • A. Gary Shilling, Forbes and Bloomberg columnist
  • Dr. Laurence C. Smith, Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UCLA and author of the World in 2050

 

Top left: Nikolas Badminton, top right: Dr. George Friedman, bottom left: David Rosenberg, bottom right: Martin Ford

PAST EVENTS

WESTAC addresses timely, strategic transportation issues through its Member Forums, roundtables and industry conferences. Follow the link below to see a full list of past events or browse through the most recent events listed below.

SEE PHOTOS FROM PAST EVENTS

2020 Fall Member Forum

WHAT’S NEXT? The Aftermath of the COVID-19 Crisis

Oct 14, 2020 – Oct 23, 2020
October 14, 16, 21 & 23 - Online Event

The COVID-19 pandemic is, first and foremost, a global health crisis that triggered enormous economic consequences. The World Trade Organization estimates that global merchandise trade plunged 18.5% in the second quarter of 2020 and forecasts an overall contraction of 13% for the year. In Canada, unemployment reached 13.7% in May, and GDP is likely to have plunged by a record of 12% in the second quarter. These indicators will improve as the economy recovers from earlier lockdown measures.

The 2020 Fall Member Forum will address the pressing concerns that Canadian transportation leaders have as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts will provide their insights on the scale and permanency of damage caused by the pandemic, and outline responses for businesses and governments to thrive in the coming years.

2020 Spring Member Forum - CANCELLED

Apr 29, 2020 – Apr 30, 2020

In light of ongoing developments regarding COVID-19 and consistent with precautions taken by Health Canada and other provincial and international health agencies, we have made the decision to cancel this year's Spring Member Forum.

For our Fall Forum, we will be developing an agenda that hopefully will reflect much of that which was missed in the spring. In the interim, I’ll look forward to any suggestions you may have for additional agenda items as issues arise. Details for the Fall Member Forum can be found on our Events page.

Hon. Ric McIver, Alberta

Welcome roundtable for new Alberta Minister of Transportation, Hon. Ric McIver.

Mar 9, 2020
Calgary

Stakeholders briefed Minister McIver on issues and opportunities in the Western Canadian transportation system, with a focus on Alberta.

2019 Fall Member Forum

Exceptional Speaker Series II

Nov 14, 2019
Westin Calgary Airport

This forum aims to prepare WESTAC members to identify opportunities and strategies to navigate the unsettled waters ahead. To help, WESTAC is hosting two acclaimed economists: David Rosenberg and Dr. George Friedman for in-depth discussions on a range of issues from threats to global economic stability to opportunities amidst the key disruptors of the 2020s.

One of WESTAC’s strengths is the ability to bring world-class, thought-provoking speakers exclusively for its members. Each speaker will host up to a 90-minute “Executive Dialogue” session, which will include a formal presentation and a facilitated roundtable discussion. The purpose is to determine how the issues raised will impact individual stakeholders and the Western Canadian transportation system.

2019 Spring Member Forum

The Art of the Possible: Thinking Creatively and Collaboratively about Supply Chains

Apr 30, 2019 – May 1, 2019
Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria

Our Spring 2019 Forum will focus on providing a holistic perspective of the supply chain and encouraging collaborative action to needed improvements. To do so, we must first gain an understanding of the current capacity picture and the gaps between expectations and capabilities. Only then can a dialogue on bolder approaches and creative ideas take place to improve the competitiveness of the system.

 

Hon. Lori Carr Roundtable, Saskatchewan

Welcome roundtable for new Manitoba Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, Hon. Lori Carr.

Apr 3, 2019
Regina

Stakeholders gathered in Regina to brief Minister Carr on the challenges and opportunities facing the Western transportation network and Saskatchewan’s role in helping to improve the system.

2018 Fall Member Forum

INFORMATION OVERLOAD: Distilling technology for transportation

Nov 13, 2018 – Nov 14, 2018
The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver

A tidal wave of transformative technologies in transportation is washing over organizations everywhere. The pace of technological development with disruptive implications for the sector has never been so frenzied.

However, it is safe to say for all those but the most technologically savvy it is an overwhelming mix of new products, service models and trends which could transform digital and physical operations. This forum aims to break down the confusion surrounding these developments and help forward-thinking leaders understand the social, political and economic impacts of this fast-paced change.

Flood Hazards and Infrastructure Risk in the Lower Mainland - Fraser Basin Council Event

Flood Hazards and Infrastructure Risk in the Lower Mainland – Towards a Regional Strategy for Risk Reduction

Nov 5, 2018
Strategy Room #420 580 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3

The Fraser Basin Council is inviting management and operational staff who are responsible for infrastructure in the Lower Mainland to attend a workshop on November 5, 2018 in Vancouver to discuss flood hazards, infrastructure risk and opportunities for risk reduction in the Lower Mainland.

Western Trade Corridors Roundtable

Oct 11, 2018
Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver

Hosted by BC Government, WESTAC, Asia Pacific Foundation, GCGC

Liberal Prairies & Northern Caucus

May 30, 2018
Ottawa, ON

WESTAC members presented to the Liberal Prairies & Northern Caucus to share an overview of the transportation network that is critical to Canada’s trade and economic well-being.