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



2023 Spring Member Forum

May 4, 2023 – May 5, 2023
Fairmont Hotel, Winnipeg

Program and registration details will be available in early 2023.

2023 Fall Member Forum

Nov 16, 2023 – Nov 17, 2023
Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver

Program and registration details will be available in fall 2023.

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
  • Stephen Beatty, Global Chairman, Infrastructure, KPMG
  • Pieter Bottelier, former Chief of World Bank office in Beijing and former Professor, China Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
  • Darrell Bricker, Chief Executive Officer, Ipsos Public Affairs
  • Brian Lee Crowley, Managing Director, Macdonald-Laurier Institute
  • Martin Ford, Futurist, New York Times Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • Dr. George Friedman, Founder & Chairman, Geopolitical Futures
  • Dr. Richard Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Peter Hall, Vice President & Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
  • Bruce Heyman, Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada
  • Patricia Mohr, ‎Vice-President, Economics & Commodity Market Specialist, The Scotiabank Group
  • Stephen Poloz, Special Advisor, Osler
  • David Rosenberg, Chief Economist & Strategist, Gluskin Sheff + Associates
  • A. Gary Shilling, Forbes and Bloomberg columnist
     

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

2022 Fall Member Forum

Driving Future Change in Transportation

Nov 21, 2022 – Nov 22, 2022
Hyatt Regency, Calgary

The past two years have had a lasting impact on the future of work and our understanding of what a better future for Canada might look like. Workforce issues appeared as a top transportation challenge for the first time in last year's Compass survey. The labour supply challenge is complex, and addressing it starts with understanding.

The 2022 Fall Forum will look at the Canadian workforce, focusing on transportation. We will dive into how we can adjust to changing workers' needs, improve transportation efficiency, and grow the economy to benefit everyone.

How can innovation and technology best drive the future of transportation? What if we could see that future today? To find innovative solutions, we need to start in the future and work backwards to define the steps to take and modify our current strategies. The forum will feature a unique opportunity to do just that. We will hear from one of North America's top futurists, Brian David Johnson. Connect with him in the "futurist lounge," and he will help you understand your future and the steps needed to get there.

Hon. Prasad Panda, Government of Alberta

Sep 2, 2022
Vancouver

A small group of freight transportation executives across the Western Canadian transportation industry gathered in Vancouver for a roundtable for Alberta's Minister of Transportation, Hon. Prasad Panda.

The discussion focused on strategic issues facing the sector and opportunities for improvement in Alberta and across Western Canada.

Hon. Jeremy Cockrill, Government of Saskatchewan

Aug 30, 2022
Regina

Welcome roundtable for the new Saskatchewan Minister of Highways, Hon. Jeremy Cockrill.

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

2022 Spring Member Forum

Rethinking & Reimagining Canada

Apr 21, 2022 – Apr 22, 2022
Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina

At the 2021 Fall Member Forum, we focused on how today’s decisions dictate our future. We discussed the headwinds facing our economy, infrastructure challenges, and Canada’s slowing economic growth. We also spoke about the need for a bold plan and long-term leadership commitment to build back better from all the challenges the industry has faced in the past few years.

The 2022 Spring Member Forum will focus on envisioning a new economic plan for Canada. One that supports sustainable growth to build a better quality of life for all Canadians and support stronger communities. It is time to rethink and reimagine Canada and our industry. We need to embrace an ambitious and transformative agenda for inclusive, sustainable economic growth and opportunity for all.

The 2022 Spring Member Forum will be an in-person forum in Regina. We’re delighted to confirm that Premier Scott Moe will be a keynote speaker to outline Saskatchewan’s future growth plan.

Hon. Doyle Piwniuk, Government of Manitoba

Apr 7, 2022
Winnipeg

The roundtable is an opportunity for Minister Piwniuk to hear from select freight transportation executives across the Western Canadian transportation industry.

The discussion focused on strategic issues facing the sector and opportunities for improvement in Manitoba and across Western Canada.

2021 Fall Member Forum

A Legacy in the Making: The Impact of Critical Decisions on Canadian Prosperity

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

Decisions of today will dictate our future. They should be guided not only by what we know but shaped by the risks we anticipate and the future we desire. The 2021 Fall Member Forum seeks to bring insights into the economic and tectonic forces shaping our future and encourage dialogue on creating a sustainable transportation trade network.

We know the value of investing in good infrastructure—it creates economic benefits and jobs. But, beyond the numbers, infrastructure is critical to the health and well-being of the country. Canada could not function without the roads, bridges, sewers, and clean water paid for by previous generations.

Over the past decade, weather events have cost the world nearly $2 trillion and impacted almost four billion people. The frequency and severity of these events will only continue to increase due to climate change. Therefore, the need to build climate-resilient infrastructure through risk-informed decision-making has never been more acute.

Our future resilience will depend on our innovative investments, risk-reduction planning, mitigation strategies, the strength of our cybersecurity, and how we manage resource scarcity, inequity, and extreme weather events.

The 2021 Fall Member Forum is planned to be the first in-person Forum in two years. It builds upon the 2021 Spring Member Forum and will delve more deeply into resiliency from two aspects: ensuring infrastructure is resilient from climate change and cyber risks.

The Forum will also provide the opportunity to hear from members on developments affecting the transport of Canada’s exports and imports. What are the headwinds now facing the industry? How can we improve our competitiveness?

Serge Bijimine, ADM, Policy, Transport Canada

Dec 7, 2021
Vancouver

A roundtable was held with Transport Canada’s Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy, Serge Bijimine. The objective of this roundtable was to have a frank discussion about freight transportation in Canada, including current supply chain challenges, drivers of growth and potential solutions.

Hon. Rajan Sawhney, Government of Alberta

Nov 29, 2021
Edmonton

A roundtable dinner was held for the Hon. Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Transportation for the Government of Alberta. National members joined via Zoom to discuss the need for a concerted focus on resiliency, redundancy and recovery.

Participants discussed specific areas of interest and pressing issues in their respective provinces and Western Canada.

Hon. Omar Alghabra, Government of Canada

Jul 16, 2021
Vancouver

This roundtable was an opportunity for Minister Alghabra to hear from a small group of freight transportation executives across the Western Canadian transportation industry. WESTAC members represent business, labour and government interests in shipping, port, terminal, carrier and logistics activities.

The discussion focused on strategic issues facing the sector and opportunities for improvement across the system.

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.