Gary Mar, CEO: Canada West Foundation
Oct 15, 2020 11:55 AM
Gary Mar, CEO: Canada West Foundation
Gary Mar, CEO: Canada West Foundation

Gary Mar QC, Business person, Lawyer, Member of the Legislative Assembly, Cabinet minister, and Alberta’s representative in Asia and Washington, D.C. joins the Canada West Foundation as President and CEO, effective April 15.


An accomplished and respected leader, Mar brings deep experience in government and business to the Foundation.


“It was critical to the board that our new President and CEO understand the major challenges facing the West at this particularly difficult time. Mar’s national and international experience will serve the Canada West Foundation in its mission to advocate for policy that is good for the West and good for Canada,” says Ray Crossley, chair of the Foundation’s board of directors.

Mar’s broad experience aligns extremely well with the Foundation’s key policy areas in natural resources, trade and investment and human capital.

Mar brings deep experience to the critical issues facing responsible resource development from an economic, environmental and Indigenous perspective. Most recently Mar served as the President and CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada. Previously, he served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1993-2007 holding several senior cabinet positions including Minister of Environment, Mar was also co-founder of an energy based Canadian-Chinese joint venture and an advisor to First Nations.

Having also served as Minister for International Trade, as well as Alberta’s representative in Asia and Washington, D.C., Mar understands how exports drive growth in the West and the serious challenges and opportunities facing governments and exporters when it comes to trade and trade infrastructure.

Resources and market policies alone are insufficient conditions for economic success: skilled people providing innovative ways of delivering on our advantages are also necessary. A former Minister of Education, Mar is dedicated to ensuring that our people have the skills to fulfil their own potential and that of the West.

As Minister Responsible for Intergovernmental Relations, Mar has experienced first-hand the complexities of promoting cooperation among Canada’s federal and provincial governments. Mar noted that current circumstances create the opportunity to reset federal-provincial relations on energy, environment, the economy and Indigenous communities.

“Canada is at an important crossroad for decision making. The policies that are made at this time will determine the trajectory of Canada’s economic recovery,” says Mar. “The natural resources of the West combined with right policy choices on human capital and trade and investment policies will support a recovery that places Canada in a leading position among G8 nations.”

“I look forward to the joining the team at Canada West Foundation. Their excellent work in the past provides the basis to advance policy solutions in the present to realize the economic opportunities of the future.”

Of late, while working from home, Mar says he’s found time to hone his own “Quarentini” recipe. “It is just like a Martini, but you have to drink it at home, by yourself. It is a refreshment that best represents what is needed at this extraordinary time in our history.”