July 14, 2020

Episode #16: Canada’s Energy Future in a Climate-Focused World

In this episode, we are joined by two of Canada’s top minds and leaders in energy and resource development and investment. Hal Kvisle and Mac Van Wielingen have decades of experience leading energy operations and investment companies and now dedicate their time to their research, community and philanthropic activities. Both are also two of the Business Council of Alberta’s founders.

We kick off this episode learning more about each leader’s journey through their careers in both the energy and investment industries and how Mac and Hal crossed paths and eventually became the visionary founders of the Business Council of Alberta. Mac and Hal provide insights on the meaning and purpose of shared prosperity and why acknowledging both business’ role in society as a corporate citizen is vital to strong communities but also what business leaders need to do in order be not only leaders of their companies but in society as well.

That was very clear to me 10-15 years ago, I really started to see how important that was. A clean environment of course is a really big part of that but also for business leaders to be authentically committed to social wellness…starting first with their employees and their stakeholders and also committed to fairness and ethics in their decision making.

Mac Van Wielingen

Mac and Hal both note in the episode that a clean environment is a vital part of building shared prosperity and both have been champions of Canada’s performance on Environment Social and Governance (ESG) standards within its energy development activities, including its investments in carbon capture and other emission reduction technologies, focus on economic inclusion and participation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and doing it all with a high degree of safety, ethics and integrity.

In the episode, we address the misconception that the energy industry is less progressive on environmental protections and highlight Canadian companies that are doing great things to develop resources responsibly. Later in the episode, we talk about the future of investment in energy as investors increasingly use ESG performance as criteria to invest in projects and how Canada is well-positioned to compete for this investment with its strong ESG balance sheet.

Our industry in Western Canada has a lot to be proud of on the ESG front, and I think we need to make the most of that and we ought to look at it as a competitive advantage.

Hal Kvisle

In October 2019, Mac gave an address at an Economic Club of Canada event promoting Canada’s opportunity to lead in responsible energy development and the transition to a low-carbon economy. In this research, he notes that that the last barrel should be the best one, and the best one should be a Canadian one. (Canada’s Opportunity in Energy Leadership: Mired in Misinformation & Misunderstandings, 2019). Mac dives deeper into this concept, focusing on the long-term strategy and leadership opportunity in Canada, and Hal makes a case for a consumer-based carbon tax to support this transition. We also spend a few minutes talking about how to create a national consensus on resource development and climate action and the importance of the resource sector to Canada’s overall economic recovery and future prosperity.

We close the episode looking forward to the future of the energy sector and share some optimism in the recovery and rebuild process.


Mac Van Wielingen, an energy executive and investor with over 35 years of experience in energy and finance, is the Founder of ARC Financial, an energy-focused private equity firm. He is also the Founder of Viewpoint Group and is a founding member of the Business Council of Alberta.

Hal Kvisle is a 35-year veteran leader in the Canadian energy industry, working with companies such as ARC Resources, Finning International, Cenovus Energy and TC Energy. Hal is also a founder of the Business Council of Alberta.


  • 01:24: How Hal Kvisle & Mac Van Wielingen got their start in their careers and their journey along the way
  • 12:37: Why Mac and Hal, both founders of the Business Council of Alberta, created a business organization focused on shared prosperity
  • 19:30: Addressing misconceptions of the energy industry and climate action
  • 28:48: Canada’s opportunity in the transition to a low-carbon future
  • 46:10: ESG-based investment, E-ESG, and how Canada can position itself to compete globally
  • 58:10: Current energy policy and creating national consensus on resource development and climate action
  • 1:15:45: Expectations and optimism for the future of the sector

Resources Mentioned

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