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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
11:45 AM
 - 1:30 PM
Hilton Hotel Toronto

Attacking Canada’s Productivity Problem

Chief Sharleen Gale (First Nations Major Project Coalition & Fort Nelson First Nation), John Ruffolo (Maverix Private Equity) & Carolyn Wilkins (Princeton University’s Griswold Center) with Kevin Carmichael (The Logic)
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Chief Sharleen Gale, First Nations Major Project Coalition & Fort Nelson First Nation, John Ruffolo, Maverix Private Equity, Carolyn Wilkins, Princeton University’s Griswold Center, Kevin Carmichael, The Logic

Canada’s productivity rate has declined almost every quarter for more than two years, and the Bank of Canada recently stated that it has become an emergency for the country. The concerning issue has sparked a nationwide conversation about whether we have the wherewithal to create the wealth necessary to support our quality of life. Join Canadian Club Toronto on April 23 when our distinguished panel will engage this challenging and imperative topic by focusing on the issues that matter, including Chief Sharleen Gale, Chief of the Fort Nelson Nation and Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition; John Ruffolo, Founder and CEO Maverix Private Equity and Carolyn A. Wilkins, accomplished economist and former Senior Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada. Kevin Carmichael, Economics Columnist and Editor-at-Large of The Logic will moderate the conversation.


*For virtual attendees, please note that the live stream will begin at approximately 12:40 pm ET & the link will be provided closer to the event date*


Sharleen Gale

Chief of Fort Nelson First Nation and Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition

Sharleen Gale is a dedicated Indigenous leader and member of the Fort Nelson First Nation, located in the unceded territories of Treaty 8. She has served as an elected Councillor since 2009 and currently holds the position of Chief. As Chief, she upholds a vision for a future where all members of her Nation work together to become strong, proud, healthy, and self-reliant.

Chief Gale has decades of experience in the oil and gas sector, the corporate world, and in leadership. She leverages this experience to help guide the vision of the Fort Nelson First Nation people both at the Council table and in her role as Chair of the Dehtai Corporation, the Nation’s economic arm to prosperity.  During her time as Chief, she has overseen the development of her community’s geothermal electricity project, a partnership on a major renewable energy facility, and the largest community forest tenure in British Columbia.

Chief Gale also is the Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC), a national, First Nations led not-for-profit organization helping First Nations make informed business decisions concerning major project development. In this role she brings a balanced approach that prioritizes both economic prosperity and environmental stewardship. During her time as Chair, FNMPC has grown to over 130 First Nation members and is providing services to its members on over $40 billion of capital investment.

In June 2023, Chief Gale was appointed by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources to serve as a member of Canada’s Electricity Advisory Council.


John Ruffolo

Founder & Managing Partner, Maverix Private Equity

John is the Founder and Managing Partner of Maverix Private Equity, a private equity firm focused on technology-enabled growth and disruption investment strategies. As a firm run by entrepreneurs, funded by entrepreneurs, and for entrepreneurs, Maverix invests in health and wellness, financial services, transportation and logistics, live, work, play and learn, and retail. John chairs the Investment Committee, guides the strategy of the firm, is deeply involved with fundraising and sourcing and leading investment opportunities, particularly within the technology industry.  He led Maverix’s first investment in Viral Nation and sits on their board.

John is also the Founder of OMERS Ventures and Co-Founder and Vice Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators. Over the course of his leadership as the CEO of OMERS Ventures, they invested over USD$500 million in over 40 disruptive technology companies across North America, including growth investments in Shopify, Xanadu, Wattpad, Wave, Hootsuite, Rover, Desire 2 Learn, Hopper, DuckDuckGo, TouchBistro and League. During his tenure at OMERS, John also formed OMERS Platform Investments, and as its Executive Managing Director, he formed OMERS Growth Equity and led investments in Purpose Financial, PointNorth Capital, District Ventures, OneEleven and ArcTern Ventures. John co-founded the Council of Canadian Innovators with Jim Balsillie, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping high-growth Canadian technology firms scale globally.

Throughout his career, John continues to be recognized for his unparalleled contributions to the growth of the technology sector and expansive vision of Canada’s economy. For instance, in 2014, John was recognized as Canada’s #1 of 100 Most Powerful Business People by Canadian Business Magazine (#3 in 2015) and was selected as one of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential People by Toronto Life (#16 in 2015, #40 in 2016, #26 in 2017). In 2018, John was honoured with the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, making him a fifth Class Knight. In 2020, John became a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (FCPA). In 2022, John was awarded the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award.


Carolyn Wilkins 

Lecturer, Princeton University’s Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies

Carolyn Wilkins is a visiting senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, where she is a lecturer in the Department of Economics. She is also an external member of the Financial Policy Committee at the Bank of England and serves on the board of directors of Canada’s Intact Financial Corporation. She is a mentor to fintech entrepreneurs at the Creative Destruction Lab (HEC). Wilkins worked for twenty years at the Bank of Canada, and served as Senior Deputy Governor from 2014 to 2020. She has contributed to international financial regulation, including as a member of the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and as the Bank’s Deputy to the G20 and G7. In 2022-23, she was one of three panelists leading the external review of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Wilkins earned her MA from the University of Western Ontario and her BA from Wilfrid Laurier University, both in economics. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2022. She was named as a winner of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network in 2016 and 2018.


Kevin Carmichael

Economics Columnist and Editor-at-Large, The Logic 

Kevin Carmichael has spent more than two decades writing about economics, business and finance for outlets including Bloomberg News, The Globe and Mail and the Financial Post, where he also served as editor-in-chief. His journalism has been honoured by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing and the National Magazine Awards. He has worked as a correspondent in Ottawa, Washington, D.C., and Mumbai, and now lives in Montreal