Event Image Details - multi_panelists
Thursday, June 8, 2023
11:45 AM
 - 1:30 PM
Fairmont Royal York Hotel

Our Energy Future: What does it look like, and what will it take to get there?

Cherie Brant (BLG), Dave Forestell (TC Energy), Gregory Jack (Loyalist) & Chris Sankey (Blackfish Enterprises Ltd.) with Karen Restoule (Crestview Strategy)
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Everyone is talking about the future of energy. The rise in global demand for oil and gas supply coupled with an ambitious commitment to contributing to the 2050 net zero goal have multiplied the complexities surrounding energy. However, we know that every problem comes with an equal or greater opportunity.

In Canada, Indigenous Nations have demonstrated themselves to be the key in solving the energy crisis. Today, an increasing number of LNG and other major energy projects are Indigenous-led with an understanding of the need to balance economic competitiveness and environmental priorities.

In order to achieve our goals, the sum of many efforts are required: amendments to restrictive legislation like the Indian Act, fair and reasonable access to capital, subsidies for energy technology innovation, improved energy literacy among Canadians.

Join Canadian Club Toronto on June 8 for a discussion on the future of energy in Canada and where we are headed in the next five, 10, 20 years and beyond – what is working, what isn’t working, and most importantly, what it will take to get to net zero.

Our expert panel of leaders will explore how the public and private sectors are moving to support a global energy transition and what this shift means for Canada, including the evolving role of the oil and gas sector, how Indigenous Nations are leading energy in Canada, how energy technology innovation could be the solution, and most importantly – the enabling role of Canadians citizens in achieving our energy ambitions.

This conversation will be moderated by Karen Restoule, Vice President at Crestview Strategy, and will feature:

  • Cherie Brant – Partner and National Leader, Indigenous Law, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
  • Dave Forestell – Vice President, Canada External Relations, TC Energy
  • Gregory Jack – Vice President, Strategic Communication and Research, Loyalist Public Affairs
  • Chris Sankey – Principal, Blackfish Enterprises Ltd.

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



Cherie Brant 

Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG)

Cherie Brant is a Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (“BLG”) and Independent Director at Hydro One Networks since 2018 and Toronto-Dominion Bank since 2021.

At BLG, Cherie is the national leader for the Indigenous law group and member of the firm’s Environmental, Social and Governance initiative. Her commercial practice extends across a wide variety of sectors, including energy and transmission, land development and financing on First Nations lands, Indigenous Infrastructure, and economic development for Indigenous owned businesses and Indigenous governments. She also provides strategic policy and governance counsel to Indigenous groups seeking to exercise their jurisdiction and authority.

Presently Cherie serves on the non-profit board for the Canadian Club of Toronto and is a proud past director of the Anishnawbe Health Foundation and Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

In 2023, Cherie received the U of T law Distinguished Alumni Award which is the faculty’s highest honour, recognizing a graduates extraordinary public leadership and lifelong commitment to the community. In 2017, Cherie received the Lexpert Zenith Award, a national award that recognizes women’s contributions to the law. In 2012, she was named one of Lexpert’s “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40.” Cherie holds a JD from the University of Toronto and a BA in Environmental Studies, Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo.

Cherie is both Mohawk from Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and Ojibway from Wikwemkoong Unceded Indian Reserve.


Dave Forestell

Vice President, External Relations Canada, TC Energy 

Dave Forestell is the Vice President, External Relations Canada for TC Energy with responsibility for Indigenous, Community and Government Relations. Dave served as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada covering Indigenous, Natural Resource, Environment, and Infrastructure issues and as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Natural Resources. Dave has held senior corporate affairs roles in mining and banking, including as Chairman of a joint venture mining project in Chile. Dave has a BA and LLB from Western University.

Dave is currently Chair of iGaming Ontario and a Board member on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and serves on the Advisory Boards of Matador Network and the Lawrence National Centre at the Ivey School of Business.


Gregory Jack

Strategic Communication and Research at Loyalist Public Affairs

Gregory Jack has spent over two decades in public affairs, government relations and communications roles across Canada, providing strategic advice and counsel to clients, elected officials, and senior executives in multiple roles.  From leading multi-functional diverse teams as a public sector executive to overseeing large-scale research projects for major international clients, he delivers political acumen, frank advice, and a results-oriented approach for his clients.

As former VP of Public Affairs at Ipsos, he has worked with major clients including the Government of Alberta, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, Uber, the Global Centre for Pluralism, the Government of Canada and Suncor Energy.  He is also a media commentator and spokesperson for Ipsos.  Gregory has presented to senior executives and boards of directors, sat on television panels with opinion leaders, and delivered presentations to organizations across Canada.

Gregory was an executive with the federal government in Ottawa, and later with the provincial government in Alberta, as well as a government relations manager with Suncor Energy.  He was director of communications for Alberta Education and Alberta Economic Development and Trade, where he led the communications function as a member of the department executive committee and advised ministers and their staff on effectively communicating the government’s agenda to Albertans.  As a director, executive director, and director-general with numerous federal government departments in Ottawa, Gregory led large communications teams advising prime ministers, numerous ministers and their staff, and senior officials on their strategic communications and research needs.

Gregory holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of political studies and philosophy, also from Queen’s.  He is currently completing a Master of Science in Energy Policy at the University of Sussex.  He is also a board member of the Chic Geek in Calgary, an organization dedicated to advancing leadership roles for women in technology.  Born in Montreal, Quebec, he spent seven years in Alberta before returning to Quebec in 2021.


Chris Sankey

Principal Owner and President, Blackfish Enterprises

Chris is Principal owner and President at Blackfish Enterprises. A company that provides strategic advice, direction and planning to Indigenous Communities and Industry Stakeholders, both domestically and internationally in the energy sector.  He is a partner in Blackfish Industries.  A heavy civil construction company and an advisor/director in a downstream energy project.  He is a Senior Fellow at the MacDonald Laurier Institute, where he provides advice on Indigenous affairs, research and policy work.

Chris is a member of the Coast Tsimshian community of Lax Kw’Alaams near Prince Rupert, British Columbia and a former Elected Councilor for the Lax Kw Alaams Band where he chaired the Economic Development committee. He was effective in starting and implementing the first ever emergency response and marine safety table on the North Coast and was recently appointed as an advisor to the National Organizing Committee for the Canadian Gas Association and International Gas Union.  Chris sits on the board for the C2C2C Unity Corridor Foundation. An organization that collaborates and brings capacity expertise to indigenous communities that links stakeholder engagement and technical considerations when evaluating corridor opportunities.

Chris organized, implemented and co-facilitates the Tsimshian leadership table in Prince Rupert where he collaborates with indigenous leadership to look at traditional knowledge, political risk, common interest and a path forward through economic reconciliation.

Chris helped negotiate and facilitate the $36 billion-dollar Pacific Northwest LNG agreement and was one of two negotiators for Lax Kw’Alaams Band that reached the first-ever Environmental Monitoring Agreement between the Coast Tsimshian, the Government of British Columbia and Federal Government of Canada.

Chris is an extremely influential person who believes in strengthening communities, one person at a time to achieve communal prosperity.


Karen Restoule

Vice President, Crestview Strategy

Karen is a Vice President at Crestview Strategy based in Toronto. She is a bilingual strategist, communications specialist, and an expert at fostering collaboration among parties by identifying common goals and objectives to bring divergent views together to develop partnerships and shared success. Throughout her two-decade long career Karen has built a reputation for her mastery of crisis management, her ability to identify challenges and how to leverage opportunities to deliver client objectives.

Prior to joining Crestview Strategy, Karen led an environmental consulting firm working with Indigenous communities, building on a prior role supporting First Nations leaders as Director of Justice at Chiefs of Ontario where she advanced innovative policy solutions to legacy challenges. She also co-founded BOLD Realities, to advance the industry-Indigenous relationship. Previously, Karen led the modernization of Ontario’s administrative justice system at Tribunals Ontario, including key transformations at the Ontario Parole Board, Human Rights Tribunal Ontario, and most recently the Landlord and Tenant Board.

A graduate of the University of Toronto and of the University of Ottawa’s French Common Law Program, Karen sits on governance boards for the Banff Forum and Canadian Club Toronto, and advisory bodies for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, Indigenous Partnerships Success Showcase, and Connected North. She serves on juries for both The Donner Prize and The Hunter Prize and is a contributing writer at thehub.ca Karen is Ojibwe from Dokis First Nation.