CALGARY, AB—Harold (Hal) Kvisle, former president and CEO of TransCanada Corp., was honoured Monday night with the Fraser Institute's T. Patrick Boyle Founder's Award during a gala dinner at the Westin Calgary.
The Fraser Institute gives the award to recognize outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship, the promotion of free markets, and philanthropic support for private sector, non-profit enterprises.
In accepting the award, Kvisle credited the passion and knowledge of the entrepreneurs who built Western Canada’s energy sector and brought jobs and prosperity to the region. But he warned that prosperity is now threatened by government over-regulation spurred by environmental activists.
“Our federal and provincial governments appreciate the value of entrepreneurship and innovation. They are moving in the right direction on income tax rates and fiscal responsibility,” Kvisle said.
“But misguided government policy is only as far away as the next election, and our friends the activists continue to pressure elected politicians with misinformation and hyperbole. It’s no longer appropriate for corporate leaders to go with the flow and accept the burden of unnecessary and inappropriate regulation. We need to stand up, state the facts, clarify the benefits of our projects, and work with politicians and regulators to deal with the regulatory morass that has built up over many decades.”
Kvisle joined TransCanada in 1999 as executive vice-president and managed the divestment of more than $3 billion of non-core assets before his appointment as CEO in 2001. Under his leadership, TransCanada became Canada's largest independent power producer, North America's largest natural gas transmission company and the third largest natural gas storage company. Today, TransCanada is expanding its oil and gas transmission network with key pipeline projects in B.C., Alberta, Alaska, and the continental United States.
An environmental advocate, Kvisle is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and also serves on the boards for Bank of Montreal and ARC Energy Trust. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of Governors of Mount Royal College and as Chairman of Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA). In 2008, he was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year.
“Hal Kvisle is a true entrepreneur who helped make Canada an energy superpower while simultaneously creating jobs for thousands of Canadians and others around the world,” said Brett Skinner, Fraser Institute president.
“He personifies business and community leadership. Through his volunteer work, he has shown his support of education and environmental issues, proving that free enterprise and social wellbeing are inseparable. Hal Kvisle is an example many other CEOs would want to emulate.”