Speaking of Business with Goldy Hyder-logo

Speaking of Business with Goldy Hyder

Business & Economics Podcasts

Conversations with Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Join host Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, as he sits down with some of the most successful and fascinating people in Canadian business.




Conversations with Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Join host Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, as he sits down with some of the most successful and fascinating people in Canadian business.






Business as a force for good – Iggy Domagalski, Wajax

Iggy Domagalski is a big believer in having fun at work. “Work can be enjoyable,” he says. “When people know that they can have a bit of fun and that they can take five minutes to spend some fun time with their peers, I think that sends them back to their desk smiling.” Domagalski is the President and CEO of Wajax, a Canadian industrial products and service company. With 3000 employees working in 120 branches across the country, a strong corporate culture that embraces positivity is a big priority for him. That’s why you might run into a foosball table or an impromptu basketball game at a Wajax office. “You spend more than half your waking life with your teammates at work,” he says. “Why can't that be enjoyable?” Domaglaski believes happiness and fulfillment at work can permeate into the larger community. “Business can be a real power for good.” In a wide-ranging conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Domagalski discusses his approach to leadership, how he embraced entrepreneurship at an early age, the importance of mentors and why Wajax is dedicated charitable giving.


Preparing for Canada’s energy future – François Poirier, TC Energy

François Poirier and his co-workers see themselves as problem-solvers. The problems are many, and familiar to anyone who follows North America’s energy industry. It’s a tall order, but Poirier – President and CEO of Calgary-based TC Energy – is optimistic that his company and others in the industry can meet the challenge. Not only that, he’s convinced that Canada can play an outsized role in solving the world’s energy problems. In a conversation with Goldy Hyder in the Speaking of Business podcast, Poirier points to Canada’s natural resources, private sector leadership and energy expertise as key ingredients that can help countries around the world lower greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Poirier says Canada’s energy sector has a lot to contribute to a coordinated North American energy strategy. “It's through collaboration, cooperation, and commerce that North America can underpin the security and the prosperity of billions of people,” he says. In a wide-ranging conversation, Poirier also explains why mental wellness is a priority at TC Energy, why he enjoys competing in triathlons, and what career advice he’s shared with his two sons.


Bringing fresh perspective to Canadian air travel: Alexis von Hoensbroech

Twenty-seven years ago, WestJet took to the air with just three aircraft and five destinations. Today, the Calgary-based airline serves more than 100 cities across four continents. Overseeing the operation is CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech. He's a newcomer to Canada but not to the industry, having spent two decades working for and running airlines in Europe. When he arrived in Canada last year, he was struck by the country’s rugged geography and “sheer size”, which brought home to him the importance of air travel. “In Europe, if you want to get from city A to city B, you have tons of options,” he says, including air, rail and road. “You can even take a bicycle in many cases. [Cities are] not very far apart.” That’s hardly the case in Canada, where the alternative to air travel is often a journey lasting several days. “Aviation and airlines are an absolute essential service for thousands and thousands of communities … This is just a geographical fact,” he tells Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast. Given that, von Hoensbroech says he’s surprised that government-imposed surcharges on air travel – including airport rent, security and navigation fees, and federal taxes – are “far more expensive” in Canada compared to other countries. “I’m surprised that the government is not putting more effort into making aviation more affordable,” he says. “Actually, they’re doing the exact opposite.” Listen to Goldy Hyder’s full conversation with Alexis von Hoensbroech – including his thoughts on the Calgary Stampede, and which NHL superstar hails from his hometown in Germany – on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Driving into the future – Bob Espey, Parkland Corporation

If you filled up your car’s gas tank recently, or popped into a convenience store, there’s a good chance you visited a Parkland location. The Canadian company supplies fuel and operates convenience stores across Canada under many banners, including On the Run, Chevron and Ultramar. Founded in Red Deer, Alberta, in the 1970s, Parkland now operates 4,000 locations in 25 countries. The company has expanded quickly. “We're a 50-year-old company, yet 80 per cent of our employees joined us within the last four to five years,” says Bob Espey, Parkland’s president and CEO. While Parkland is best known as a distributor and retailer of petroleum products, the company is preparing for the energy transition. In the summer of 2021 Espey drove an electric vehicle from Calgary to Vancouver, stopping five times to recharge the battery. Each stop took between 15 and 30 minutes. That charging time might be a problem for some, but Espey saw opportunity. “What became apparent is the consumer experience is underserviced,” he tells Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast. “You hear things like range anxiety and time-to-charge anxiety, and there's an opportunity there that – as we see more EVs come into the market – we can address.” Espey recognizes the change will happen gradually and will vary depending on the country in which Parkland operates. “We have some markets like B.C. which are starting to transition quickly and others where it’s not on the agenda yet.” Listen to Goldy Hyder’s conversation with Bob Espey on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Tracy Robinson on rail, resources, and Canada’s place in the world

Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Tracy Robinson liked to watch the trains roll by. Little did she know then that trains would have a lasting impact on her life. She spent 27 years working at Canadian Pacific Railway before switching to the energy sector for almost a decade. Last year she returned to her roots when she was appointed President and CEO of CN, a job she calls “the best in the world.” Overseeing 30,000 km of track across Canada and the United States, Robinson understands the integral role rail plays in North America’s complex supply chain. “We need the supply chains to be effective, highly performing, and resilient,” she tells Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast. “Things are moving quickly. Trade flows are changing quickly. And if we want to be able to participate the way we know we can as a country, we need to be able to move with it.” Robinson sees great opportunity for Canada to share its resources and its ingenuity with the rest of the world provided the country adopts a more ambitious approach to economic development. Among other things, that means ensuring greater regulatory certainty and predictability for infrastructure investments. “Whether it be economic or whether it be climate, environment, we are part of a much bigger community and we can be a much more important part if we step into it.” Listen to Goldy Hyder’s full conversation with Tracy Robinson on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Rania Llewellyn: embracing change at Laurentian Bank

Rania Llewellyn spent 26 years working at Scotiabank before making a move she describes as a “big leap and a big change” – becoming President and CEO of Laurentian Bank. And yet she says the hardest part of that transition was joining a new institution in the middle of a pandemic. The inability to walk through the office and meet people created unique challenges, she says. “Organizations are made of people. You need to be a really good listener to be a good leader.” In a wide-ranging conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Llewellyn discusses how she built a new culture at the Bank despite a remote work environment, and how it contributed to the development of a digital first strategy. “We flipped the conversation. [Rather than saying] ‘let's go back to the office and figure out what tasks we do at home,’ it was ‘what is it that we need the office for?’" Thinking differently and challenging the status quo is something Llewellyn has done throughout her career, because, as she says, “why fit in when you can stand out?” Listen to the full conversation with Rania Llewellyn, including her experience as an immigrant to Canada and her hopes for the country’s future.


Be bold and future-focused: Deanna Zumwalt on Coril Holdings’ next 125 years

When Deanna Zumwalt became President and CEO of Coril Holdings in 2021, she took on responsibility for an organization with a rich Canadian legacy. The Calgary-based company, with roots in the railway industry, has evolved considerably since its beginnings nearly 125 years ago. Now Zumwalt is looking ahead to the next century. “Being a family enterprise for 125 years, we think across generations – we think in 25-year chunks,” she tells Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Businesspodcast. Zumwalt challenges her team to be bold when charting the company’s future. “Whatever we're doing today, we won't necessarily be doing in the future. We’ve got to figure out what that future looks like.” Zumwalt discusses her hopes for her company, the transformation she’s seeing in her hometown of Calgary, and her vision for Canada – one that embraces diversity and difference. She also speaks candidly about the lessons she has learned from her four children, three of whom were adopted from Haiti. “I always say to my children, ‘Listen for, not against.’ Listen for what you believe in. Listen for something that's in common and then build on that.”


Neighbours, partners, allies, friends – Canada’s relationship with the United States

Canada needs a new foreign strategy that positions it to compete successfully in a changing world, according to former Canadian ambassador Louise Blais. “There are major shifts occurring in the geopolitical landscape,” she says. “Canada will either come out as losing or winning from an economic and security perspective, but we need to have a plan.” Blais served as a senior diplomat in Canadian embassies and consulates around the world including Tokyo, Paris, Washington and the United Nations. She is now senior special advisor to the Business Council of Canada on U.S. and international affairs. In a conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Blais emphasizes that Canada’s foreign policy must be rooted in a strong relationship with the United States, which buys 70 percent of Canada’s exports. Even though the two countries’ economies are interdependent, many in the United States don’t recognize the importance of Canada, she says. “We have to do a better job at making sure the Americans realize just how beneficial the relationship has been to them and their own prosperity.”


“When people buy Canada, they buy authenticity” – Dani Reiss, Canada Goose

When Dani Reiss took over his grandfather’s apparel business more than two decades ago, he gambled on Canada. He resolved to continue making high-end outerwear in Canada, at a time when others in the industry were moving production abroad. The bet paid off. Today Canada Goose is recognized around the world for its luxury clothing. Reiss credits part of that success to the decision to stick with a “Made in Canada” label. For international customers, he says, “a Canada Goose jacket made in Canada was like a Swiss Watch made in Switzerland. It's a quintessential Canadian product when the place of manufacturing cannot be separated from the product itself.” In conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Reiss urges other Canadian businesses to “leverage the power of the Canadian brand.” He also reflects on being named to AMA Toronto’s Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends, which honours business excellence within the marketing profession.


Seizing the moment – Penny Wise discusses Canada’s economic recovery

COVID-19 created an “inflection moment” that offers Canadians a chance to build a better future, according to Penny Wise, President of 3M Canada. “We have a huge opportunity to make a difference and really change the growth trajectory of Canada if we really seize that moment,” she says. In a conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Wise points to three ingredients that should be part of the country’s economic recovery. First, she urges the country to develop an industrial strategy that capitalizes on Canada’s strengths and potential. Second, Wise emphasizes the importance of getting women fully engaged in the economy again, including in leadership positions, pointing to the large number who left the workforce during the pandemic. Third, we need a stronger focus on teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and on ensuring under-represented groups have access to that education. “Our future lies in making sure those people who want to pursue STEM — who want a job, who want a career — that we are providing them with the opportunities to make that happen,” Wise says. Listen to Goldy Hyder’s conversation with Penny Wise – including the career advice she gives to young women – on the Speaking of Business podcast


Focusing on Canada’s strengths: Charles Brindamour, Intact Financial Corporation

Is Canada poised to be a winner or a loser as the world transitions toward cleaner sources of energy? Charles Brindamour, the CEO of Intact Financial Corporation – the country’s largest provider of property and casualty insurance – is convinced that Canada has everything it needs to be a global leader in the drive to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. He points to the country’s highly skilled and diverse workforce, its robust energy supplies and its abundant natural resources as areas in which Canada has huge advantages. “Whether it's around industrial and natural carbon capture, whether it's about building on our strengths in renewable energy, or playing a massive role in the electrification of transportation, these are great opportunities for the country,” Brindamour tells Goldy Hyder in the Speaking of Business podcast. Brindamour says he began to see the effects of climate change more than a decade ago. His company responded by creating the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation to help communities become more resilient to climate-related natural disasters. In February Brindamour was named Canada’s Outstanding CEO of the Year, an award he says he shares with his entire team. “We very much think about Intact as a collective project to build a Canadian champion. And I'm hoping that this prize will help inspire others to do that – because we need more Canadian champions.” Listen to Goldy Hyder’s conversation with Charles Brindamour on the Speaking of Business podcast.


COVID-19 and lessons in leadership – Mary Ann Yule, HP Canada

Mary Ann Yule worries about the long-term economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. “Many working women struggled to balance the responsibilities that came with assuming dual roles,” says the President and CEO of HP Canada. “They are 12 times more likely to step away from their jobs to take care of their family.” The risk, she points out, is that many women’s career trajectories will be hindered or knocked off course. She cites a recent study that concludes global GDP could be one trillion dollars lower by 2030 if action isn’t taken to mitigate pandemic-related job losses for women. In a wide-ranging conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Yule discusses solutions to ensure all employees are engaged and supported – including through mentorship and hybrid work options. And she offers her own lessons in leadership. “There is a privilege that comes with leadership – and an obligation. We need to pay it forward by helping young leaders and blazing the trail for future generations.” Listen to the full conversation – including how and why HP Canada is investing in the circular economy – on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Investing in Canada’s future: John Graham, CPP Investments

John Graham has a clear mandate. As CEO of Canada Pension Plan Investments, he oversees the retirement savings of 20 million Canadians, with the goal of achieving the highest possible returns without undue risk. And yet in a volatile and unpredictable world, his challenge is anything but simple. Take, for example, the fund’s investments in the energy sector. Recently CPP Investments committed to achieving a net-zero portfolio by 2050. But that doesn’t mean it is divesting its holdings in Canada’s oil and gas industry. “We believe fundamentally in a path of engagement,” Graham tells Goldy Hyder in the Speaking of Business podcast. “Divesting takes responsible owners away from the table. Divesting basically puts these assets in the hands of people who may not have the same values.” Graham says Canada is poised for an “economic transition”, not just an energy transition, because the shift to low-carbon energy sources will affect almost everything we produce and consume. And he sees a significant leadership role for Canada. “Canada knows how to do these types of initiatives at scale. I think we very much have the resources and the scientific and technical know-how.” Find out more – including why John Graham switched careers from research scientist to pension manager – by listening to this engaging and wide-ranging episode of Speaking of Business .


“Organized flexibility” – how BNP Paribas is planning a hybrid workplace

How does an employer maintain a sense of community and office culture when many people are working from home? For Sonja Volpe, part of the answer lies in bringing staff together through volunteerism. “Volunteering is taking on an even more important role in the future hybrid work environment,” says the CEO of BNP Paribas in Canada. “It provides us the opportunity to engage with each other, to build out the internal network and strengthen the team dynamic while, of course, helping those in need.” In conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Volpe outlines how BNP Paribas – an international bank operating in 65 countries – is planning for what it calls “organized flexibility”. In practical terms, that means bringing employees back to the office 50 per cent of the time as COVID-19 restrictions ease. “Even though we've been extremely efficient and productive in a remote environment during the pandemic, that's not the way of the future. We need to spend time together and hence time at the office is important,” she says. Volpe also explains how BNP Paribas is addressing climate change through sustainable financing … and why the bank’s Montreal office includes an urban farm!


The business case for reducing emissions

When the Business Council of Canada officially endorsed the concept of a national price on carbon in 2007, it was a “tough sell”, says John Dillon, the Council’s Senior Vice President, Policy and Corporate Counsel. At the time, the federal government and many private sector leaders were concerned that carbon pricing would erode Canada’s ability to compete internationally. “In 2007 there weren’t many countries anywhere talking about carbon price or any meaningful climate policy. There was a worry that a price on carbon could impact our competitiveness.” Dillon has been working on energy and climate policy for three decades. In that time he has seen many changes. In conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Dillon reflects on what he has learned, why Canada’s business leaders have embraced the fight against climate change, and what the country must do it meets its net-zero goals. For more information on the business case for emissions reductions, check out the Business Council of Canada’s report Clean Growth 3.0: Achieving Canadian Prosperity in a Net Zero World.


Playing to Canada’s strengths in a post-pandemic world

When Bharat Masrani looks to Canada’s future, he sees opportunity. “We have all the tools in our toolkit to really leverage what is to come,” says the President and CEO of TD Bank. In a January 25th conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Masrani points to strengths – such as Canada’s education system and highly skilled workforce – as key ingredients to help the country succeed in a post-pandemic world. He also sees an important role for Canada’s energy sector as the country transitions to net-zero emissions. “You look at what those [energy] companies are doing – they're on the leading edge of technology, the leading edge of how we reduce carbon,” he says. Finally, Masrani points to the cooperation between the public and private sectors during the pandemic as a model for Canada to follow in the years ahead. “We are a country that is united in its vision. We want to be successful and we want success for all.” Listen to Goldy Hyder’s conversation with Bharat Masrani on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Canada’s clean growth opportunity

Canada has the resources and the know-how to build one of the world’s cleanest and greenest economies. That’s one of the messages four business leaders delivered at a Canadian Club Toronto event on January 17th. The discussion, “Seizing Canada’s Clean Growth Opportunity,” focused on the steps we need to take now to secure a low-carbon energy future. Presented in partnership with the Business Council of Canada, the event featured key decision-makers from Canada’s mining, agriculture, financial services and energy sectors: The conversation was moderated by Nadia Theodore, Senior VP of Maple Leaf Foods. In Don Lindsay’s words, “We have all of the competitive pieces to address climate change, to stimulate economic growth and to build a nation where our kids can thrive.” Listen to the conversation on the Speaking of Business podcast.


“Believe in tomorrow,” Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO of OMERS

When half a million Canadians are counting on you to look after their pensions, you need to stay squarely focused on the long term. “We often joke, ‘A quarter is not three months – a quarter is 25 years,’” says Blake Hutcheson, President and CEO of OMERS, which manages the retirement savings of current and former municipal employees across Ontario. OMERS is one of the largest defined benefit pension plans in Canada, with net assets of more than $114 billion. So it’s good to know that when Hutcheson looks to the future, he’s optimistic about what he sees. “This is one of those times where there are outsized opportunities ahead – lots of reasons to believe in tomorrow, lots of reasons to believe in this country, and lots of reasons to believe in the future.” In conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast, Hutcheson discusses the challenges of leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also shares some of the lessons he learned growing up 200 km north of Toronto in the town of Huntsville. “To me the ticket for getting ahead as a society is putting [aside] differences and working together in a trusting way. Small towns do that.” Listen to Blake Hutcheson’s conversation with Goldy Hyder – including his 2022 Stanley Cup prediction – in the Speaking of Business podcast.


“We have a common goal” – Shell Canada and the clean-energy transition

When Susannah Pierce looks to the future, she’s filled with optimism. Why? As she puts it, “the energy sector is changing, from one of being carbon-intensive to one of being more [focussed on] clean energy.” The President and Country Chair of Shell Canada points to innovation and investments in new technology by Shell and others – including renewable fuels, biofuels and carbon sequestration – as significant steps toward helping Canada meet its net-zero commitments. She also recognizes the need for the private sector to work with all levels of government to reduce emissions. “Standing on opposite sides, fighting over things, is never going to allow us to move forward,” she says in conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast. “The challenge is real, but the solution is one that we have to work on together. Let's make sure we roll our sleeves up collectively and get after it.” Listen to Susannah Pierce’s conversation with Goldy Hyder, including her thoughts on supporting women in the workplace, on the Speaking of Business podcast.


Building a better future

When Dave Filipchuk began working in the construction industry in the 1980s, digital technology was just a blip on the radar screen. Times have changed. “We’ve got an internet-of-things evolution happening in our industry,” says the President and CEO of PCL Construction, Canada’s largest general construction company. “It goes way beyond measuring things like temperature and humidity. [It includes] air pressure, sound levels, concrete strength, vibration – all with internet-connected sensors in our buildings as we build them.” Modern building design and engineering also has to take into account climate change. For companies like PCL, that includes using low-carbon, energy-efficient products and materials, sourced locally when possible. Buildings must also be capable of withstanding extreme weather events. For all the changes, Filipchuk says the fundamentals remain the same. “I often talk about it as the food, clothing and shelter business,” he says. “We meet the needs of human existence going into the future. How we do things will evolve, and we’re going to need to adapt in smart ways to define that better future for our kids and the generations after us.” Listen to Dave Filipchuk’s conversation with Goldy Hyder on the Speaking of Business podcast.