Money for Nothing: Investment and Financial Policies to get to Net Zero

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 17:00to18:30
A composite image of a hydro energy dam, solar panel and wind turbine

Hosted by the Max Bell Foundation, this event brings three experts together to discuss the investment and finance challenges of the net-zero energy transition. Providing insight from business, government and the research sector, Martha Hall Findlay, Rachel Samson, and Paul Rochon will share their unique perspective on how best to move Canada to a prosperous, net-zero future. This even will be moderated by Max Bell School director and former director of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, Chris Ragan.



Rachel Samson, Vice President, Research at the Institute for Research on Public Policy

Rachel has 23 years of experience providing evidence-based policy advice to key Canadian organizations and decision-makers.

Before joining IRPP, Rachel was research director for clean growth at the Canadian Climate Institute (formerly the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices). In that role, she led multiple in-depth research reports that linked climate change with economic and social objectives, including Sink or Swim: Transforming Canada’s Economy for a Global Low-carbon Future.

Earlier in her career, Rachel was an economist and executive for the federal government, working in departments such as Finance Canada and Environment Canada. After leaving government in 2014, she started her own consulting company, leading projects for such clients as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Ecofiscal Commission and the Smart Prosperity Institute in Canada.

Rachel holds a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University.

Paul Rochon was Deputy Minister of Finance (Canada) from 2014 to 2020. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of senior positions in the federal government. He served as Deputy Minister of International Development under the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. He was the Associate Deputy Minister of Health and concurrently Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance on negotiations for a Canadian securities regulator. From 2010 to 2012 he was the Associate Deputy Minister of Finance and Canada’s Finance deputy at the G7, G20 and the Financial Stability Forum. Paul has extensive experience in budget making, financial and economic management, and policy development at the highest levels of government in Canada. He is a trusted negotiator, having led and concluded negotiations internationally at the G20, as well as in Canada in the context of federal provincial agreements. He has extensive experience related to the governance of Crown Corporations.

Prior to joining the Department of Finance in 1990, he worked at the Conference Board of Canada for three years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in History from McGill University and a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Toronto.

Martha Hall Findlay, Chief Climate Officer, leads Suncor’s efforts to address the nexus of climate and energy, including strategic planning in collaboration with various Suncor teams, and stewarding many of Suncor’s external relationships and strategic collaborations, to build an environment that supports a future for Canadian energy. Martha was instrumental in the development of, and plays a critical leadership role on, the multi-company Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero by 2050 initiative.

She was named a Canadian Climate Champion in 2021 by the British High Commission and the Canada Climate Law Initiative; she was named as one of Canada’s Clean50 for 2022; she was named by the Energy Council as a top global female oil and gas executive and one of the top 275 women influencers.

Prior to joining Suncor, Martha was the President and CEO of the Canada West Foundation, one of Canada’s most important public policy think tanks, where her focus was on strong public policy recommendations for the economic and social prosperity of western Canada, and by extension Canada as a whole. She has written dozens of essays, articles and op eds for national publications in both official languages and has frequently appeared as a thought leader in national print and broadcast media.

She has over 30 years of experience as a corporate lawyer, international trade expert, senior executive and successful entrepreneur, supporting major multinationals as well as start-ups – primarily in wireless telecommunications and mobile payments, both in Canada and in Europe.

As a twice-elected Member of Parliament, she served in the Official Opposition shadow cabinet for International Trade; Finance; Transport, Infrastructure and Communities; and Public Works and Government Services, and she served on the House of Commons Standing Committees for all of those portfolios. She is currently a member of the Minister of International Trade’s Trade Expert Advisory Council.

Martha has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of Toronto and an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School. She also holds the Institute of Corporate Directors ICD.D designation.


Christopher Ragan, Director, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University.


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