Mr Michael Phelps – 1996

Michael Phelps was born in Montreal in 1947. When he was 13, his family moved to Winnipeg where Michael attended and graduated from St Paul's College High School in 1963, at the ripe old age of 15.

Michael attended the University of Winnipeg and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1967, followed by a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1970 from the University of Manitoba. In 1971, Michael completed his Master of Laws degree from the London School of Economics. He has also been awarded Honourary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Winnipeg in 1992 and from Simon Fraser University in 1994.

Michael began his legal career as a member of the Manitoba Attorney General's Department in 1972. The following year he joined the Winnipeg law firm of Christie Turner DeGraves.

In 1977, Michael left Manitoba for Ottawa to work in the Federal Government as Senior Advisor to the Minister of Justice, and then as Executive Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, until 1982.

Michael moved out west to Vancouver in 1982 to join Westcoast Energy. By 1988, Michael was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, and in 1992 became Chairman of the Board. Since 1988, the Company has evolved from a regionally based natural gas utility to a continental energy company with major interests across Canada and into the United States. Westcoast is active with new projects being developed in British Columbia, the Maritimes, Australia, China and Indonesia. Its asset base has grown from $2 billion to $9 billion and its earnings have increased from $52 million to $176 million. In Manitoba, Westcoast's subsidiary, Centra Gas Manitoba Inc., operates the distribution system delivering gas to homes and businesses.

In addition to his Westcoast Energy corporate responsibilities, Michael sits on the Boards of Directors of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Canfor Corporation, and Rogers Communications Inc. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

Michael's passions in life are…

His family - including wife Joy and their three daughters, Erica, Julia and Lindsay. Joy was the girl next door on Winnipeg's Grosvenor Avenue, and they have been married for 26 years.

His business life and his plans to see Westcoast Energy emerge as a significant player in the United States and elsewhere around the globe.

His love of skiing - Michael is the Chief Corporate Fundraiser for the National Ski Team and enjoys being humiliated while training or heli-skiing with Team members.

The new game in his life - golf. Although He is in his second year of golf, Michael has found time to play rounds at Augusta, Shinnecock Hills and Pebble Beach in the United States, and at St. Andrews and Carnoustie in Scotland. And he broke 80 before U.S. President Bill Clinton did.

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