Just released: Canadian Voices on the role of Business in Society. Click here for the full report!

Récemment publié : Voix canadiennes sur le rôle des entreprises dans la société. Cliquez ici pour le rapport complet!

Global Canada is committed to enhancing Canada’s positive global impact and identifying global best practices that assist Canada’s own challenges.

Global Canada is a non-governmental organization committed to enhancing Canada’s positive global impact and identifying global best practices that assist Canada’s own challenges.

“Canadian well-being depends upon a prosperous, well-governed world. All stakeholders—including the private sector, universities, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists—have an important role to play.”

The Community

That powers the Global-Canada Initiative

The Community

that powers the Global -
Canada Initiative

Global Canadians are leaders, in Canada and abroad, who care about Canada’s positive role in the world.  They come from academia, journalism, civil society, the private sector and government.   They are invited to participate in Global Canada events in their private capacity, not as representatives of any organization. 

Celebrating Canadian Global Leaders

2020 recipients
Jenna Smith
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Mark Lopez
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Jenna Smith
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Mark Lopez
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Jenna Smith
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Mark Lopez
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Community Gatherings

Gatherings of the Global Canadian community helped surface key global issues and frame Global Canada’s agenda. Generally, Global Canada events are run under Chatham House rules, typically with a public summary of proceedings.

The knowledge and insights of Global Canadians helps frame the agenda for Global Canada.   The second and third gatherings included a structured process to surface key priorities for Canadian leadership.  The fourth gathering tested and refined six high potential areas for greater Canadian leadership  (see gathering reports, below).

Canadians Changing the World - Mobilizing for Global Impact

4th Gathering of Global Canadian Leaders

Bolstering Open Societies & Aligning Business with Global Norms

3rd Gathering of Global Canadian Leaders

Seizing Opportunities, Shaping a Better World

2nd Gathering of Global Canadian Leaders

Canadian Leadership in a Challenging World

Inaugural Gathering of Global Canadian Leaders

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Key Initiatives

And Areas of Focus

Global Canada initiatives are developed in close consultation with the community. They are generally advanced with a diverse set of experts, often in partnership with organizations, in a highly collaborative fashion.

Reframing Canada’s Global Engagement, Re-imagining Canada’s Foreign Policy

The need for a clear, coherent, comprehensive, contemporary global engagement strategy for a Canada is a recurring theme. The last comprehensive review is over 15 years old. Global Canada is committed to working with different stakeholders to assist in the articulation of an explicit, effective global engagement strategy for Canada. Over the last two years, we have assembled several building blocks.

  • A Diagnostic of Key Trends and Sources of Influence
    In a process co-chaired with Jennifer Welsh, Canada 150 Chair in Global Governance and Security, Political Science - McGill University, Global Canada leveraged the insights of a diverse group of experts to frame the key global trends facing Canada. This study also identifies the sources of influence Canada has to shape those trends to be more aligned with Canada’s interests and values.
  • Ten Strategic Choices for Decision-Makers:
    A diverse group of experts lay out the key strategic choices facing Canadian decision-makers in the 21st century
  • Foreign Policy by Canadians:
    One of the frequent criticisms of foreign policy is that it is too elitist, too divorced from the views and concerns of ordinary Canadians.  This innovative project turns that notion on its head. In partnership with the Canadian International Council and CanWaCH, and with the expert support of Stanford University, we engaged 400 Canadians, chosen at random across the country, to discuss and prioritize Canada’s foreign policy issues. The results show that Canadians care about what is going on in the world, understand the significant impact global issues have on our country, believe we should step up and do our fair share in partnership with others, but that we must be sure to practice at home (from climate changes to Indigenous reconciliation) what we preach abroad.
  • Next steps: Over the next year, Global Canada will work with government and other stakeholders to encourage the development of a global engagement strategy for Canada, ideally emerging from an explicit, rigorous, parliamentary-driven process.

The Case for Caring

Two of the recurring questions when considering global actions, from peacekeeping to international development, are: 1. Why should Canada invest in a better world?; 2. Are we doing our fair share?

  • Assessing Canada’s Global Engagement Gap:
    This report, coming out in the last full year of the Harper government, did a rigorous comparison of Canada’s development and defence investments, compared with its own historical record and its international peers. It concluded that are underspending was so large that we could be considered an international free-rider.  The Economist took up the point with its article “Canada: proud, strong, and free-riding.
  • Revisiting Canada’s Global Engagement Gap:
    This report, two years into the Justin Trudeau government, focused on Canada’s international development performance. It found that, despite the government’s claims that “Canada is back”, the reality was that Canada’s was committing a smaller share of national income to development than the previous Harper government. It forecast that, without a change in policy, the Trudeau government was on track to have the lowest commitment to international development of any Canadian government, Conservative or Liberal, in the last 50 years. Subsequent budgets have confirmed this unhappy prediction.
  • Pearson's Path to Development:
    In 2019, on the 50th anniversary of the Pearson Report, which helped frame international development for many years, Global Canada did a peer-reviewed investigation as to why Canada’s greatest diplomat became one of the world’s most committed supporters of root-cause problem-solving through international development. Many of his reasons are still highly relevant today
  • Next steps: Articulating the contemporary case for caring. Over the next year, Global Canada, in close association with other partners, will assemble the 21st century rationales for investing in a better world.

Future Planning initiative

Case example, proving in practice the potential for global impact

One area that was identified early in our brainstorming with Canadian leaders was renewed Canadian leadership on family planning and reproductive health and rights. Over the past several years Global Canada worked with a coalition of Canadian civil society actors in the Future Planning Initiative to advance Canada’s global leadership in this area.   This coalition convenes regular gathering of global experts on reproductive health. The recommendations from these gathering (summarized at www.18millionwomen.ca) played an important role in Canada’s $650M announcement in March 2017 to support women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and the historic 10 year, $700 M a year commitment announced in June, 2019. Link here.  In 2018, the Guttmacher institute estimated that Canada’s increased commitment to family planning was empowering 1.4 M women, preventing 387 K unintended pregnancies, avoiding 108 K unsafe abortions, and saving 1,100 maternal deaths.   Global Canada will be exploring other “proof point” opportunities with the potential of significant global impact. Link here

COVID Strategic Choices

An initiative to define optimal strategies to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Click here to read the reports and meet the team

Latest Highlights

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