Canada’s Next Great Opportunity (and Risk)
Pivoting North, the online conference to discuss Canada’s Next Great Opportunity (Wednesday, November 25th, 11:00 – 13:00 EST) has received a lot of attention from business, government, and Indigenous peoples – especially those with experience in the Arctic. In light of this, we have decided to postpone the conference until sometime in early 2021 to more fully integrate the wisdom and perspectives of additional Indigenous leaders into the discussions.
Canada’s North Pole is magnetic, and compasses point towards it. It’s time for Corporate Canada and our governments to turn in the same direction.
This Discussion Paper is based on the premise that:
- Climate change is quickly impacting Canada’s North and at the same time, increasing the shipping viability of the Northwest Passage. Maritime shipping will foster other large opportunities.
- Canada must act as quickly to assert its sovereignty over the region and support the lives of local Indigenous peoples. Russia, the U.S., and even China have their own ambitions.
- Asserting Canada’s sovereignty over the Northwest Passage and successful economic development are wholly interdependent. Neither can be achieved without the other.
- Without respect for and collaboration with local Indigenous peoples, neither objective is possible.
- It will take a coalition of like-minded business leaders to convince the Government of Canada, with some urgency, to develop policies and programs that support economic development of the North, including the commercial operation of the Northwest Passage.
Throughout our history, Canada has never truly leveraged, collectively, three of its most important assets: our geographic position in the world as the largest land mass in the north; the shipping potential of the Northwest Passage and, our international reputation for political and economic stability. Canada’s North is very large in geographic and economic potential, but very small in population, infrastructure, and national focus. It is perhaps best to look at it in bites and compared to other such places in the world:
Over half of Canada’s land mass is north of 60 degrees latitude – including the territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut as well as Northern Quebec. Yet only 70,000 people live along our northern coast, all of them Indigenous to the region (Inuit, First Nations, and Métis). Most live below the poverty line and the near-term impacts of climate change are already threatening their traditional lifestyles.
This is Canada’s next greatest opportunity – and threat.
As the ice melts, the Northwest Passage will become the centre of the world’s new political chessboard. Canada must control it, alone or in partnership, or our sovereignty and long-term economic future will be in jeopardy. Canada must pivot north, away from its traditional focus on the American border. In our opinion, on large issues such as this, the federal government needs motivation from outside of its traditional decisioning processes to act with of sense real urgency and purpose. Canada’s North needs a business strategy behind it. A coalition of like-minded businesses that can embrace, improve, and enable Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework will not only be able to support the government’s own goals, but also bring real economic gains to the nation, Indigenous peoples, and Canadian business.
If government could have done it alone, it would have done so already.
As it concerns sovereignty and economic development, it’s a bit like chess. Controlling the middle of the board does not guarantee success, but it goes a long way to exerting influence over the outcome. Same with the Northwest Passage. Canadians can – and should – be the main influencers of how, where and when the Northwest Passage is developed. More broadly, Canada’s solution to the critical issues of sovereignty in the North and economic sustainability across the country go hand-in-hand. The opportunity is so large that no government, no single business entity, nor individual group of Indigenous peoples can hope to address this alone.
WE CALL THIS STRATEGY – PIVOTING NORTH.
It will require a robust federal government policy structure supported by investment and operations structures based on such options as public-private-partnerships (P3) and those with Indigenous peoples as partners too. Hard work is needed, by Corporate Canada and Indigenous peoples, so that both groups learn the hard skills as well as the soft skills of how to do business together. We can’t just plant the flag and expect success in a highly competitive and rapidly shifting geo-political context. And the world isn’t waiting for Canada to develop its own northern region. We need to start now, together.
Our goal at Campbell Strategies is to help facilitate the necessary conversations, relationships, and policies that will set the table for Canada’s Pivot North.
The discussion paper we wrote is the first step in that process, followed by an online meeting of interested leaders from Corporate Canada and experts from the North. This event will be held on Wednesday November 25th (11:00am EST).
Following the online meeting, Campbell Strategies will invite interested corporate leaders to establish the CANADIAN ARCTIC INVESTMENT COUNCIL. The Council will:
- Monitor the policies, policy development, and discussions concerning Canada’s North with all governments in the region (Federal, Territorial, Provincial, Municipal, and Indigenous).
- Monitor the same as above in Arctic nations, including United States, Russia, Norway, Denmark, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Iceland, and China.
- Monitor traditional and social media on the relevant themes
- Ensure that Canadian business plays a prominent role in delivering Canada’s 2019 Arctic and Northern Policy Framework and influences any future policy developments within it
- Provide an environment for collaboration among coalition members eager to discuss and pursue partnerships and shared investments in Canada’s Arctic.
- Ensure that the message that sovereignty and economic development are interdependent is embedded in government policy.
- Make Canadians at large aware of this interdependence and its importance to the future of the nation’s sovereignty, prosperity, and respect for Indigenous peoples, through a public website, publications, media relations, speeches, and other communications activities.
- Invite, encourage, and invest in initiatives that support a better understanding between Indigenous peoples and Corporate Canada on each other needs and establish areas of collaboration.
- Ensure the integration of the needs of Indigenous peoples and environmental sustainability in the economic development of Canada’s Arctic, and,
- Pursue Canadian leadership and management of the operations of the Northwest Passage along with any partnerships – with other nations or international businesses – that may be required.
We invite your opinions on this critical matter, and we hope that you and your organization will consider joining with us at this critical intersection of government policy and business needs.
CEO, Chamber of Marine Commerce
A seasoned transportation and association leader with strong influencing skills who has a background in developing and implementing strategic advocacy and operational programs that will raise an organization’s public profile and revenues. Bruce is always seeking interesting projects that will help an organization bring its commercial needs together with public interests. Burrows started his career at Canadian Pacific, holding successively senior roles in the areas of marketing, asset management and government relations across Canada and in the United Kingdom. He was Vice President and Acting President and CEO of the Rail Association of Canada between 2000 and 2013, where among other achievements he improved cross-border operations for rail with a new Canada/U.S. border action plan. Bruce has been the CEO of the industry association for Canada’s marine industry since 2016. He is also a board member of The Vimy Foundation. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work to preserve and promote Canada’s First World War legacy.
CEO and Founder, Campbell Strategies
Barry Campbell is the Founder and President of Campbell Strategies. He is one of the leading public affairs consultants in Canada, with a career spanning four decades in law, politics and government relations. Mr. Campbell has represented many of Canada’s leading corporations across a host of complex policy areas. He has provided counsel in several policy areas including: financial services regulation, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, health and education, among numerous other policy areas. Mr. Campbell served as a Member of the Parliament of Canada from 1993 to 1997. During that time, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, later Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin. In this capacity, he assisted in the development of the budgetary policy of the Government of Canada, and assisted in tax policy, trade policy and financial services sector policy. Mr. Campbell served for two years as Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. Mr. Campbell is a graduate of McGill University, McGill Law School (LL.B.’75, BCL’76), and the Harvard Law School (LL.M.’77).
Manager, Engineering and Community Partnerships, NRStor
Shivani is an engineer and financial professional focused on the intersection of clean technologies and social impact. She works with NRStor Inc. to build own and operate first-of-a-kind energy storage projects, including Canada’s first commercial flywheel energy storage facility and the first fuel-free compressed air energy storage (CAES) facility in the world. Shivani helps to lead NRStor’s work with remote, off-grid Indigenous communities building partnerships and projects reducing dependence on diesel fuel while supporting local economic growth. Shivani is a co-founder of Bold Realities – a platform for dialogue regarding the role of corporate Canada in reconciliation. The discussion series has run events to explore reconciliation in the energy industry and the mining industry. Previously, Shivani worked to develop biogas projects in Ontario and California and worked in finance as an investment banking analyst in Calgary. Shivani holds a BESc. in Green Process Engineering from Western University and an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. She is a Venture for Canada Alumni – a fellowship program focussed on fueling the Canadian startup ecosystem.
President and CEO of Nunasi Corporation
Clint Davis is the CEO of Nunasi Corporation, an Inuit Development Corporation which is owned by the three Regional Inuit Associations in Nunavut. Headquartered in Iqaluit, Nunavut Nunasi has investments across a range of industries including fuel distribution, commercial real estate, commercial development and construction. Clint, who is Inuit from Labrador, previously served for over 11 years as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Nunatsiavut Group of Companies, which is the economic arm of Nunatsiavut Government in Labrador. In 2016, Clint received the Indspire Award for Business and Commerce and was also recognized by his alma mater Acadia University as a Distinguished Alumni. Clint has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University, a Bachelors of Laws from Dalhousie University and a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University. He is a Canada-U.S. Fulbright scholar and the recipient of multiple scholarships including two awards from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (now Indspire) as well as the Fred C. Manning Entrance Scholarship at Acadia University. Clint lives in Ottawa with his wife Hillary Thatcher, their three children.
Executive Director, First Nations Major Project Coalition
Niilo Edwards is the Executive Director of the First Nations Major Project Coalition, a national First Nation led not-for-profit business capacity organization. Niilo has been involved with the organization since its establishment in 2015. As Executive Director, he is responsible for the overall organizational strategy including the management of the organization’s technical services provided to Coalition members to assist them in participating in major infrastructure projects on a commercial basis. Prior to this role, Niilo served as an advisor to the First Nations Financial Management Board. Niilo also has experience working with First Nations at the community level on governance and business planning matters. From 2006 to 2013, Niilo served as an advisor to the Chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. In 2019, Niilo joined the University of Ottawa’s Positive Energy Initiative advisory council for Canadian energy policy. Niilo received an education in public administration and applied ethics at the University of Ottawa. He achieved certification as a sommelier to advance his personal interest in wine.
Principal, Campbell Strategies
Ted is a 35-year veteran of Canadian public affairs and communications industries. He has a special interest in developing Canada’s North since he began working multiple municipalities in Northern Ontario in 2000. Since then, he has helped develop energy and agricultural projects, community infrastructure and established a reputation for collaboration and economic development. Ted is the stakeholder outreach and communications specialist at Campbell Strategies. With over three decades of experience, he brings not only the strategic chops to ensure our clients have the best communications plans, but also an award winning skill set in media relations, writing, video, graphics, and digital media that bring these plans to life. He’s been the go-to person for crisis and issues management on such subjects as athlete use of performance enhancement drugs, blood product contamination, professional misconduct, labour disruption, and plant closings.
President and CEO, Det’on Cho Management
Paul Gruner has 15 years of progressive management experience in several industries including oil and gas midstream operations, civil construction, telecommunications and manufacturing. He has worked primarily in the North including Northern British Columbia, Yukon, Alaska and currently Northwest Territories. In the past he has served as the General Manager of Dakwakada Capital Investments, CEO of Castle Rock Enterprises and President of RAB Energy. Currently Paul is the President and CEO of Det’on Cho Management LP which is the investment arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nations. He sits on several boards including the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Future Skills Centre Canada, Northwest Territories / Nunavut Chamber of Mines and Da Daguay Development Corporation. In addition to his professional experience, Paul has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Northern British Columbia, a Chartered Professional Accounting Designation and the Institute Corporate Director Designation.
Valerie is a recognized infrastructure project lawyer, with specific expertise in managing large, complicated, multi-party projects often with novel issues. She has led some of Canada’s most innovative, complex power projects spanning over several years on behalf of the range of project participants, including Indigenous groups, project proponents, lenders, investors, contractors, and governmental authorities. One of Valerie’s core strengths is her ability to become a key member of a project team, managing relationships among numerous and often disparate project participants and proposing creative solutions to navigate through problematic project issues. A key part of her practice is working on infrastructure projects that involve Indigenous interests and parties.
General Manager, Area Sales USA & Canada, Wartsila
Mark Keneford spent 27 years in the Canadian Navy as a marine systems engineering officer and project manager. He sailed in ships and had operating tickets (Navy equivalent) for steam, diesel and gas turbines. Since 2008 he has been employed in Wartsila Canada Marine Solutions leading the sales team responsible across Canada and USA to represent Wartsila solutions to shipowners, ship design companies and shipyards, in all vessel segments. Mark is a member of the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineers CIMARE (St. Lawrence branch) and also the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers SNAME (eastern Canada section).
Dr. Adam Lajeunesse
Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security Policy
Adam Lajeunesse, PhD, is the Irving Shipbuilding Chair in Canadian Arctic Marine Security Policy and an Assistant Professor at the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, St. Francis Xavier University. He is the author of Lock, Stock, and Icebergs (2016), a political history of the Northwest Passage, as well as co-author of the 2017 monograph China’s Arctic Ambitions and What They Mean for Canada, and co-editor of Canadian Arctic Operations, 1941-2015: Lessons Learned, Lost, and Relearned (2017). Lajeunesse works on questions of Arctic sovereignty and security policy and has written extensively on CAF Arctic operations, maritime security, Canadian-American cooperation in the North, and Canadian Arctic history.
VP Northern Affairs, Mining Association of Canada
Brendan works to advance the mining industry’s understanding of key economic issues, such as taxation, international trade and investment, transportation and infrastructure, energy and climate change, and innovation. Brendan is also responsible for mining policy and regulation in Canada’s North. Brendan is the lead writer and researcher for MAC’s annual Facts & Figures publication. Prior to joining MAC, Brendan held several federal government positions, including Research Assistant to the Speaker of the Senate of Canada, Lead Advance to the Prime Minister of Canada, and Executive Assistant to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. Brendan holds two master’s degrees in political philosophy and Energy Management.
Founding Partner of Imperium Global Advisors
Jordon has many years of legislative, political and professional advocacy experience globally. Most recently, he was the Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), the senior Republican for the House Appropriations Committee and the most senior Republican woman in Congress. He has also served as a nuclear-trained submarine officer in the U.S. Navy, which included assignments as the foreign liaison for the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), and Secretary of Defense (SECDEF). Jordon’s variety of assignments also included work as the Special Advisor to the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion (Naval Reactors), in a dual-hatted Department of Defense and Department of Energy role, responsible for all aspects of governmental affairs for the US submarine and aircraft carrier programs. Building upon his work with the defense and energy industrial base, Jordon has led global corporate and government relations teams and initiatives across a variety of markets and jurisdictions in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, U.K., E.U., India, and China. Jordon has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.
The Hon. Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, Government of Canada
The Honourable Dan Vandal was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital in 2015. Minister Vandal is a firm believer in giving back to his community. He has a long record of service in Saint Boniface, where he served five terms as a Winnipeg City Councillor. At City Hall, he served as Deputy Mayor and was a tireless advocate for urban renewal and for better public spaces and vibrant neighbourhoods across the city. He also helped develop Winnipeg’s Aboriginal Youth Strategy, the first of its kind in Canada. Minister Vandal previously worked as a social worker at Winnipeg’s Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, an Indigenous family resource centre that delivers community-based programs and services. He was also the Chair of the Old St. Boniface Residents’ Association. From 2010 to 2013, he was Chair of the Board of Directors for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. In 2013, he led the Board through the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s license renewal process, culminating in a five-year renewal for the network. Minister Vandal is married to Brigitte. Together, they have four children and one granddaughter.