Author of Stephen Harper: A Biography and The Big Shift
“John's talk was a big hit at our event. He was insightful, provocative, and amusing. I was pleased to hear our guests discussing his ideas at the reception and dinner after his presentation. We appreciated his informative and entertaining speech.”—Ingredion Canada Incorporated
John Ibbitson is a Globe and Mail senior political writer. His latest book is Stephen Harper: A Biography—a definitive, thorough, and groundbreaking look at Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister, a finalist for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, and winner of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In a career spanning three decades, he has worked as a reporter and columnist for the Ottawa Citizen, Southam News, the National Post, and, since 1999, The Globe and Mail. He also served as the paper’s Queen’s Park bureau chief, Washington bureau chief and Ottawa bureau chief, becoming Chief Political Writer in 2012 and Writer at Large in 2015. His career of covering, analyzing, and commenting on Canadian and American politics is unmatched by any other journalist.
Stephen Harper, Canada, and the Future of Our Country
How thoroughly has Stephen Harper redefined Canada during his time as Prime Minister? And how differently has he governed, compared to his predecessors? What changes, both positive and negative, controversial and straightforward, has he enacted over his eight years as PM? John Ibbitson's forthcoming book is the definitive biography of Harper—during a crucial time for his leadership, the Conservative Party, and Canadian politics, which has never seemed as exciting as this moment in our history. In this talk, Ibbitson takes the long view, delving into history and revealing a bit about our future. He looks at the influences that formed Harper’s character, traces his evolution from neo-conservative radical to vote-getting politician, examines what lies behind the incremental revolution he has wrought on Canada, and explains how he won three elections—only to put it all in jeopardy over the Senate expenses scandal. What does the future hold for Harper, his party, and a forever-changed Canada? One of our great speakers on politics, Ibbitson puts his finger on the pulse of where our country is headed, and why—and what it means for your industry.
The Big Shift Means Business: Is Yours Ready?
Canada is in the midst of a seismic change. The country is becoming more Asian and less European, more Pacific and less Atlantic. The West will increasingly become the Centre. The failing protections for old industries will be swept away. The great cities will grow in size and power, while the rural and regional will further wane. And, Canadians who were born in this country are getting older, while our immigrant population is considerably younger. In this keynote, John Ibbitson explains why businesses that want to succeed must build trust with both of these groups. It's as important as the financial data you crunch, or how well you manage your marketing mix. Building trust means managing the Big Shift.
With unrivaled understanding of the country's political and economic situation, Ibbitson offers practical advice for how your business can fit into Canada's future. He provides his five key rules to building trust, making a profit, and surfing the wave of change, and equips audiences with valuable knowledge of demographics, the labour market, and the business of marketing and selling to a changing nation.
Winner of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Finalist for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
As one of the important prime ministers in the life of our nation, Stephen Harper has reshaped Canada into a more conservative country, a transformation that his opponents tacitly admit will never be reversed. He has made government smaller, justice tougher, and provinces more independent, whether they want to be or not. Under its 22nd prime minister, Canada shows the world a plainer, harder face. Those who praise Harper point to the Conservatives’ skillful economic management, the impressive new trade agreements, the tax cuts and the balanced budget, the reformed immigration system, the uncompromising defence of Israel and Ukraine, and the fight against terrorism. Critics—pointing to punitive punishments, muzzled scientists, assaults on the judiciary, and contempt for parliament—accuse the Harper government of being autocratic, secretive and cruel.
But what about the man? In this definitive new biography, The Globe and Mail’s John Ibbitson explores the life of the most important Canadian of our times—his suburban youth, the crisis that caused Stephen Harper to quit university for three years, the forces that shaped his tempestuous relationship with Reform Leader Preston Manning, how Laureen Harper influences her husband, his devotion to his children—and his cats. Ibbitson explains how this shy, closed, introverted loner united a fractured conservative movement, defeated a Liberal hegemony, and set out to reshape the nation. With unparalleled access to sources, years of research and writing, and a depth of insight that has made him one of the most respected voices in journalism, John Ibbitson presents an intimate, detailed portrait of a man who has remained an enigma to supporters and enemies alike. Now that enigma is revealed, in a masterful exploration of Stephen Harper, the politician and the man.
The Big Shift: The Seismic Change In Canadian Politics , Business, And Culture And What It Means For
The political, media and business elites of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal ran this country for almost its entire history. But in the last few years, they have lost their power, and most of them still do not realize it’s gone. The Laurentian Consensus, a name John Ibbitson coined for the dusty liberal elite, has been replaced by a new, powerful coalition based in the West and supported by immigrant voters in Ontario. So what happened?
Great global migrations have washed over Canada. Most people are unaware that the keystone economic and political drivers of this country are now Western Canada and the immigrants from China, India, and other Asian countries who increasingly are turning Ontario into a Pacific-oriented province. Those in politics and business have greatly underestimated how conservative these newcomers are, and how conservative they are making our country. Canada, with an ever-evolving and growing economy and a constantly changing demographic base, has become divorced from the traditions of its past and is moving in an entirely new direction.
In The Big Shift, John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker argue that one of the world’s most consensual countries is polarizing, with the west versus the east, suburban versus urban, immigrants versus old school, coffee drinkers versus consumers of energy drinks. The winners—in politics, in business, in life—will figure out where the people are and go there too.
Open and Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama, and Canada Has Stephen Harper
Last November America elected its first black president. Canada, too, went to the polls that month. The difference for the two nations was remarkable: Americans had a clear choice between an indecisive, has-been who represented at best more of the same and a progressive, eloquent, African American, the first ever black presidential candidate. As Ibbitson remarks, "What were Canadians being offered? An overweight economist who couldn't offer an honest smile to save his life, and a backpacking political scientist whose English made your ears bleed. Who elected these guys? Practically no one." Ibbitson argues that the result of the US election was electric, energizing, and represents a profound changes in American politics. Barack Obama may well be just the man to rescue the republic from its many serious woes.
The result of the Canadian election was, he says, as flaccid as the campaign itself: another Conservative minority government that shortly afterward tripped over its own hubris, causing a major political tempest in the Ottawa teapot. The elections and their aftermaths tell us two crucial things: One, America is still capable of slamming on the brakes and putting itself back on the right track. Two, in Canada, something has gone so seriously wrong with our leadership it's time to sound the alarm. Which is just what he does in this timely, perceptive, persuasive book.
The Polite Revolution
From one of this country's best and most controversial political writers, a searing blueprint for the Next Canada. Five years into the twenty-first century, Canada is viewed as one of the most desirable nations in the world in which to live. Despite the worries of many Canadians--our country's regional and linguistic divisions, our frequent identity crises-- Canada, it seems, has a lot of good things going for it. The federal election of 2004, however, revealed new cracks in an already flawed political system. John Ibbitson argues that we have entered a new political era, that Canada has become a nation of solitudes--the West, the English Centre, the French Centre, the East--each of which has its own cultural and economic concerns, none of which are being sufficiently recognized by the major political parties. If we cling stubbornly to old methods of governance, he says, we risk losing all that the Confederation has achieved in its first 138 years. In this compelling, and ultimately hopeful book,
John Ibbitson dismantles the old ways of thinking about Canada's immigration, free trade, social, and defence policies. His ideas for the future of this country are daring: a devolution of power and dollars from the federal to the provincial level, a revamping of medicare, a refashioning of the electoral system. They amount to no less than a revolutionary plan for the creation and defence of a new national dream.