John Ibbitson |  Globe and Mail's Senior Political Correspondent and #1 Bestselling Author

No one understands Canada-U.S. relations like John Ibbitson. As a #1 bestselling author, senior political correspondent for The Globe and Mail, and former bureau chief in Washington and Ottawa, Ibbitson helps audiences understand how Canadian policies will fare under Trump. From the border to trade, immigration to the environment, he helps us see where power—real power—lies today.

John Ibbitson is a Globe and Mail senior political writer. His latest book is Stephen Harper: A Biography— an insider’s look at how our 22nd Prime Minister changed the country, economically and politically, and for better or for worse. It was 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.


His previous book, The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future (co-authored with Darrell Bricker), is a national bestseller. Other books Ibbitson has written—Promised Land: Inside the Mike Harris RevolutionOpen & Shut: Why America Has Barack Obama and Canada Has Stephen Harper, The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream, and Loyal No More: Ontario’s Struggle for a Separate Destiny—have sparked controversies from Parliament to the Potomac. Before his stints in Ottawa and Washington, Ibbitson wrote plays and fiction, which helps explain the captivating polish of his style. His novel The Landing won the Governor General’s Award for Best Children’s Book in 2008. In 2014, while on leave from The Globe writing Stephen Harper: A Biography, he served as a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.


“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

Speech Topics

U.S. Politics
Trump and Canada What Does the New Administration Mean for Us?

For many Canadian companies and policy-makers, there’s nothing more important than our close-knit relationship with the United States. But with Trump in the White House, many Canadian priorities seem in jeopardy. In this timely keynote, John Ibbitson explores how Canada’s political and economic agenda might fare in the era of Trump, answering key questions on trade, foreign policy, security, and more. How will we preserve an open, undefended border? Can we continue our inclusive immigration and refugee programs? How will we fulfill our global obligations to the environment? Ibbitson is a voice Canadians turn to for the bigger picture—and in this talk, he takes apart what we think we know about the US-Canada status quo.

Canadian Politics
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.

Business Forecast
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.