Leveraging the value of Canadians living abroad — a LIVE! Q&A with John Stackhouse


Have you ever thought about the value of Canadians living overseas or in other countries? It turns out that well over 2 million Canadians are living outside of Canada at any given time, and they’re not just traveling — they are working, living, teaching, and succeeding elsewhere. That’s a valuable asset, and one that John Stackhouse explores in his latest book Planet Canada: How our expats are shaping the future.

Stackhouse joins host Shaun Haney for a fascinating LIVE! Q&A on how countries approach expats, how Canada could leverage expats’ success, and so much more, including a discussion on the role of modern media.

Don’t miss the LIVE! every weekday at 1 pm Mountain on your favourite social media platform! 


  • Last trip out of Ontario was to Red Deer. Nothing against Red Deer, but he hopes he can travel somewhere else, eventually.
  • A bit about John: has been with RBC Royal Bank for the last six years
  • Before that worked as a journalist, including 25 years at the Globe and Mail, the last few years as the editor-in-chief, 2014. Based in New Delhi for 8 years ago, which inspired this book
  • Incredible Canadians worldwide, living and working, and studying and being really successful
  • Things changed after 2001 and 9/11.
  • Can we take advantage of Canadians in other countries? 2 million strong
  • Canada is getting “smaller” in many global terms, how do we punch above our weight?
  • There are some really significant expats out there!
  • As an example, there are some huge YouTube stars, from southern Ontario, that moved to Japan. And they blend in to the new country. “Go along to get along.”
  • Canadians respect different cultures, and that respect is returned.
  • That means that Canadians become bridge builders, connecters, networkers. They can work in between. Like between Germans and French in Europe. It becomes our super power!
  • Agriculture issue this could help with? Maybe freight
  • Canadians often choose the certainty of good, and settle for small adventures. But expats are more adventurous, more willing to take risks
  • There are about 250,000 Canadians in Silicon Valley
  • Our ag strategy for the future, in ag tech — Next steps?
  • We might need this hidden army of Canadians, of risk takers. How do we connect with them?
  • Do other countries do a better job of this? Who is doing this well? Italy, Ireland, even the U.S.
  • Australia and New Zealand have a culture of get out! But come back home after you’ve gained experiences.
  • Taiwan experience. Israel experience. 10x — the force multiplier concept.
  • We’re only 40 million people. We have to leverage that, learn from how other countries do it.
  • James Cameron. He’s not coming back, but is still someone who prides himself on his Canadian-ness. That’s someone who could connect 10 million dots! Put him to work for us, not come back. He’s investing in Saskatchewan (plant protein).
  • We’re not one dimensional! And that’s a strength
  • We are teachable and willing to learn. That will be a great skill going forward.
  • Should we be trying to keep all those Silicon Valley goers here at home?! Focus on brain circulation more than brain gain or drain. People who go out and come back will be more valuable than those who never leave.
  • There’s a parallel to the farm here, too
  • Canada does have an international brand
  • Lessons from the 25 years at Globe & Mail? The value of journalism, deep and abiding respect for independent journalism, and it’s necessary for a functioning democracy.
  • Need to move away from the demonization of media, and have real conversations about the flaws of media

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