The Canada-U.S. Relationship: Past and Future

Friday, April 26, 2019 11:45to16:15
Faculty Club, 3450 McTavish St, Montreal, QC, H3A 1X9, CA

The United States and Canada have one of the largest trade relationships in the world. But their cooperation goes well beyond economic integration, with common defense interests, shared security agreements, and similarly large flows of immigration. Despite the close friendship between these two countries, there are several points of tension, not least the recently imposed tariffs and the renegotiation of a major trade agreement.

This half-day conference will examine the past and imagine the future of these two great nations, covering issues from trade to populism and from climate change to immigration.


11:45-12:30 Lunch buffet

12:30-12:35 Welcome and introductory remarks: Chris Ragan

12:35-01:20 Panel I – Past and Present: Populism, Free Trade, & the Rule of Law


Todd Fox, Vice-President, Global Government Relations, Visa

Todd Fox manages global government relations strategy for Visa. In this role, he partners with innovators in the public, private, and social sectors to advance public policies that expand the digital payments ecosystem. Prior to joining Visa, Todd was principal advisor for external affairs at Rio Tinto, a global metals and mining company.

He also held positions at the United States Department of Commerce and Inter-American Development Bank. Todd earned a Master of Arts at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was a Fulbright Scholar at McGill University. Todd serves on the board of trustees of the Bay Area Discovery Museum.

Joanna Baron, Director, Runnymede Society

Joanna Baron is national director of the Runnymede Society, a law student group dedicated to classical liberty and the rule of law, and host of Runnymede Radio, a biweekly podcast discussing law, education and politics. She was called to the bar in Ontario in 2013.

Adam Daifallah, Hatley Strategies

Adam Daifallah is the co-founder and Managing Partner of HATLEY Strategy Advisors, a Montreal-based public affairs firm. Adam is a skilled communicator who interacts with key decision-makers in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City and Washington, D.C.

Before co-founding HATLEY, Adam practiced law at the Montreal office of Norton Rose Fulbright (then Ogilvy Renault). Previously, he sat on the editorial board of the National Post in Toronto and was Washington, D.C. correspondent of The New York Sun. He is co-author of two books on Canadian politics.

In the voluntary sector, Adam is Chairman of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, a director of the Montreal Cancer Institute and the Schmeelk Canada Foundation and a member of the Management Committee of the Mount Royal Club. A passionate golfer, he serves as a director of Golf Canada and sits on its Heritage Services Committee. He is also a member of SCOREGolf Magazine’s Top 100 courses in Canada ranking panel.

Adam is a fellow of the Montreal Economic Institute and of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He was a Sauvé Scholar at McGill University. He is a member of the Quebec Bar.


13:30-14:30 Panel IIFuture: Climate change, Security and Economic Cooperation


  • Rania Papageorgiou, Canada and U.S. Economist, Citadel LLC

Chris Sands, Senior Research Professor and Director of the Center for Canadian Studies, SAIS

Christopher Sands is senior research professor and director of the Center for Canadian Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. He was a student at SAIS when he started working at CSIS in 1993. He was named a fellow and director of the CSIS Canada Project in 1995, and he directed research into the implications of the 1995 Quebec referendum on the United States, NAFTA implementation on the automotive industry, and the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States on the U.S.-Canadian border and bilateral trade.

In 2002, he was appointed a senior associate of the CSIS Americas Program and continued to direct Canada-related research until 2012. From 2005 until 2012, Dr. Sands was an adjunct professor at American University, with appointments in both the School of Public Affairs and the School of International Service. He joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University as an adjunct professor in 2009 and as senior research professor in 2014. In 2012, Dr. Sands was named the fifth G. Robert Ross Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, a position he continues to hold. Dr. Sands is a member of the advisory boards of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute in Ottawa and of the Canada–United States Law Institute, a joint institute of the law schools of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Western Ontario.

Chris Ragan, Director, Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University

Christopher Ragan is a Canadian academic and economist. He is best known for his research on monetary policy, and for his popular introductory textbook, Economics, now in its fourteenth edition and co-authored by Richard Lipsey. He is chair of Canada's Ecofiscal Commission, a group of Canadian economists seeking to broaden the discussion of environmental pricing reform beyond the academic sphere and into the realm of practical policy application.

He is an Associate Professor at McGill University, where he has been on the faculty since 1989. Throughout his tenure, he has taught a wide range of economics courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2007, he became the first in the Faculty of Economics to receive the H. Noel Fieldhouse teaching award for excellence in teaching.

His research and academic writing is largely focused on Canadian public policy challenges, and since 2007, the policy responses to the financial crisis of 2007-2009.

From 2010 to 2013, Ragan held the David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy at the C.D. Howe Institute, a Toronto-based public policy think tank. Previously, he served as the Clifford Clark Visiting Economist at the Department of Finance, a Special Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Canada, and member of the C.D. Howe Institute's Monetary Policy Council. From 1996 to 2000, he was Editor-in-Chief of World Economic Affairs.

He has also been a columnist for numerous publications, including the National Post, the Montreal Gazette, the National Post Magazine, and most recently the Globe and Mail.



Dov Zigler Director, U.S. Interest Rates, Scotiabank

Dov Zigler is a financial markets economist in Scotiabank’s Global Banking and Markets group in New York. Before joining Scotiabank, Mr. Zigler was an associate covering global macro and special situations investing at a Canadian fund management company and held a teaching fellowship at McGill University in the department of North American studies.

He has also held a research fellowship at the Shalem Center and worked as an analyst at the Canadian Department of National Defence. He holds an M.A. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University, and a B.E.I. certificate from Sciences-Po in Paris and has been an Asper Fellow at the Hebrew University. He is vice chairman of the Montreal Bach Festival.

14:30-14:45 Coffee Break

14:45-15:20 Keynote address


Tom Velk: “Three Eras of North America”

Tom Velk is an Associate Professor. His doctorate is from Wisconsin, and his research interests are in monetary economics and public policy. The questions he is currently studying are how far and by what means might governments de-regulate the money market, and whether the elimination of central banks would improve economic performance.

He is a regular contributor to media coverage of economic issues. Tom Velk, A. R. Riggs and Harold M. Waller (2000) "U.S. Foreign Policy During a Canadian Sovereignty Crisis: Groping in the Fog of (Diplomatic) War". See "Publications" in the menu at the left for a PDF version of this article and more on Tom Velk's writings.

15:30-16:15 Fireside Chat on the Canada-U.S. Relationship


Brian Mulroney

Brian Mulroney, in full Martin Brian Mulroney, (born March 20, 1939, Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada), Canadian politician, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (1983–93), and prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993.

Born the son of an electrician in a paper-and-pulp town northeast of Quebec city, Mulroney grew up bilingual in English and French and received a B.A. (1959) from Saint Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and a law degree (1962) from Laval University, Quebec city. In 1965 he began practicing law in Montreal, becoming a labour specialist. In 1974 he gained local celebrity as a member of the Cliche Commission investigating crime in Quebec’s construction industry. Always active in politics, he made a bid in 1976 for the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives but lost to Joe Clark. In 1977 he was chosen president of the Iron Ore Co. of Canada.

When Mulroney won election as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party at its convention in June 1983, he had never run for or been elected to public office, but he offered the public a new face from French-speaking Quebec, where the Tories had traditionally been weak. He became prime minister in 1984 in a landslide victory of the Progressive Conservatives over the Liberals and was reelected in 1988.

As prime minister, Mulroney sought closer cooperation with the United States on such bilateral issues as trade policies and measures to deal with acid rain in North America. During the early years of his administration Canada’s economic growth was strong, job creation was high, and inflation was kept under control. His government pursued deregulation of key industries and reform of the tax structure, though a steep federal tax on goods and services introduced in 1991 was widely unpopular.

Mulroney’s political success was in part forged by his creation of what turned out to be a short-term coalition of Quebec nationalists and western conservatives, and his terms were marked by his continuing efforts to unify the country while recognizing Quebec’s status as a “distinct society.” In 1987 he negotiated the Meech Lake accord on constitutional revision, but he was unable to obtain ratification from all 10 provinces before the deadline expired in 1990. A second attempt resulted in the Charlottetown accord of 1992; these were accepted by all the provincial premiers but were defeated in a popular referendum later that year. Mulroney negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with U.S. Pres. George Bush and Mexican Pres. Carlos Salinas de Gortari; the three reached a preliminary agreement in August 1992, and it was signed on December 17. Early in 1993 Mulroney announced his retirement from politics; he was succeeded as party leader and prime minister by Kim Campbell that June.

Linda Frum

The Honourable Linda Frum was appointed to the Senate of Canada in 2009 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. She represents the Province of Ontario.

She is a member of the Conservative Senate Caucus and is the former Conservative Senate Caucus Chair. She currently serves on the Senate Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee and the Senate Committee for Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament.

A fierce advocate for human rights in Iran, Senator Frum has co-sponsored Iran Accountability Week on Parliament Hill. She is also known for her legislative efforts to eliminate foreign funding in Canadian elections. The Eliminating Foreign Funding in Elections Act (Bill S-239) seeks to close a loophole that allows Canadian third party groups to use foreign funds for election purposes.

Senator Frum also introduced Canadian Jewish Heritage Month Act (Bill S-232) which designates the month of May as an officially recognized month to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about the role that Jewish Canadians have had on shaping Canada’s social, economic, political and cultural fabric.

Senator Frum is also an active member of her community. Currently, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto and serves on the board of the United Israel Appeal. She is a member of the International Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation Committee.

She has previously served as the vice chair of the board of Upper Canada College, as well as a board member with Bishop Strachan School, the Art Gallery of Ontario Foundation and Mount Sinai Hospital.

In recognition of her civic contributions, Senator Frum has received the Gold Meir Leadership Award from the State of Israel Bonds, an honourary Doctor of Humane Letters from Yeshiva University, and the Rothschild Humanitarian Award from Shaare Zedek Hospital. In June 2019 she will be awarded an honourary degree from Hebrew University.

A former journalist and author, Senator Frum was a columnist with the National Post, a contributing editor to Maclean’s Magazine, and a Gemini-Award winning documentarian.


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