Welcome to our special issue, “Canada in the Pacific Century,” aligned with a national conference organized by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and held in Ottawa on September 24-25.

We begin with a Q&A with John Manley, president and CEO of the council, which brings together the CEOs of Canada’s 150 largest corporations. “If the United States can execute a so-called pivot toward Asia,” he says, “surely we can, too.”

Then, Brian Bohunicky leads off our thematic, noting that “China is on track to become the largest economy in the world within a decade, a milestone that seemed impossibly far-fetched just 30 years ago.”

Kevin Lynch and Kathy Sendall write that diversifying to Asia is both an imperative and an opportunity for Canada’s energy sector. Former Canadian ambassador to the US Derek Burney also sees the importance of diversifying energy markets beyond North America, especially in light of the Obama administration’s decision to review the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Dominic Barton and his associates from McKinsey write that “the world is rebalancing toward Asia, and China in particular, and Canada must rebalance with it.” Jeremy Kinsman writes that beyond trade, our relations with Asian countries are important drivers of economic outcomes. And Michael Hart, a leading Canadian authority on trade policy, observes that while the rapid growth of China may have “short-term negative effects on individual firms and workers in Canada and other countries, on balance a prosperous China is in the world’s political and economic interest.”

Daniel Poon of the North-South Institute notes that “Canada needs a deeper understanding of China’s variety of state capitalism,” while Theodore H. Moran of the Peterson Institute looks at Chinese foreign direct investment in Canada, and asks whether it’s a threat or an opportunity. In a similar vein Margaret Cornish examines China’s state-owned enterprises and our response to their acquisitive tendencies, especially in energy.

For their part, Charles McMillan and George Stalk, Jr., write of the huge opportunities for Canada in capturing supply chain management in maritime and overland transport, particularly in ports and rail.

Veteran agricultural trade negotiator Michael Gifford sees plenty of opportunity for growth in the food sector, as the world population “is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050,” up from 7 billion today.

University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope believes the unprecedented demand for higher education in Asia “offers a multitude of opportunities for Canada.” Graham Orpwood, Bonnie Schmidt and Hu Jun warn that Canada risks falling behind “in the skills race” if we don’t rise to the challenges of innovation and productivity. And, former MP Bryon Wilfert writes of the importance of engaging parliamentary diplomacy with Asia.

Finally, on a personal note, this is my last issue as editor of Policy Options. Editing this magazine has been the greatest joy of my professional life, but after a decade in this role, I’m moving on.

I do so with immense pride in what our team has accomplished. When I took this job in 2002, I was asked what I thought of the magazine. I replied that it looked like Pravda, and it read as if it was written by academics for deputy ministers.

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Ten years later, Policy Options is published in full colour on the highest-quality coated stock in the industry. The magazine is a must-read for the entire political class and public policy community. And our Internet readership has increased by a factor of six to 1.2 million article downloads per year. Since we began accepting advertising in March 2006, we have raised nearly $1 million in ad revenues. Pretty good for a niche magazine!

None of this would have been possible without our superlative team, beginning with our production coordinator, Chantal Létourneau, my indispensable partner of the last decade. Quite simply, without her, the magazine would never have come out.

Then, Francesca Worrall, our superb copy editor, has also served as the conscience of our magazine. She often stepped up to propose articles from progressive voices that I might never have considered on my own. The same can be said for Sarah Fortin, my partner for nine years as associate editor, an outstanding professional and a great friend.

Jeremy Leonard, who is moving on to a great opportunity at Oxford Economics in London, UK, has been an important contributor to Policy Options, as online Webmaster, but equally as a writer and economic trend watcher.

Also, Jenny Schumacher of Schumacher Design, who has done all our covers in the last 10 years. She always gave us very sharp and standout covers. Our translator, Michel Beauchamp, is an amazingly talented person, who turns stuff around in a heartbeat, as is Félice Schaefli our copy editor and proofreader for the French content of the magazine.

I also want to thank our writers, especially our superb team of Contributing Writers. Editing their articles has been the easiest part of my job.

There are others to be thanked, notably two former IRPP presidents, Hugh Segal and Mel Cappe.

Hugh brought me in a decade ago, and Mel was exceptional in his support. And both were unstinting in their support of the independence of the editor, which has been sacrosanct since the time of Founding Editor, Tom Kent in 1980.

Finally, my thanks to you, our readers. You’ve made Policy Options what it is today, Canada’s leading magazine of politics and public policy.

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L. Ian MacDonald
L. Ian MacDonald is a former editor-in-chief of Policy Options (2002-12) and is currently an editor and publisher of Policy Magazine.

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