Global power shifts challenge Canadians to decide where we want to be
positioned and how we get there

Report written for Canadian International Council presents strategy for Canada to create sustainable prosperity

OTTAWA, June 8 /CNW/ - The pace of economic development in Asia and South America, and the new power that comes with it, offer Canada a chance to lead and prosper. We are armed with natural and intellectual resources that can be galvanized to transform the nation into a leader on the world stage, to become "the new Canada" - if we act now. If we don't, states a new report commissioned by the Canadian International Council and released today, we will be left behind, unable to catch up to the new growth engines - China, India, Brazil and soon Mexico.

"Once in a century the world shifts," said Edward Greenspon, the Report's author and former editor of The Globe and Mail. "On the eve of the Canadian G8 and G20 Summits, at a time when United States influence is declining, we wanted to get us all to consider bold and innovative ways to seize the opportunities offered by this historic shift.

"Crossing the country for nine months, engaging with stakeholders steeped in defence, the Arctic, the environment, the Canada-U.S. Border, Mexico and China, showed us that the time was ripe to present new and controversial ways for Canada to get in the game, lead where it matters most for us. To do less would marginalize the country and jeopardize prosperity for generations," he added.

Open Canada: A Global Positioning Strategy for a Networked Age (http://www.onlinecic.org/) was written by a unique panel, chaired by Greenspon. Members (http://www.onlinecic.org/research/gpsproject) were digitally strong, globally focused and networked in their work.

Open Canada says that "the financial crisis has presented us with a mini-Suez moment." Just as the Suez Crisis in the 1950's put Canadian diplomacy on the world stage - so today Canada can leverage its financial strength, technology savvy and governance culture to build global influence.

"This report is a call-to-action," said Dr. Jennifer Jeffs, CIC President. "In nine passionate, succinct chapters, the GPS Report confronts the issues that most confound Canadians: our relationship with the United States, exploiting the oil sands without getting a black eye, Arctic sovereignty, defence and diplomacy, prosperity and innovation.

"The solutions offered by our panel crackle with freshness and realism," Jeffs added. "They are not weighed by prejudice and politics. They represent the voice of a new generation of leaders. CIC plans to offer many venues where Canadians can add their voices to the discussion."

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is an independent, member-based council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. The CIC reflects the ideas and interests of a broad constituency of Canadians who believe that a country's foreign policy is not an esoteric concern of experts but directly affects the lives and prosperity of its citizens. The CIC uses its deep historical roots, its cross-country network and its active research program to advance debate on international issues across academic disciplines, policy areas and economic sectors. The CIC's research program is managed by the national office in Toronto. Its 15 branches across Canada offer CIC members speakers' programs, study groups, conferences and seminars.

SOURCE CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

For further information: For further information: Tonique Harry, Kiva Reardon, Media Profile, (416) 342-1847, (416) 342-1827, tonique.harry@mediaprofile.com, kiva.reardon@mediaprofile.com; Laura Sunderland, CIC Communications Officer, (416) 946-7071, lsunderland@onlinecic.org

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CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

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