Backgrounder - Invest in Canada


As announced in the 2016 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada is providing $218 million over five years to create a new organization, Invest in Canada, focused on streamlining and encouraging investment in Canada. This funding will also increase capacity of Global Affairs Canada’s Canadian Trade Commissioner Service to promote international investment in strategic markets around the world. It includes funding for 25 new trade commissioners over the next three years.

Under the leadership of a chief executive officer and an independent board of directors, Invest in Canada will develop a cohesive foreign direct investment strategy to align with the country’s overall economic growth strategy, promote Canada as a premier investment destination and establish an investor support network, including world-class investment aftercare, retention and reinvestment services.

Canada is an investment destination of choice for companies for a number of compelling reasons:

  • Canada has a highly educated workforce and the Government strongly supports development of skills and global talent mobility (e.g. through the Innovation and Skills Strategy and Global Skills Strategy)
  • Canada’s workforce is diverse, offering new ways of tackling problems and outside-the-box thinking
  • Creativity in vibrant multicultural cities like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
  • A stable and predictable business environment
  • Lowest overall business costs in the G7
  • Support for research and development, and innovation through the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fund and the Innovation Supercluster Initiative
  • Preferred access to an increasing share of the global economy via our many free trade agreements
  • Clear, predictable rules for foreign investment
  • A sound banking system

Biography: Mitch Garber, Chairperson of Invest in Canada

A lawyer by training, Mitch Garber is a Canadian business executive and philanthropist with significant experience leading international corporations as board chairperson, as well as CEO, of both privately held companies and those listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and London Stock Exchange.

He is currently a co-investor and chairperson of Cirque du Soleil, co-investor and board member of Rackspace and co-investor and adviser to CareerBuilder.

In 2009, he co-founded Caesars Interactive Entertainment and, as the chairperson and CEO, built the company into a world-leading game development company before it was sold to a consortium of Chinese buyers including Alibaba founder Jack Ma, in 2016.

With experience in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Israel and Germany, he has developed a keen understanding of governance, finance, operations and many other facets of international business. For two seasons, he was a “dragon” on the entrepreneurship television show Dans l’Oeil du Dragon (Dragons’ Den).

Mr. Garber remains extremely committed to his philanthropic pursuits, which include chairing the advisory board of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, where he and his wife have established a post-doctoral fellowship grant in cancer research. He chaired the 2016 United Way campaign, raising a record $55 million. He also created the Mitch and Anne-Marie Garber Foundation, which focuses on education and health care.

Fully bilingual, Mr. Garber holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations (1986) from McGill University and a Civil Law degree (1989) from the University of Ottawa. In November 2017, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Ottawa in recognition of his civic and business accomplishments.  

He is married to Anne-Marie Boucher, a tax lawyer and philanthropist, and they live together in Montréal, Quebec, with their two sons.

Biography: Ian McKay, CEO of Invest in Canada

A native of Penticton, British Columbia, Ian McKay has led a distinguished career as an executive in international financial markets, as a political adviser to federal cabinet ministers, and as CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission.

Ian entered the financial markets prior to completing his studies at the University of British Columbia in 1987, when he was recruited as a derivatives broker by EuroBrokers International in New York. From there, Ian led a New York-based team to Tokyo, Japan, where EuroBrokers launched a brokerage operation. He went on to become managing director of the firm in Tokyo, spending 12 years there. In 1999, Ian became joint Managing Director of EuroBrokers Investment Corp., London. Between 2006 and 2009, Ian worked for ICAP Capital Markets NY, as the director of business development in Canada.

In 2001, Ian moved to Ottawa, where he spent four years serving as senior policy adviser to three federal cabinet ministers under prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin. In 2010, he was appointed national director of the Liberal Party of Canada for a three-year term. Most recently, he served as CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, from 2013 to 2018. Mr. McKay also served as Chair of the CCCA, the 13 big-city alliance of economic development and FDI attraction platforms across Canada.

Mr. McKay studied Political Science and Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University.

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