Minister Ng announces new chair of board of directors and chief executive officer at Invest in Canada

News release

September 23, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Foreign direct investment (FDI) plays a critical role in creating jobs, economic growth and innovation in Canadian communities.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced the appointment of Laurel Broten as chief executive officer (CEO) of Invest in Canada and Karl Tabbakh as chair of the board of directors. These experienced and dynamic leaders will take on their roles—at a time when Canada is attracting record-high levels of FDI—to further boost the economy and create quality jobs for Canadians.

As Canada’s FDI attraction and promotion agency, Invest in Canada aims to draw the best global companies to Canada’s shores.

Working with federal, provincial, regional and municipal partners, Invest in Canada advises and supports companies throughout their investment journey anywhere in Canada.

Ms. Broten most recently served as the president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., from 2015 to July 2022. In this role, she led a team responsible for promoting Nova Scotia businesses to the world and selling the world on Nova Scotia. She has served in leadership roles in both the public and private sectors and as a champion for women, diversity, equity, and inclusion for 30 years.

Mr. Tabbakh is the regional managing partner for Quebec at McCarthy Tétrault LLP and co-leader of the firm’s international and business strategy. He is also the chair of the board of directors at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce for 2021 to 2022. In addition to his legal expertise, Mr. Tabbakh has extensive international experience, and he brings his unique investor and business experience to clients.

The appointments of Ms. Broten and Mr. Tabbakh are in lockstep with Canada’s economic recovery mandate, which is focussed on building an inclusive, prosperous and sustainable economy. Mr. Tabbakh's appointment takes effect this week and Ms. Broten assumes her role on October 3.

Minister Ng also expressed her deep appreciation for Katie Curran, who is the interim CEO and chief administrative officer, and Mitch Garber, the outgoing chair of the board of directors, for their contributions to Invest in Canada. 

Biographies

Laurel Broten

Ms. Broten is an award-winning CEO, a former Ontario Cabinet minister, a lawyer, a legislator, an advocate and a community builder.

She served as president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., the agency responsible for investment attraction and export development for the Province of Nova Scotia between 2015 and 2022. From 2013 to 2015, she was president and CEO of Broten Public Policy International Inc.

She held senior roles in the Government of Ontario from 2003 to 2013. Prior to being elected, she graduated with distinction with a Juris Doctor degree from Western University and practised as a commercial and civil litigation lawyer with 3 leading Canadian law firms.

Karl Tabbakh

Mr. Tabbakh is a lawyer, business leader, and strategic adviser with over 20 years of international business experience. At McCarthy Tétrault LLP, he is the regional managing partner for Québec and co-leader of the firm’s international business strategy.

He is an active advocate and leader in the business community, and currently serves as chair of the board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and on the board of directors of the Canada Arab Business Council.

Born in Syria, he immigrated with his parents to Canada at the age of 10. He holds a bachelor of law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Quotes

“When innovative companies invest in Canada, they are creating jobs and strengthening our economic resilience. Invest in Canada plays a key role in maintaining Canada as a top destination for foreign direct investment. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what more Invest in Canada will be able to achieve with the addition of Ms. Broten and Mr. Tabbakh as key members of the leadership team.”

- Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

“I am thrilled to be joining Invest in Canada as CEO and taking on this important mandate to build strong and vibrant communities through FDI and economic development. Canada has an excellent investment-value proposition to attract the world’s leading companies in a range of industries. I am looking forward to working with partners across the country to continue building our economy.”

- Laurel Broten, incoming CEO, Invest in Canada

“It is clear to me that foreign investment should be at the core of Canada’s economic growth strategy. As the new chair of Invest in Canada, I look forward to continuing to grow Canada’s brand on the international stage, bring strategic projects to Canada, and foster innovative business relations that will contribute to our country’s prosperity.”

- Karl Tabbakh, incoming chair of the board of directors, Invest in Canada

“Being involved in the creation and foundation of Canada’s foreign investment agency has been a great privilege. I know that Invest in Canada makes a real difference in identifying and attracting the right investment opportunities to Canada and in creating jobs, innovation and economic growth for Canadians. I want to highlight the contribution of inaugural CEO Ian McKay, interim CEO Katie Curran, and the inaugural board members, whose dedication and energy successfully laid the foundation of the agency. They can reflect with pride on the agency’s results and solid footing moving forward.”

- Mitch Garber, outgoing chair of the board of directors, Invest in Canada

Quick facts

  • Invest in Canada works with global companies to attract FDI in priority sectors aligned with the government’s economic growth strategy.

  • Invest in Canada is 1 of Canada’s key points of contact for global investors to unlock business opportunities and facilitate expansion into Canada.

  • Canadian FDI inflows posted a strong start in the first half of 2022: Canada’s first quarter value of $19.9 billion was almost 50% higher than the 10-year Q1 quarterly average. For the second quarter of 2022, net FDI inflows, valued at $22 billion, are 64% greater than the 10-year quarterly average.

  • FDI inflows to Canada reached a 15-year high in 2021. At $74.8 billion, inward FDI was a whopping 50% above the historical annual average in the decade since 2011.

  • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that, in 2021, Canada’s economy rose from twelfth to fifth in rank among the world’s top economies for FDI inflows.

Associated links

Contacts

Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
613-612-0482
Alice.Hansen@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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