TORONTO, Jan. 14 – Canadians living abroad are an untapped resource for Canada, and a network of Canadian expatriates could help businesses and governments compete globally, an expert panel said today at Queen’s Park.

“There are nearly three million Canadians living abroad. Many of them are highly educated, highly skilled, and highly connected. We should bring them together, to strengthen our economy,” said Mark Podlasly, Co-Chair of the Action Canada Task Force that organized the public forum in co-operation with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

“We propose an international business network for Canada,” added Task Force Co-Chair François Vincent. “Such a network would identify and recruit several hundred ‘Global Canadians,’ to make connections, create business opportunities, and offer advice to Canadian businesses and governments.”

“This project could change the way Canadians project themselves as global citizens and, as a result, the way we understand our country and its role in the world,” said John Ralston Saul, Co-Chair of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship, who spoke at today’s event.

Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation President and CEO Tom Axworthy, who moderated today’s public forum, agreed. “In a globally-connected world, we cannot afford to forsake the talents of any Canadian, no matter where in the world they live,” he said.

“We’re so pleased at the response to our proposals,” said Mr. Podlasly. “We’re confident that we can change the way Canadians do business in the world.”

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