U.S. Presidential Elections

A Conversation with Former U.S. Ambassador


and U of T Chancellor Michael Wilson



Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.”
– John F. Kennedy on Canada, 1961


Election imageDetails: In a recent issue of Foreign Affairs, prominent Canadian academics Derek Burney and Fen Osler Hampson argued that the Obama administration had squandered Canadian good-will, bringing our integral bi-lateral relationship to a new low. With the coming Presidential election, the question of what a Romney presidency or another Obama presidency will mean for Canada looms heavy. What are the key areas requiring more bilateral co-operation? Have the last 4 years hurt or helped our bilateral relationship? How can Canada balance new opportunities in Asia with our special relationship with the United States?





When: Oct 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm
Where: Great Hall, Hart House
Cost: Free


The Honourable Michael H. Wilson is currently the 33rd Chancellor of the University of Toronto. Mr. Wilson graduated from U of T’s Trinity College in 1959 and has played a key role in Canadian public life as a politician, diplomat, business leader and active community volunteer.


Mr. Wilson was elected to the House of Commons in 1979. In September 1984, he was appointed Canada’s Minister of Finance and remained in that position until May 1991. He then became Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International Trade. In this latter position he had responsibility for the NAFTA negotiations. During his tenure as a member of the Cabinet, Mr. Wilson represented Canada at the G-7, IMF, World Bank, OECD, GATT and other international Ministers meetings. Following his service in government, Mr. Wilson launched Michael Wilson International in 1993 to offer corporate clients advice on international trade and related issues. He later served as the 22nd Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America from March 13, 2006 to October 9, 2009,


Apart from his career in public life, Mr. Wilson was an investment banker with various responsibilities in corporate, government and international finance. He has served as the Chairman of UBS Canada and remains the Chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc. He was also Director of a number of companies including BP plc. and Manulife Financial.


Mr. Wilson is also a highly respected and active member of professional and community organizations including the NeuroScience Canada Partnership, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, and the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. He has received a number of awards for his work in these fields as well as from The Conference Board of Canada, The Public Policy Forum, and The Rotman School of Business.


A mental health advocate, Mr. Wilson was instrumental in establishing the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto. Mr. Wilson continues to provide voluntary leadership in the health sphere and was appointed by the Government of Canada to the governing council of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. He was recently named as the Vice-Chair.


Mr. Wilson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003 and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 2010. He also has an honorary degree from York University and an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Military College of Canada.


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