A holiday greeting from the CIC

Jennifer Jeffs reflects on an eventful year as she gives a holiday greeting from the CIC.

By: /
1 December, 2011
By: Jennifer Jeffs

Past President of the Canadian International Council (CIC).

As we look back on the events of 2011— the pull back from Afghanistan, developments in our relations with emerging economies, issues surrounding climate and the Arctic, the Arab Spring, the European financial crisis—I urge you to reflect on the importance of Canada’s engagement with the world. This year, thanks to support from our members, volunteers and donors, the Canadian International Council (CIC) made great strides in creating a hub for information on and discussion of international affairs. It is your continued support that allows the CIC to engage Canadians in discussions of global political and economic matters that affect our future.

Discussions of international affairs are increasingly shaped and facilitated by the evolution of technology and media. This year the CIC responded to these changes with several initiatives, including a major research project on international intellectual property (IP), which examined Canada’s IP regime in the international context. Our major report Rights and Rents: Why Canada must harness its intellectual property resources, provoked much media attention and lively discussion across the country. The CIC has delivered dozens of briefings on the report to media, policy-makers, academics, corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and CIC members.

A major innovation for the CIC this year was the launch of our new website, OPENCANADA.ORG, which expands national dialogue on international affairs by taking it online, where more people can participate. OPENCANADA.ORG uses web-based tools, social media, and editorial features to host discussions on global issues that fascinate Canadians. Since the spring, we have produced multimedia analyses of topics such as diplomacy in the digital age; the impact of Twitter on international crises; Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan; Canadian diaspora engagement; the impact of Wikileaks on diplomacy, and much more. Our lively online activities would not be possible without financial support from donors.

The CIC’s 2011 events calendar demonstrates the vibrant nature of the 16 volunteer-led branches across the country that hosted over 200 events this year. Panels, conferences and seminars covered a wide range of timely foreign policy issues. My heartfelt thanks to our volunteer branch executive members, and in particular to our volunteer branch presidents, who give their time and energy so generously to the CIC.

As a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization, the success of CIC programs depends on donations. As 2011 draws to a close, I invite you to make a tax deductible charitable contribution to the CIC. Our mandate to foster discussion and debate of international issues would not be possible without your generous support. Donations can be made online by clicking here, or by phone, credit card or cheque payable to the Canadian International Council. Click here to download a donation form.

Along with the CIC board, staff and volunteers, I extend my warmest wishes to you and your family for a happy and healthy holiday season.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter