Jack Austin

Former Senator from British Columbia, special advisor to Stern Partners Inc

Jack Austin was Senator from British Columbia from 1975 to 2007, when he retired as the longest serving Senator. Mr. Austin served as Deputy Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, Canada, and Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. As senator he served in the Canadian Cabinets of Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Paul Martin. From 1993 to 2000, Mr. Austin served as President of the Canada China Business Council and from 2000 to 2003 as Deputy Chairman. Since leaving the Senate, Mr. Austin has become a special advisor to Stern Partners Inc. Mr. Austin was given the Order of the Aztec Eagle by the Mexican Government in 2000. He received the Order of British Columbia in 2010.

Most Recent Posts

Austin: What impact has Nelson Mandela had on your life?

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December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela became a personality to me when I was a member of the Trudeau Cabinet in the early 1980’s. Interestingly, it was as a result of the lobbying of the South African High Commission at that time seeking to obtain support for the policies of the Botha era and characterizing the African National Congress […]

Austin: Should Western governments cut off aid to Egypt?

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August 16, 2013

The clear answer is no. A destabilized and chaotic Egypt is not in the interests of Egyptians or most others in the region, not to mention the interests of Western democratic governments. The possibility of a pluralistic governance system in Egypt is at stake. The first requirement is the construction of an orderly society and […]

Austin: Should Canada boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympics?

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August 8, 2013

This is a conflict of fundamental values and is a growing threat to the Olympic movement. Think of Nazi Germany in 1936 and its promotion of Aryan supremacy. It could not refuse to have Blacks and Jews compete and was confronted with sports success by their representatives. Otherwise the international and universal rules of the […]

Austin: Should President Morsi Resign?

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July 3, 2013

With the limited information available to the general public, it is difficult to assess the issues in play. However given the degree of hostility evident in the streets of Egypt to the Morsi regime and the clear decline in the economic condition of the populace, the rational course would be for Morsi to seek an […]

Austin: Is American energy independence a threat to the Canadian economy?

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January 25, 2013

The United States has always treated Canadian resources as a surge tank. When they need them, they draw on them. When they don’t, they give priority to domestic or other lower-cost supply. Examples abound, such as uranium and oil supply in the 1970s. NAFTA gives the United States a guaranteed supply pro rata of total […]

Austin: Is Islamist extremism a bigger problem now than it was before 9/11?

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January 21, 2013

There is no change in advocacy that is cost free. The self-proclaimed mission of the United States and other western nations to encourage democratic norms and structures in societies which are historically authoritarian and/or totalitarian is having unexpected and multifaceted results. Was it expected that Hamas would win in Palestine or the Muslim Brotherhood in […]

Austin: Should Canada’s military support the intervention in Mali?

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January 15, 2013

France and Canada, among a number of nations, have social and economic interests in Mali which would be totally extinguished should the ideologically intolerant rebel forces overthrow the existing government. At the non-national interest level, the global community would see civilian death and destruction which is against the conscience of the world system. France has taken […]

Austin: What is Canada’s biggest international opportunity in 2012?

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January 14, 2012

Canada’s  biggest strategic challenge is to become relevant to the Asia Pacific community which is composed of more than 60% of the world’s population and has much of the world’s fastest economic growth. There are key new relationships being created among the intra Asian communities. They are concerned not only with trade and services  but also with national security, cultural […]

Austin: Are diplomats needed in the digital age?

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October 17, 2011

Professionals are always required and diplomats are in that category in international relations. Gifted amateurs are no substitute. Would you take the advice of a sports professional on your heart operation ?

Austin: Is Conservative foreign policy different from Liberal foreign policy?”

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September 5, 2011

In many ways. Liberal foreign policy was based on engagement with nations and international elements however differing in values and behavior. The concept was to focus on the middle to longer term and gradually narrow the distances by building common interests. Thus multilateral institutions were valued as furthering these objectives. International relationships were valued at the […]

Austin: Is Conservative foreign policy different from Liberal foreign policy?”

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September 5, 2011

In many ways. Liberal foreign policy was based on engagement with nations and international elements however differing in values and behavior. The concept was to focus on the middle to longer term and gradually narrow the distances by building common interests. Thus multilateral institutions were valued as furthering these objectives. International relationships were valued at the […]

Austin: Should Canada strengthen its military presence in the Arctic?

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July 11, 2011

To protect Canadian claims to territory, water passages and sea bed resources. Canada needs a larger presence in the Arctic through occupation and use. This means communities,economic development and scientific research among many activities. The military is only a part and not the highest priority.

Austin: What issue should John Baird prioritize?

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June 13, 2011

Among many strategic priorities, none presses for enhanced attention more  than Canada Asia relations. It is obvious that Asia is now more than 50% of global GDP and its consumers are in a catch up process in goods and services with the developed world. That’s where the critical mass of world population resides. Asian nations […]