This first meeting back in person after a long period of virtual business meetings was held at Wildfire on Erie on November 17, 2022, and attended by about 35 people in person. Bloomberg Law sponsored the event.
The featured speaker was Aaron Annable, Consul – Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Service, Consulate General of Canada in Chicago, who shared about connectinos between our nations, services and goals the Consulate is focused on and answered questions
President Scott Vanderlin opened the meeting with his new gavel at 12:02 and welcomed everyone back in person. Thanks to Claire Willis and Mike McMillan for getting this meeting up and running.
New members were welcomed new members are Shannon Condor from Chicago-Kent; and Haley Jensen and Lia Susan Whitsel from Northwestern.
Meeting Sponsor: Bloomberg Law
Peter stressed that Bloomberg Law has the best news. Not just Bloomberg, but they get all the Terminal news as well as ALM news. GC’s use their news and content is available outside the paywall so they will see your firm name in articles.
There is a Business and Practice newsletter that is available to all. They deal with Urgent news – they beat many other sources about 75% of the time. They have a wide range of writers including some from the NYT as well as their own writers. Can tailor the news as much as you need. Available via a number of platforms. There are practitioner newsletters and insights.
Mandy Lee then spoke and welcomed Aaron Annable.
Aaron Annable began his assignment at the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago in September 2021. From 2016 to 2021 he served as Energy Counsellor at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. In 2014 he served as Acting Consul General of Canada to New England, before which he was Head of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy at the Consulate General in Boston for four years.
He has previously held several positions within Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa, where he worked on numerous Canada-U.S., energy, environment and trade policy files. Prior to joining the Department in 2003, he worked for both the Privy Council Office and Service Canada. He graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor’s degree in political science (international relations) and is from Montreal, Quebec.
Aaron now lives in Chicago the Southport Corridor with his wife Jennifer, who is an artist. Aaron spoke and welcomed everyone. He thanks Bloomberg and mentioned that he used their news when he worked in the environmental area. He acknowledged that we are on the homelands of numerous indigenous nations.
Overview of Canadian Connections
His slide show was photos of Canada while he spoke. Started out with an overview of Canada and how 5% of the population is indigenous and they also have the largest population of Ukrainians outside of the Baltics. There is currently a supply agreement in place between the various governmental parties. Neither party is planning on seeking an election.
The economy is similar to the US in many metrics, but they are also grappling with the changes in the world economy. Canada is highly dependent on immigration. 400,000 new residents were added in 2021. Looking to add 500,000 by 2025. Expanded pathways for foreign students. One in three Canadian businesses is owned by an immigrant.
There are 12 offices of the Consulate General – including the one here in Chicago. There are services to help Canadians in need (lost passport); there is a trade function to help Canadian companies who want to enter the US market, and the political/public affairs section – where they do things like host galas and manage other political functions. In the local branches they deal with issues at the state and municipal level.
There is a strong bilateral relationship – pillars include:
- Covid 13
- Building back better
- Accelerating climate ambitions
- Advancing diversity and inclusion
- Bolstering security and defense
- Building our global alliances
Their offices use this as a blueprint and formulate their policies and initiatives to fit these pillars.
Canadian Economic Partnerships
Imports from the US were at an all time high. There is a trillion dollar trade relationship between the US and Canada. Working hard to standardize the supply chain issues to make sure both the US and Canada will have robust access to goods and services.
The Midwest is strong. Canada’s trade with Illinois was up over 50%. Other midwestern states were also strong. There are over 511 Canadian companies with employees in Illinois. On example is a new EV firm that will start manufacturing in Illinois and then of course there is BMO and its strong ties to Chicago. Committed to the Gordy Howe bridge and will help move more goods and services between Michigan and Canada.
Agriculture is also a strong partnership. It was 60 Billion last year in trade. Potash is a strong exporter of this good – especially with the war in Ukraine. Energy: largest suppler of all kinds of energy to the US. Strong cross boarder energy infrastructure – not only pipelines but also hydroelectric lines.
Canada wants to try to help Europe wean itself off of Russian energy supplies. Looking at a renegotiation of NAFTA – the update now addresses the digital economy and brings it from the 1990’s into the 2020’s. The modernized agreement supports SME’s across many of its chapters. There is a specific focus on under-represented groups, which allows the economies to become more integrated.
Many more items are now manufactured in both places. One example is the auto industry, where cars are manufactured in both the US and Canada. Happier now that some of the tariffs have been removed that had been put into place by the previous administration.
Cross border supply chains benefit both the US and Canada and hopefully protection measures will continue to be reduced. Canada condemns the war in Ukraine. Committed to providing them with the military it needs. Canada has a strained relationship with China.
Some Canadian citizens have been returned from China, but there are still stresses on the relationship. Arbitrary detentions cannot go unnoticed. It is also the 75th anniversary of the consulate in Chicago.
Q: How does Canada deal with the misinformation coming via social media?
A: The government is paying attention to this – and has upped the number of people trying to manage this. One example of this is how they tried to manage the misinformation coming out of the
trucker standoff in Ottawa. There was a lot of inaccurate information surrounding that event.
What do many people in Canada read – other than the Globe and Mail? Financial Post; CBC for TV news; for radio – As it Happens – many NPR affiliates run this radio news program. There is also a program called Canadaland. Can be a little offbeat.
In the Entertainment area there are minimum requirements for Canadian content if it is to be called Canadian – this has been put into the supply agreements. It is being raised in things like
mobile phone agreements.
Q: Looking toward the future – what is the one thing that is most important for both the US and Canada to be focused on together?
A: The Artic is a big issue – both with climate change and the opening up of the shipping lines and sharing the space. Elements of the Artic waters that are not agreed on. Some see the waters as International and Canada sees the waters as theirs.
Beth Schubert, filling in for Lisa Winkler, noted they are planning multiple ways to get involved:
- For September, it was the Great Lakes and cleaned up Montrose Beach – collecting over 6 bags of trash
- For November it was supporting the GCFD, Greater Chicago Food Depository
- Working on planning a food packing day for the new year.
Joe Mitzenmacher described programming coming up event with Diversity and Inclusion – ABA commission on Nov 30th at Noon., with the Zoom link provided on the website and listserv.
(editorial note: this event was postponed due to a last-minute schedule issue for the speaker)
On December 14th there is a program on the Illinois TEAACH Act.
Nominations and Elections
Jessie LeMar shared a new initiative to track years of service, asking people to let them know when you joined CALL. There is a survey, or e-mail Jessie or fill out the form here.
The committee spent a long time cleaning up the directory and now changes can only be updated by the committee. Any changes let hem know and they will make the updates!
Lindsey Carpino noted the editors really need content. Anything you are working on. Also would like more committee members!
Community Service Dontations
CALL supported the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the traditional November organization.
GCFD is Chicago’s food bank, partnering with over 700 local agencies and programs, including pantries, soup kitchens and shelters for children, older adults and veterans. Every day they distribute over 267,000 meals, relying heavily on donors and volunteers to make it happen.
The Community Service Committee encouraged CALL members to support the Greater Chicago Food Depository by making a monetary contribution and bringing non-perishable food items to the November Business Meeting.
You can make a donation online at https://myfooddrives.org/team/460793
Lexis donated two gift cards and Aaron Annable donated a Canadian prize.
- Vanessa Salka
- Todd Brittan
- Brittany Adams won the Canadian Contribution