2003 - Inaugural Recipient: The Honourable Michael H. Wilson, P.C., C.C.
Michael H. Wilson’s political career in Ottawa was focused on mission to significantly change the competitive structure of the Canadian economy through reforming its tax and fiscal policies. These changes were not always well received by the voting public, but as subsequent Minister of Finance, Paul Martin noted at the 1998 Couchiching Conference, his ability to reduce the deficit in the mid 1990s was the direct result of the efforts of his predecessor.
As Minister of Finance during the initial negotiations on Free Trade with the United States and then as Minister of International Trade during NAFTA, Michael made a further contribution to Canadian trade and economic policy.
Following Michael’s re-entry into the private sector, he lost none of his interest in trade and economic policy. But he took on as well the challenge of increasing the awareness of Canadians on mental health, an issue that we far too often overlook or push aside. He has taken a personal stand and made a real impact on the lives of thousands.
Whether one looks at his accomplishments in tax and fiscal policy, supporting the negotiation and conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement or post politics in his pursuit of increasing public awareness and accountability in the area of mental health, Michael Wilson has changed the face of Canada for the better.
Mr. Wilson was Ambassador of Canada to the United States of America from March 13, 2006 to October 9, 2009. Today he serves on a variety of directorships and boards and is the Chairman of Barclay’s Capital Canada Inc. and remains a great friend of the Couchiching Institue on Public Affairs
2016 Summer Conference
The Canada Project
Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World
August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON