Past Events

Member of Congress; Advisor to the campaign of Josefina Vazquez Mota-PAN)

On June 1, the CCA hosted a discussion of the upcoming Mexican elections. Congressman Gaston Luken Garza discussed the current electoral environment in Mexico. The questions from the audience reflected the wide range of Canadian interests in Mexico. The investment climate was a key topic, with interest focussed on opportunities for Canadian investors in infrastructure and mining. Congressman Luken responded to questions about sectors of the economy such as oil and telecommunications. The security situation in Mexico was noted as an area of concern, but Congressman Luken underlined that Mexico remains a great country to invest and live. As NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico have a deep bilateral relationship. Congressman Luken expects the Mexican President-elect to visit Canada early, no matter who wins.

Gaston Luken Garza is a Federal Congressman representing the 5th District located in Tijuana, Baja California, representing the National Action Party (PAN). He presides over a Congressional Commission related to accountability issues and acts as Vice Chairman of the Gobernación Congressional Commission.

From 2001-2003, Luken served as Board Member of the Federal Electoral Institute, and assisted in organizing and sanctioning all federal elections in Mexico.

Before that he was Special Advisor to the Head of Government of Mexico City. As such he was responsible for the oversight of the city budget and in charge of anticorruption duties regarding public servants.

As President of the Electoral Institute of Baja California, his home state, he was head of the citizens body responsible for the 1995 electoral process in which the State Governor, city Mayors and State Congressmen where elected.

With more than 30 years in the private sector he has experience as partner in companies related to infrastructure development in the energy sector as well as in the financial, real estate, and commerce and food industry sectors.

The Canadian Council for the Americas in partnership with the Canadian International Council presented a luncheon discussion, January 26, 2012. The creation of NAFTA in 1994 delivered seven years of impressive trade and cross-border investment growth.  Since 2001, however, NAFTA momentum has slowed down as a result of a number of factors. Trade block integration has continued a pace in Europe and Asia, leaving North America behind.  Is there a path out of the bog for North America? Speakers – Robert Pastor, Director of the Center for North American Studies, VP of International Affairs, and Professor at American University, Washington, D.C., Gerald Butts, President and CEO, WWF-Canada, Isabel Studer, Founding Director, Center for Dialogue and Analysis on North America, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City. Moderator  – Stephen Blank, Co-Chair of the North American Transportation Competitiveness Research Council. He recently retired as a professor of international business and management at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.

January 19- 2012 Latin America 2012 Outlook: How resilient will the region be faced with a limping global economy? CCA presented a breakfast panel event with panelists: Jonathan Hausman, Vice Chair, Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA); John Price, Managing Director, Americas Market Intelligence – Miami; Eduardo Suarez, Director, in charge of LATAM FX strategy for Scotia Capital – Moderator: Marina Jimenez, Editorial Writer, Globe and Mail



CCA Gala Dinner honouring Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Peter Munk and Edgar Dosman.

Sept. 22- 2011, Toronto, Canada
The Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA), is pleased to announce that the CCA’s Inaugural Annual Awards Dinner on September 22, 2011 in Toronto was a great success. The event was sold out !
The CCA  presented our Statesman of the Year Award to President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, President of the Republic of Colombia, our Lifetime Business Achievement Award to Mr. Peter Munk and Lifetime Public Service Award to Professor Edgar Dosman.

To our sponsors, we would like to convey  our sincere appreciation for their generous  support.

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June 23, 2011 –U.S. Economic Initiatives in the Americaswith U.S. Ambassador Charles S. Shapiro –  Ambassador Shapiro is the Senior Advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Western Hemisphere Economic Initiatives. His prior positions in the diplomatic corps have included:  Head of Logistics for President Obama in the Summit of the Americas in April 2009;  Ambassador to Venezuela.  

May 30, 2011–   The CCA presented “Cuba Libre? Major changes are coming to Cuba. Is now the time to Invest?” – Cy Tokmakjian: Mr. Tokmakjian is President and Founder of the Tokmakjian Group, a Concord, Ontario transportation company.Mark Entwistle: Former Canadian Ambassador to Cuba, Mr. Entwistle is President of CHIBAS Consulting, a specialist consultancy in Cuban business.  Larry Luxner: Mr. Luxner has been editor of CubaNews since 2002. He is also news editor of The Washington Diplomat. Moderated by: Andrea Mandel-Campbell, BNN anchor, SqueezePlay

April 5, 2011,- The CCA presented Michael Shifter  who discussed the possible outcomes of the presidential elections in Peru, and how it would affect trade in the region.

March 11, 2011- The CCA in association with the Institute of the Americas (IOA) presented a luncheon in Toronto: “Enter the Dragon: How China’s economic and political strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean is reconfiguring hemispheric power”– with IOA President Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow, Dr. R. Evan Ellis, Assistant Professor of National Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute in Washington, and Erik Bethel, Managing Partner, Sinolatin Capital, in China.  The event was moderated by Jonathan Hausman, Vice Chair, CCA. For Ambassador Davidow’s speech:

January 2011- The CCA was honoured to present the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) President Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno,The decade of Latin America and the Caribbean: Canada and the Inter-American Development Bank”, closing remarks were presented by Mr. Louis Lévesque, Deputy Minister of International Trade, Toronto, Canada.

January 2011Latin America 2011 Outlook: all quiet on the southern front. Is Latin America becoming stable & predictable? Every economy in Latin America is forecasted to grow in 2011, where is the downside economic risk in the region, were amongst the topics discussed by Nick Chamie, Jonathan Hausman and John Price. Moderator: Andrea Mandel-Campbell, Toronto, Canada.

October, 2010– “The Dominican Republic’s Long Term Strategy – insight from one of the island’s leading strategic political thinkers”, the CCA jointly with the Embassy of the Dominican Republic held a luncheon event with the Honourable Dr. Temistocles Montás, Minister of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic, Toronto, Canada.

October, 2010Brazil on the Rise: What Comes Next? Thinking About Post-Lula Brazil”, Larry Rohter, the go-to journalist on Brazil discussed the 2010 elections in Brazil and it means for Canada, Toronto, Canada

September, 2010- Canada‘s relationship with Latin America post financial crisis”, The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade Canada discussed Canada’s economic strategies for the upcoming year, Toronto, Canada.

September 2010- Peru’s Transformation”, experts in the area Jose E. Gonzales and Walter T. Molano discussed why the booming Andean country is on track to be the fastest growing economy in Latin America in 2010, Moderator: Andrea Mandel-Campbell-, Toronto, Canada

May 2010- His Excellency Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico, visited Canada and we were delighted that the Canadian International Council (CIC) invited the Canadian Council for the Americas (CCA) to participate in the organization of a gala dinner which was held in Toronto, Canada.

May 2010- “The Canada- Panama Free Trade Agreement”, The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, Canada and His Excellency Roberto Henriquez, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Panama announced the Signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Panama.

April 2010- “Canada-Mexico Relations – An Assessment”, Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski and Gabriel Guerra Castellanos discussed the current critical issues affecting economic trade and investments with Mexico, our NAFTA trade partner.

April 2010- “Colombia: The Transformation of a Country”, The Honourable Luis G. Plata, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia showcased the opportunities that Colombia has to offer in terms of trade and investment with an introduction by Jonathan Hausman, Vice-Chair of the CCA and Vice President, Alternative Investments and Emerging Markets, OTPP

March 2010- “Shifting Gears: The Future of the North American Auto Industry”, what does the future hold for the tightly integrated North American auto industry,  with Stephen Blank, Linda Hasenfratz and Paul Ingrassia– Moderator: Andrea Mandel-Campbell.

March 2010- “Multi-Nationals and Reputation: Mining in the Era of Social Responsibility”, explored some of the greatest challenges facing the mining industry which are the demands from affected communities and activist non-governmental organizations, with Catherine Coumans, Peter Firestein and Ed Opitz– Moderator: Andrea Mandel-Campbell.

February 2010- “Moving forwards, slipping backwards: national oil companies in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela” with Duncan Wood, and JoAnne Butler, experts in the area of energy policy discussed the day-to-day management of the business, including supporting business development and contracting activities in the region- Moderator: David Simsilevich.

January 2010- “Latin America: Outlook 2010. What will be the new normal for the region?” regional investment opportunities and how Latin America is perceived today by global financial investors vis-à-vis other emerging markets with Nick Chamie, Jonathan Hausman and John Price- Moderator: Andrea Mandel-Campbell.

November 2009- “10 Most Influential Hispanic CanadiansMinister Peter Kent presented awards to 10 Canadian Hispanics who have made a difference in Canada and their communities. The CCA was honoured to be invited as part of the judging panel.

October 2009- “Mexico-Canada Initiative: Mexican Foreign Policy and Trade” with The Hon. William Graham and His Excellency Ambassador Rosario Green discussed the Canada-Mexico relationship and the new Initiative.

October 2009- Export Development Canada (EDC), in collaboration with the Canadian Council for the Americas presented: “Business Opportunities with the Energy Sector in Mexico” , with Ramón Fernández Velázquez, Manager, Construction of Thermoelectric Projects and  Sergio Frías González, Project Director, Transmission Lines Projects and Substations.

June 2009- “Threshold of a New Era in Inter-American Relations” with José Miguel Insulza, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, in his first major address following the historic OAS General Assembly concerning Cuban reintegration, Secretary General Insulza discussed the region’s mood and challenges, and Canada’s critical role in renewing the hemispheric dialogue.

May 2009- A discussion panel on Cuba: “How soon till we get there? US re-engagement with Cuba and what it means for Canada” with panelists Mark Entwistle, Hal Klepak, Dr. Lana Wylie- moderator: Amanda Lang.