John Ibbitson

The Journalist


John Ibbitson

Unravelling our Complicated Political Age

Award-Winning Political Journalist & Writer at Large, The Globe and Mail
Author of the Forthcoming Book: Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline

When it comes to questions of politics, policy, and population, there’s no one better than John Ibbitson. A bestselling author and Writer at Large for the Globe and Mail, John tackles some of the most pressing issues we face today: Canada-U.S. relations in the age of Trudeau and Trump; what the Liberal government is getting right and, increasingly, wrong; and why global population decline is emerging as the key problem of the 21st century. A seasoned speaker, John’s keynotes are a rare combination: as informative as they are compelling; as warm and open as they are hard-hitting. He is truly one of the greats.

In a career spanning three decades, John Ibbitson has worked as a reporter and columnist for the Ottawa CitizenSoutham News, the National Post and, since 1999, the Globe and Mail, where he has served as the paper’s Queen’s Park bureau chief, Washington bureau chief and Ottawa bureau chief, becoming Chief Political Writer in 2012 and Writer at Large in 2015.

Along the way, John wrote Promised Land: Inside the Mike Harris Revolution; Loyal No More: Ontario’s Struggle for a Separate DestinyThe Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dreamand Open and Shut: Why America has Barack Obama and Canada has Stephen Harper

In 2013, HarperCollins published the national bestseller The Big Shift, which John co-wrote with Darrell Bricker. And in 2015 Signal/McClelland & Stewart published Stephen Harper, John’s landmark biography of Canada’s 22nd prime minister, which won the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing.

In February 2019, McClelland & Stewart in Canada, Penguin Random House in the United States, and Little, Brown in the United Kingdom will publish Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, co-authored with Darrell Bricker. Empty Planet is also being translated into Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

John’s work has also been nominated for the National Newspaper Award, the Donner Prize, the B.C. National Book Award, the Trillium Book Award and the City of Toronto Book Award, among others. He lives and writes in Ottawa.


Will the Liberal Government Last? Examining Canada’s Political Climate

When it comes to the current federal government, John Ibbitson isn’t pulling any punches. “Liberals should remind themselves that their values are not the only values that count,” he says. A government must work for the people—all the people. The Liberal government is getting a lot of things right. But they’re also struggling to fulfill promises they’ve made, to the frustration of provincial governments and voters. In this talk, John Ibbitson explains what the federal government must do to work with and for the provinces, and what you can expect from the next few years of Canada’s political climate.

“In recent decades, Canada has sloughed off its chronic insecurity and sense of inferiority, celebrating the diverse, tolerant society we have become,” says John. “But confidence can devolve into complacency. Our commitments to high rates of immigration, to multicultural accommodation, to respect each for the other, to a free and open society are about to be tested. Let’s resolve to pass that test.”

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline

For half a century, statisticians, pundits, and politicians have warned that a burgeoning planetary population will soon overwhelm the earth's resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different kind of alarm. Rather than growing exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline. 

In this exciting new talk, John Ibbitson presents the provocative arguments in his forthcoming book, Empty Planet. We can already see the social, political, and economic effects in Europe and parts of Asia, as aging populations and worker shortages weaken the economy and impose crippling demands on healthcare and social security. The United States is well-positioned to successfully navigate these coming demographic shifts—that is, unless growing isolationism and anti-immigrant backlash lead Americans to close themselves off just as openness becomes more critical to the nation's survival than ever before. Rigorously researched and deeply compelling, this talk offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent—but one that we can shape, if we choose.

Contact us to learn how John Ibbitson can craft a topic for your audience.

Anything that drags down the American economy drags the Canadian economy down with it.
— John Ibbitson