Toronto’s Davos delegation, ranked
The World Economic Forum in Davos, which begins this Wednesday, is one of the most elite networking events in the universe. There, Justin Trudeau will do some high-stakes hobnobbing with, among others, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Angela Merkel, Leonardo DiCaprio and Yo-Yo Ma—as well as many of the private businesspeople who collectively control half the world’s wealth. Officially, participants will seek solutions to global problems like terrorism, climate change and a sluggish economy. Unofficially, they’re probably looking forward to parties like the one in 2013 where giant stuffed animals shot lasers from their eyes. A number of notable Torontonians are on the guest list for the four-day event. Here, we rank them by how powerful they are.
1) Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
Objective: Convince the world the Canadian economy is strong despite the fact that an empty barrel is arguably now worth more than the oil it takes to fill it.
2) Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade
Objective: Hold court with billionaires who stand to get even richer if Canada signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
3) Michael McCain, CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, Billionaire
Objective: Convince Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, to let him cater the event next year.
4) Mark Wiseman, CEO of the CPP Investment Board
Objective: Talk to Joe Biden about making sure enrolment at American colleges goes up. Wiseman just invested $928 million dollars in student housing in the United States.
5) Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation
Objective: Corner Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and convince him to buy hundreds of civilian airplanes.
6) Ron Mock, CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Objective: Talk to David Cameron about maybe buying part of the United Kingdom’s National Grid, which distributes gas and electricity to 10.9 million customers.
7) Laura Dottori, Chief Risk Officer at CIBC
Objective: Do: look for investment risks worth taking. Don’t: look for heli-skiing risks definitely not worth taking.
8) David Walmsley, Globe and Mail Editor
Objective: Find former Globe editor and fellow Davos attendee John Stackhouse (see number 12) and ask him for directions to the prosciutto and Chablis.
9) Don Tapscott, Business Consultant and Professor
Objective: Make sure everything runs smoothly. Tapscott has attended the forum 10 times. This year, they asked him to help plan it as a senior advisor.
10) Paul Thomas Jenkins, Chairman of OpenText
Objective: Sell his enterprise information management software to some of the 40 heads of state coming to the event.
11) Kim Samuel, Director of the Samuel Group of Companies
Objective: Convince the world that despite the shakiness of parts of the Canadian economy, her steel empire is doing just fine.
12) John Stackhouse, Senior Vice President at RBC Financial Group
Objective: Resist the urge to corner Walmsley and try out his “Conservatives but not Harper” jokes.
13) Tim Jones, CEO of Artscape
Objective: Get seated in the “arts and culture” section next to Leonardo DiCaprio or Yo Yo Ma.
14) Alison Loat, Co-Founder of Samara
Objective: Talk to some world leaders about her nonprofit’s efforts to encourage democratic participation. Don’t confuse the autocrats with the democrats.