Canada Must Think for Itself

10 theses for our country's survival & success in the 21st century

by Irvin Studin

Irvin Studin, one of Canada’s foremost thinkers and strategists, argues that Canada must learn to think for itself in order to survive and succeed in the post-pandemic world. He charts a clear path for asserting Canadian sovereignty and independence in the face of challenges from China, Russia and the United States and overcoming multiple pandemic-period domestic crises.

Analyzing the momentous shifts in international relations and domestic politics during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading policy expert and strategist Irvin Studin offers a road map for Canada’s survival and success in a post-pandemic world. Studin underscores the impact of Canada’s failure to think for itself as a nation prior to and throughout the pandemic. He also argues that Canadians have been all too willing to operate in the world as prescribed by first British, and now American, thinkers. To emerge as a fully independent and sovereign nation, Studin says Canada must set its own terms of engagement in a precarious post-pandemic world. It must act on the global stage as a nation of independent thought and purpose. Studin also addresses contemporary Canada’s policy challenges, including public health, education, demographics, economics, social stability, foreign policy and national unity. He highlights the country’s urgent need to define its own interests in the face of conflict and escalating rivalry among the world’s three great economic and military powers. At a time when new thinking is obviously needed, he offers a clear, innovative vision for the Canadian future. Studin sees Canada emerging from the multiple pandemic period challenges with the potential to be an equal to the great powers at its borders, with the North at the centre of the action.

About the Author

Irvin Studin is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of Global Brief Magazine. He is President of the Institute for 21st Century Questions, and Chair of the Worldwide Commission to Educate All Kids (Post-Pandemic). He lives in Richmond Hill.


Irvin Studin is the brightest and most intuitive policy thinker of his generation in Canada, and possibly of several generations in this country. From foreign and security policy to the Arctic and the North, demographics, federalism, languages, law, identity, sport and, most recently, the national and global education catastrophe caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Studin has been at the forefront of many major national and international policy areas and debates over the last decade and a half. And he has been, critically, a key initiator of practical solutions, on the ground, to a number of the wicked policy challenges of our time. He covers all of this and more in his ever-timely book on the state and future of Canada, post-pandemic, in what is the most important book thus far on our country in the 21st century.
Fred Lazar, Associate Professor of Economics, Schulich School of Business, York University
Irvin Studin skillfully takes us out of our comfort zone, which is necessary for the pursuit of any national ambition. His comprehensive book is not for those who want to be confirmed in their convictions and beliefs. Instead, it is an essential read at a time when Canada must think out of the box, and according to our very specific national realities and challenges in geography, society, culture, institutions, economy and geopolitics. Whereas Canada started off as a unique political project, Studin now gives us top-shelf thinking and material so that we can reinvent and re-energize our political project for the tough century ahead.
Pierre Pettigrew, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada
A strategic tour de force! In this remarkable book, Irvin Studin analyzes Canada’s darkest modern hour and paints a picture of national optimism and ambition — to survive and succeed in a wicked post-pandemic world, with Canada, through its North, at its very centre.
Bob McLeod, Former Premier, Northwest Territories

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