Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) CEO Ian G. McKay Takes Reins of New National Investment Organization

Logo for Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) CEO Ian G. McKay Takes Reins of New National Investment Organization

VEC well-positioned to continue delivery of mandate as Vancouver remains top performing economy in Canada

Vancouver, B.C. (March 12, 2018) – Today, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) congratulates CEO Ian G. McKay on his new appointment as CEO of Invest in Canada. Concurrent with this appointment, Mr. McKay will resign as CEO of the VEC and as Chair of the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA). Invest in Canada is a new federal organization dedicated to attracting global investment while making the process simpler for international businesses to do so.

As Mr. McKay continues his efforts on behalf of Canada’s business and investment interests, the VEC looks forward to working with Mr. McKay and Invest in Canada to continue supporting the emergence of Vancouver as a world-class city in which to work, invest and live.

“Under Mr. McKay’s strong leadership, the Vancouver Economic Commission has grown into a formidable economic development agency, helping to establish Vancouver as the strongest and most resilient economy of any Canadian city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “I am sad to see Mr. McKay leave the VEC but wish him all the best in his new role with the federal government as the CEO of Invest in Canada. I have no doubt that he will continue to be a strong champion for Vancouver—especially our booming tech and start-up scene—by continuing to support local businesses and attracting new investments to boost jobs across Canada.”

Mr. McKay’s departure occurs at a time when Vancouver remains the strongest and fastest-growing economy in Canada. In the last five years, the city’s annual GDP growth has averaged at higher than 3.5 per cent; 40,000 jobs were created in 2017 alone; and the office vacancy rate is the 2nd lowest in North America – achievements made even more notable by the simultaneous reduction of its greenhouse gas emissions.

In January 2018, Prime Minister Trudeau appointed Mr. McKay as his Special Envoy to lead the Canadian delegation in the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Tokyo, Japan. The member countries concluded discussions and the new agreement, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), was signed last week, March 8, in Santiago, Chile.

Ian McKay’s legacy with the VEC is characterized by tireless efforts to accelerate the diversification of Vancouver’s economy, and to place Vancouver on the global map as a destination for smart talent, smart capital and smart business – efforts which culminated in Vancouver being declared Canada’s top startup ecosystem in 2017, and the 15th strongest startup ecosystem in the world. Mr. McKay also left his mark via the creation of VEC’s Asia Pacific Centre and Film & Media Centre; the hiring of Vancouver’s first Film Commissioner; a rewritten mandate that identifies Technology, Digital Entertainment & Interactive (DE&I), the Green Economy as key sectors of focus; and the creation of a Vancouver business brand that is “innovative, creative and sustainable.”

“I have every confidence that the VEC team will continue to deliver their innovative programs and thought leadership on behalf of Vancouver’s business and investment community,” says Mr. McKay. “It has been a privilege to work with this exceptional, knowledgeable and dedicated team over the past four-and-a-half years.”

In the interim, VEC staff shall ensure that 2018 programs and projects will proceed without disruption. The next few months will see the completion and launch of several large-scale projects, including the update and launch of a new Economic Development Strategy; 2018 Green Economy Report; 7th annual Vancouver Digital Careers Fair; Industrial Insights Research study; and usual array of ongoing projects and programs related to capital and talent attraction, entrepreneur education and mentorship, and local business support.


About the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)

The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) works to strengthen the city’s economic future by supporting existing businesses, attracting foreign investment and promoting international trade. The VEC strives to position Vancouver as a globally recognized city for innovative, creative and sustainable business.

About the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA)

13 economic development agencies from Canada’s large cities work together as the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) to promote Canada as an ideal destination for global trade and investment. Comprised of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Waterloo Region, Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec City and Halifax, the CCCA helps international companies determine the best strategies for business expansion and works to continually improve Canada’s ability to attract new investment and trade opportunities.

About Invest in Canada

A new federal investment promotion agency, Invest in Canada has been mandated via legislation with the goal of attracting new international investment while making it simple and more attractive to invest in Canada. It will do this in part through the provision of one-window concierge services, marketing Canada abroad, and working to streamline existing efforts by Canadian cities, governments, and the private sector.

Media Contact
Ingrid Valou, Communications Specialist
(604) 868-1990 /