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Planet Canada How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future by John Stackhouse

Review by Nadia Yangin for the Canadian Expat

            The values that shape our hockey-loving, Timbit-eating home and native land are the same values that our country’s expats pack with them on their journeys throughout the world.  In Planet Canada How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future, John Stackhouse brings us on a journey to hear the stories of our country’s expat innovators, change-makers, and quiet citizens who together, yet far apart, are united in the Canadian spirit and exude the globally-admired Canadian quiet confidence.  The Canadian diaspora, as unique as its immigrants, is out there in every corner of the world, yet, you might not be able to find them.  As Stackhouse points out, Canada is sorely lacking in its engagement with its expat community.  With so many Canadians out in the world and most more than willing to give back to their country, Canada needs to connect with, support, and encourage global Canadians to represent Canada on the ever-growing world stage.


            A former expat himself, Stackhouse took the time to thoroughly research and present the evolution of Canada’s outward-thinking Canucks and their migration.  Stackhouse allows us to travel with him around the globe through the various settings of each expat’s surroundings and the context of their meetings.  Each expat story, big and small, is like a single glistening strand that is woven within the fabric that makes our country. Their stories are phenomenal and allow readers to truly understand the meaning of what it means to be Canadian in a modern global society. Readers will learn that many of the world’s renowned tech experts, doctors, filmmakers, educators, architects, and other professionals are actually Canadian and have been giving the world “more Canada” for a while.  Each chapter shows and praises their efforts – efforts, which are constantly and quietly making the world a better place.  As one discovers the efforts and strides these expats have made on their journeys one comes to understand that Canada has an abundance of diverse individuals that share a unique Canadian spirit grounded in inclusivity, humility, and critical thinking.  Of course not every Canadian is like-minded or a kind hockey-loving peacemaker as one may interpret from the overall positive tone but Stackhouse does makes sure to include them and the inherent risks of globalization in his findings.  The most disheartening part of the book is the almost unanimous feeling expats have of being on their own and unsupported by their own government.

            In Planet Canada How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future Stackhouse gives expats a needed voice and creates a sense of community. Their experiences and insights will not only resonate with other expats but also inspire those Canadians who are thinking about taking the leap outside their comfort zones. Expats and non-expats alike will have a new perspective on Canadian migration and its potential to put Canadians at centre stage in the future.


Planet Canada - How Our Expats Are Shaping the Future can be found here:

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