Focus On

Former Canadian ambassador to China joins McMillan as senior adviser

Friday, June 14, 2019 @ 2:01 PM | By John Chunn


McMillan LLP announced on June 10 that John McCallum has joined the firm as senior strategic adviser.

According to Stephen Wortley, an executive partner and head of the firm’s Asian practice, “as Canada's former ambassador to China, John brings unparalleled experience in building mutually beneficial Sino-Canadian connections. His extensive range of professional achievements as an academic, economist, politician and diplomat speaks to the scope of his knowledge and his global perspective.” Wortley added, “Especially in this time of a challenged Sino-Canadian relationship, we look forward to John assisting our Canadian clients doing business in China and working with the business community to foster business-to-business contacts leading to opportunities in both China and Canada.”

McCallum began his career as a member of Parliament by nominating Nelson Mandela as an honorary citizen of Canada in 2001. He served as Defence minister under Jean Chrétien. Under Paul Martin, he served as Veterans Affairs minister, National Revenue minister, Natural Resources minister and as chair of the Expenditure Review Committee, where he demonstrated extensive fiscal responsibility through budget management.

McCallum has always been a strong proponent of immigration, and as minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, he led Canada’s effort to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees over a period of three months.

Earlier, he served as chief economist for the Royal Bank of Canada, dean of the Faculty of Arts at McGill University, and a longtime economics professor at the University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser University, Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University.

In the academic world, he is best known for his article on “border effects,” published in 1995.

In early 2020, McCallum plans to return to his academic roots as a distinguished academic visitor for two months at Queens’ College, Cambridge, where he was an undergraduate some 50 years ago.

“A distinguished and accomplished Canadian, McCallum’s exemplary leadership will add great depth to our solutions-oriented practice,” said Tim Murphy, an executive partner of the firm.