Vancouver Economic Commission CEO departs to lead new federal agency

Ian McKay is resigning from the VEC to serve as CEO of Invest in Canada

Vancouver Economic Commission CEO is resigning from his position to lead the federal government's new Invest in Canada agency |submitted

Ottawa is looking to the West Coast for leadership as it tries to boost foreign investment.

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne announced Monday (March 12) the head of the City of Vancouver’s economic development agency will lead a new federal organization known as Invest in Canada.

Vancouver Economic Commission CEO Ian McKay will be joined at the new agency by Cirque du Soleil chairman Mitch Garber, who will serve as Invest in Canada’s board chairman.

Invest in Canada is mandated to attract global investment to Canada and simplify the process for foreign businesses to set up shop.

A VEC spokeswoman told Business in Vancouver her agency's board is working with McKay to identify an acting CEO in the wake of his departure. The City of Vancouver will also facilitate the search for a permanent replacement.

McKay was appointed CEO of the VEC in September 2013. Before that, he served as national director for the Liberal Party of Canada and worked in the financial markets in Europe and Asia.

“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,” McKay said in a statement.

“It has been a privilege to work with this exceptional, knowledgeable and dedicated team over the past four-and-a-half years.”