CIC Vancouver Island



 We are a new branch that came together in September 2023 for people on Vancouver Island who live north of Victoria and the Greater Victoria Area.  At the moment we hold events at the Fairwinds Golf Course in Nanoose Bay and, in future, we are looking forward to working with Vancouver Island University.  CIC Vancouver Island was pleased to kick off 2024 with our first-ever ‘Politics in the Club’ event. The Politics in the Club Series will enable CIC Vancouver Island members to meet regularly to discuss foreign affairs and other policy issues in a comfortable setting.


Our next open event is on June 19, 2024

The Israeli Intelligence Failure of Oct 7, 2023

 A Presentation by John Pyrik.

Israel was caught off guard. What factors led to this failure of intelligence? Were lessons learned from the intelligence failure of the 1973 Yom Kippur War forgotten? Were Israel’s leaders negligent?

In the weeks that followed, we learned that many warnings were given, but all were ignored. What happened?

In this presentation, John Pyrik, a former CSIS Intelligence Officer will explain how errors of collection, assessment, and leadership contributed to an intelligence failure that has cost the lives of over 30,000 people. He will also provide some insight into Canada’s strengths and weaknesses in intelligence collection and collaboration with other countries.

John Pyrik has 27-years of investigative and analytic experience. He has worked for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCS), the Financial Transactions Reports and Analysis Agency (FINTRAC), and the Privy Council Office (PCO) where he created and ran a training program for intelligence analysts.

For the last 15 years, has focussed on improving analytic tradecraft. John began teaching online in 1998. He has instructed for the Justice Institute of BC since 2011. John continues to write, teach and consult on matters related to intelligence analysis.

John has a BA in International Relations from UBC and a Graduate Certificate from JIBC

LOCATION: Fairwinds Golf Centre

ADDRESS: 3730 Fairwinds Dr, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9J6

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, May 15th, 2024, noon – 2PM

COST: $30.00 (includes a light buffet lunch)

TO REGISTER: Click here

CONTACTS: If you need help, contact Terry Kelly at or Margaret Stevens at


2024 Events

Our Event of May 15, 2024.

North Korea’s Military Buildup: Implications for Canada and The World

 A Presentation by: James Trottier, former Canadian career diplomat

In 2024 North Korea continues an ambitious missile program, financed in part by extensive cyber activities that purloin billions of dollars from institutions and individuals around the world. Meanwhile, North Korea supplies Russia with missiles and artillery shells which threaten to change the tactical and strategic equation in the Ukraine/Russia war. All the while, North Korea threatens South Korea under the shadow of an anticipated 7th North Korean nuclear test.

In his presentation, former Canadian career diplomat James Trottier will examine these developments, and explore what it all may mean for regional and global security. He will challenge us to consider how the international community should respond. Is North Korea a clear and present danger to South Korea and countries beyond?

James Trottier’s global affairs positions included Senior Political Adviser for relations with the EU and Senior Coordinator for annual Canada-EU Summits. James’ additional assignments dealt with human rights, the environment, refugees, and international Indigenous issues.

Since leaving the Foreign Service in 2016, James has been sought after as a keynote speaker at official conferences on North Korea. He is acclaimed for his expertise in North Korea’s nuclear, missile and cyber programs; and his knowledge of N. Korea’s domestic situation, foreign policy, and regional security. He is well versed in the response of the international community to N. Korean threats.

James graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He has a “Master of Laws” in International Law from the University of Ottawa, a Masters in Modern History from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. from the University of Manitoba

Our Members only event on May 2, 2024.

Politics in the Club: 

“Canada and Southeast Asia: Diplomatic Choices Amidst Geopolitical Tension”

Canada’s national interests depend on preserving the rules-based international order. Southeast Asia represents a key fault-line in what could be a Cold War between the US and China, a theatre where the rules-based international order may be renewed, or disintegrate.

Countries in Southeast Asia wish to promote development through trade and investment with China, yet their relationships are shrouded by a fear of Chinese might. The cornerstone of stability and prosperity in the region is ASEAN—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations—comprising 10 countries with which Canada is a ‘Dialogue Partner’. Through ASEAN, Canada engages multilaterally not just with Southeast Asian countries, but also with China. However, ASEAN is not the typical international organization with which Canada is traditionally at home. Its members include countries with authoritarian tendencies, and some that are fiercely authoritarian. Those few ASEAN members that are democracies face an uncertain future.

Dr. Mark S. Williams is a Professor of Political Studies and Global Studies at VIU, and an Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at UBC. He is the editor of “The Politics of the Asia-Pacific: Triumphs, Challenges, and Threats” with the University of Toronto Press, and the author of “Indonesia, Islam, and the International Political Economy: Clash or Cooperation?” Mark is a member of the Canada Asia-Pacific Public Policy Project.


Our event of April 16th, 2024

“Cold War 2.0: Technology & Geopolitics”

George S. Takach’s new book, Cold War 2.0, comes out in March, 2024. George’s presentation to CIC Vancouver Island one month later will discuss key themes of the book: what it means for the democracies and the autocracies to be in a cold war, especially one that is technologically driven; why democracies do technology and innovation better than autocracies; and suggestions about what democracies have to do to leverage their edge in technology and innovation to prevail in Cold War 2.0.

George Takach is a graduate of the University of Toronto (including IEP, Aix-en-Provence) (BA), the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (MA), and the Faculty of Law University of Toronto (JD). George is a former partner and national Technology Industry Leader at the McCarthy Tétrault law firm, where for more than 35 years he represented Canadian and international technology companies and traditional companies and governments with their sophisticated technology transactions and projects. George was an Adjunct Professor of computer law at Osgoode Hall Law School for 22 years. He is the author of Computer Law and two other books on the business of technology.

“Toronto Star” article by George Takach (March 9, 2024): “Why the Democracies Need to Declare Cold War 2.0:”

Our event of 20 March 2024.

“Taiwan-Canada Relations (Within the Indo-Pacific Stratagem)”

Rising geopolitical tensions in the Taiwan Strait place Taiwan in the international spotlight. Canadian policy toward Taiwan is defined in :

  •  Global Affairs Canada’s “Indo-Pacific Strategy,” and
  •  House of Commons’ “Canada and Taiwan: A Strong Relationship in Turbulent Times.”

Both documents reinforce the importance of Canada’s relationship with Taiwan.  Taiwan is Canada’s 13th largest trading partner worldwide and 6th largest trading partner in Asia. The stability of this region holds considerable importance for the
interests of both Taiwanese and Canadians.

Director General Lihsin (Angel) Liu of the “Taipei Economic and Cultural Office” in Vancouver is Taiwan’s highest ranking diplomat in Western Canada.

Director General Liu will present an overview on Canada-Taiwan relations, express her views on ways to strengthen the relationship, and highlight how the two countries can work together to solidify economic, cultural, and Indigenous relationships.  She will also discuss ways in which China interfered in Taiwan’s recent Presidential election and how Taiwan responded with democratic resilience.  Prior to her current post, Director General Liu served in many roles with Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During her 25 years with the Ministry, she served in Houston and Los Angeles in the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister’s Office, Mainland Affairs Council, and departments responsible for North American, East Asian and Pacific Affairs.  Director General Liu holds a master’s degree in China Studies and International Economics from John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.


Our event of 29 February 2024. 

Politics in the Club:  The Challenges of Securing Canada’s Arctic Frontier”

This event is the second of two “Politics in the Club” sessions focusing on Canada and the Arctic. In late-January, Peder Roberts encouraged participants to consider the reasons Canada should invest in Arctic science.

Our second session, to be held on Thursday, February 29, 2024 will shine the arctic light on a different perspective, that of protecting Canadian sovereignty in a geographic region of considerable military and economic significance.

Professor Will Greaves is an associate professor of international relations at the University of Victoria. His research focuses on global politics and security, climate change and energy, Indigenous peoples, Canadian foreign policy and the circumpolar Arctic. 

Professor Greaves is author of more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and has co-edited 2 books: Breaking Through: Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic and One Arctic: The Arctic Council and Circumpolar Governance.

The Politics in the Club Series enables CIC Vancouver Island Members to meet regularly to discuss foreign affairs and other policy issues in a comfortable setting. Each meeting is limited to just 24 CIC members. The all-inclusive entrance fee of $25 entitles participants to an (alcohol or non-alcohol) beverage, finger food, and a moderated discussion, guided by a renowned expert on the topic under discussion.


2023 Events

December Events:

    1)  For January 27 2024 we had our first-ever ‘Politics in the Club’ event.  Peder Roberts will explore reasons “Why Canada Should Invest in Arctic Science.

About the Presenter:

Peder is an Associate Professor of Modern History at the University of Stavanger in Norway. He is particularly interested in the connections between science, politics, and environmental management in the Polar Regions from the twentieth century through to the present.

     2)  For January 31 2024 event, we hosted Professor Reeta Tremblay, PhD, Professor Emerita of Comparative Politics at the University of Victoria.  She will be here to speak about “Unpacking the escalating diplomatic crisis between Canada & India: What are the deep roots of the rift?” 

About the presenter:

Reeta Tremblay, PhD, Professor Emerita of Comparative Politics at the University of Victoria. 

Professor Tremblay’s major areas of research are: secessionist movements (Kashmir) in South Asia, the politics of subaltern resistance
and accommodation in post-colonial societies, democracy and governance, and comparative federalism. She has authored and co-
authored several books, articles, and reviews. Her work has been widely reviewed and cited. In particular, she is considered the leading North
American expert on Kashmir and India-Pakistan relations. Two of her recent books are: Religion and Politics in Jammu and Kashmir (2020) and
Modi’s Foreign Policy (2017).




November Event:  “Canada Alone: Navigating the Post-American World”

Professor Kim Nossal discussing his new book, “Canada Alone: Navigating the Post-America World.”

 About the author: 

Kim attended the University of Toronto in the early and mid-1970s, receiving all his degrees from that institution: B.A. (1972), M.A. (1974) and Ph.D. (1977). In 1976, he joined the Department of Political Science at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and taught there for twenty-five years, serving as chair of the Department from 1992 to 1996. In 2001 he went to Queen’s University as the head of the Department of Political Studies, a position he held until 2009. From 2011 to 2013, he was the director of the Centre for International and Defence Policy, and from 2013 to 2015, served as Chair of Policy Studies and the director of the Queen’s School of Policy Studies. He retired from Queen’s in 2020. 


October Event:   Putin’s Shadow – Causes & Consequences of the Russo-Ukrainian War

Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine continues to be the biggest threat to peace and security in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Indeed, for over 18-months the world has witnessed horrific scenes created by Russia’s invasion, while Ukrainians, supported by their Western allies, have fought back heroically with everything they have. Meanwhile, millions of Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country, while many others have been internally displaced. Globally, the world’s number one (Russia) and number five (Ukraine) wheat exporters are also delivering less and less grain to the rest of the world, creating significant food shortages in many countries. All told, the Russo-Ukrainian War has become an unmitigated disaster for Ukraine and increasingly so for Russia, diminishing the latter’s standing to a point seemingly beyond recovery. Events could easily spiral out-of-control, especially as Moscow runs out of options.

Join us as we hear from our speaker Dr. Chris Kilford.  Chris is a member of the national board of holds a PhD in history from Queen’s University with a focus on civil-military relations in the developing world and is a Fellow with the Queen’s Centre for International and Defence Policy, a sessional professor with the Canadian Forces College and an Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University. Chris enjoyed a 36-year career in the Canadian Armed Forces as a senior army officer. From July 2009 until July 2010, he served in Canada’s Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan as the Deputy Military Attaché. From July 2011 to July 2014 he was the Canadian Defence Attaché to Turkiye with cross accreditation to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan. Chris retired from the Canadian Armed Forces in September 2014 and since then his book chapters, articles and opinion pieces on Canadian and international defence and foreign policy issues have appeared in numerous Canadian and international publications.

Branch Executive Leadership

Terry Kelly




 Margaret Stevens

Upcoming Events – See the national events listings