Canadians Travel to United States for Program on Identity Politics in U.S. Elections

Statement/news release header image

Canadian politicians and political observers will visit Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities from October 30 to November 9 as participants in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). They will have the opportunity to explore how various demographics influence politics in the United States, how groups advocate their political interests, and how alliances coalesce in the progression from primary to general elections. The program is organized by the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Participants will observe how parties and candidates respond to interest groups, and learn how demographic shifts and polarization have influenced interest groups’ political impact. They will become familiar with the increasing involvement and recognition of Native American and other ethnic communities, and will analyze the processes and outcomes of micro-targeting voters along regional, demographic, ethnic, gender, and educational lines.

Participants in this program are:

  • Nathan Cullen, Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, BC
  • Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, NB
  • Nicole Foster, Government Relations & Strategic Communications Consultant / National Board of Directors for Equal Voice
  • Garnett Genuis, Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, AB
  • Shachi Kurl, Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute
  • Jonathan Marleau, President, Youth Commission, Liberal Party of Quebec
  • Kym Purchase, Chief of Staff, Leader of the Official Opposition in Nova Scotia
  • Michelle Rempel, Official Opposition critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament, Calgary Nose Hill, AB
  • Shannon Sampert, Perspectives and Politics Editor, Winnipeg Free Press
  • Brandon Tozzo, Instructor, Trent University and Consultant, CTV News

The IVLP enables Canadians who are emerging leaders in their professional field to observe U.S. institutions, practices, and culture first-hand, and to meet with professional counterparts to explore issues of common interest. Founded in 1940, the IVLP has given hundreds of thousands of emerging leaders — including hundreds of Canadians — the opportunity to observe and interact with American culture and society on a personal level. For more information, visit

Participants are available for interviews before and after the program upon request.