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Area of Expertise

Canadian politics, federal-provincial relations, American politics

John Ibbitson’s career as a journalist spans more than three decades, more than two of them at The Globe and Mail, which he joined in 1999. He has served as the paper’s Queen’s Park Bureau Chief, Washington Bureau Chief and Ottawa Bureau Chief, becoming Chief Political Writer in 2012 and Writer at Large in 2015.

John writes columns and features that focus on Canadian and American politics and global demographic trends. His series of stories on the past persecution and prosecution of homosexuals in the community and the public service caused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to offer a formal apology in the House of Commons in 2017. He also coined the term Laurentian elite, which has become part of Canada's political lexicon.

He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Landing (winner of the Governor General’s Award for children’s literature), The Big Shift (with Darrell Bricker) and Stephen Harper (winner of the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing). Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline (with Darrell Bricker) has been published around the world and is available in nine languages.

In October 2023, Signal/McClelland & Stewart will publish The Duel: Diefenbaker, Pearson and the Making of Modern Canada, John's biography of the two prime ministers.

John is also general editor of The Globe History Project, a series of 30 essays exploring the history of The Globe and Mail and its influence on the life of Canada, to mark the paper's 180th anniversary in 2024.

Why did you become a journalist?

Having started out as a playwright and writer of fiction, I discovered that telling the stories of real people and real debates that shape our communities and our country was the highest possible calling, and the most fun, you could possibly have. And to craft those stories for The Globe and Mail has been the greatest privilege of my life.


Years in Journalism


Years at The Globe and Mail


Bachelor of Arts, English (University of Toronto), 1979

Master of Journalism (Western University), 1987

Southam Fellow (University of Toronto), 1994

Honours & Awards

Governor General’s Award for Literature (children’s text), 2008, The Landing

Winner, 2015, Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for Stephen Harper

Nominated, The Donner Prize forThe Polite Revolution and Empty Planet (with Darrell Bricker)

Languages spoken


John Ibbitson abides by The Globe and Mail Editorial Code of Conduct

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