Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's policy retreat, the breakdown

CEOs, policy wonks and a former Calgary Flame all got the invite

Maclean’s Econowatch editor Erica Alini has already done us the favour of posting the invitation list for the exclusive summer gathering known as the Minister of Finance’s Summer Policy Retreat. So we thought we’d take a closer look at who got their invites in the mail.

A total of 17 business leaders, professors, charity heads and media types have been given the chance to debate national policy (and bend the minister’s ear) this year (the meetings run Aug. 21-22)—in what was the shortest invitation list since 2008.*

Over the last six years, the invite lists have included 42 CEOs in finance and business. There have been just three aboriginal leaders. This year, Ellis Ross, Chief Councilor of the Haisla Nation, was asked to attend. Before him, the representatives were from aboriginal education and business organizations.

Brian Scudamore, the founder and CEO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK was invited twice (in 2009 and 2011).

Media organizations with a seat at the retreat over the years include the Torstar Corporation, publisher of the Toronto Star and Harlequin romance novels (2008), Bruce Little, listed as “former Globe journalist” in 2009, Harlequin Enterprises Limited in 2009 (owned, as stated above, by Torstar Corporation), Maclean’s editor (at the time) Andrew Coyne (2010), conservative pundit David Frum (2011), and financial media organization Stockhouse Publishing Inc.

Policy Options Magazine was invited in both 2011 and 2012. This year, CBC senior business correspondent Amanda Lang is on the list.

Charities included the YMCA of the USA (oddly, not Canada), and the United Way Toronto.

But perhaps the oddest inclusion of all is Jim Peplinski—who made the cut, so to speak, in 2011 and was listed simply as “former captain of the Calgary Flames.” His stint as Flames captain ended in 1989. Since 1990, he’s been running a vehicle leasing company in Calgary.

Please note, these lists do not account for any no-shows or last-minute cancellations.