On March 3, 2022, we were devastated to learn of the passing of John Duffy, who co-founded StrategyCorp Inc. in 1995.
John’s mind was a whirlwind of public policy passion. He was dedicated to progressive causes. He was a committed “city-builder,” proud of his influential work on public transit and transit-oriented communities. His quirky grad-school wit was a big part of his style, and as one friend said, “he could charm the birds out of the trees.”
He helped build StrategyCorp into the 80+ person team it is now, and helped shaped the modern practice of government relations in Canada.
We mourn the loss of our friend, and offer our deepest condolences to his family, who were the joy of his life.
Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO’s flagship current affairs program, offered a tribute to John and his memorial service. It is an outstanding encapsulation of the person he was. We encourage everyone to read it.
John Duffy is a founder of StrategyCorp and one of Canada’s leading government relations and public affairs consultants.
Serving a wide range of ROB and Fortune 500 corporations in Toronto and Ottawa, John designs and executes public policy strategies for clients in many sectors of the economy, including: post-secondary education, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, financial services, energy, broadcasting, transportation, health care, manufacturing, consumer goods, and retailing.
He has been actively involved in Liberal Party politics for over thirty-five years. At the federal level, he served for twenty years as a volunteer advisor to the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, playing senior policy and strategy roles in the 2003 leadership campaign and the 2004 and 2006 general elections. John was also a senior volunteer advisor in the Liberal Party of Canada’s restructuring process under Interim Leader Bob Rae in 2011-12.
At the provincial level, John served as a senior strategic advisor to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, 25th Premier of Ontario. In that role, he was instrumental in securing the mandates for the Province’s Regional Express Rail program, which featured $29 billion in provincial spending commitments and laid the foundations for the Ford Government’s Transit-Oriented Development policies.
Municipally, John was the volunteer Policy Director for the mayoral campaign of John Tory. He is widely credited for having brought to the campaign the SmartTrack transit proposal which was the centrepiece of Mr. Tory’s winning effort.
He is the author of Fights of Our Lives: Elections, Leadership and the Making of Canada, a bestselling examination of Canada’s five pivotal federal elections. Fights of Our Lives was selected as Canada’s Political Book of the Year for 2002 by the Writers’ Trust. In 2013, it was voted one of the top five political books of the last quarter-century in Canada.
John appears regularly as a commentator in a wide range of major broadcast and print outlets. His opinions have been published in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, La Presse, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times of London, and the International Herald Tribune.
John serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Crow’s Theatre in Toronto, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the University of Toronto Schools.