The rapid expansion of mineral and resource extraction in countries of the Americas in the last decade has led to new ways of thinking about the nature of the global economy, the way in which countries of the Global South are inserted into that economy, and their relationship with actors from the Global North. One notable aspect of this trend is the growing prominence of Canada, a country which previously played a minimal role in the economy of the region, but which is now the home base of the majority of mining companies active in the Americas. This process has coincided with the emergence of the rise in prices for primary exports, particularly mineral exports, and the emergence of neo-extractivist economies in Latin America, as discussed elsewhere in this collection. A closer analysis of the case of Canadian investment in mining in the Americas helps clarify the role of external actors and how neo-extractivism is inserted into broader changes in the global economy. In this article we examine the debates that have emerged in recent years about how to characterise Canada’s role in the region, focusing particularly on the question of whether Canada is a new imperialist power. We suggest that this case requires creative rethinking of some of the long-standing approaches to understanding Canada’s role in the world.