For all his involvement in the institutionalization of economics in Canada, Innis did not withdraw from contacts in the United States.
He was involved in the founding of the Economic History Association and the launching of the . At the same time Innis continued his interest in the general debates over the nature of economics in the United States, reviving his interaction with Frank Knight and eventually leading to his presidency of the American Economics Association in 1951.
He took a personal interest in the politics of the Department of Economics and Political Science at the University of Saskatchewan, which was headed by his student and close friend George Britnell.
Perhaps his greatest influence was exercised through Canada’s Social Science Research council of which he was Chairman in 1945-46, and Chairman of the Grants-in-Aid Committee for its first nine years.
By Christmas his group, the 69th Battery, was on the front in France. Innis returned to Canada in 1920 to take a position in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Toronto.
By the end of July, Innis had been wounded and sent to England for convalescence. With the exception of its redoubtable Head, James Mavor, the Department was young and aware that it had the economics of Canada still to discover. Fay, the economic historian, was at Toronto in those years, and was aware that there was something to be done. Bladen, recently arrived from Oxford, was pulled into the effort by Innis who insisted that Bladen could not understand the economics of Canada unless he personally visited every part of it.
Funds then available to assist research in the social sciences were minuscule by later standards, but none were allocated without Innis’s concurrence.
He met regularly with Anne Bezanson, another sometime president of the EHA, who represented the Carnegie Foundation.
In a backhanded posthumous complement a Keynesian said of him that he led the Canadian economics profession down the wrong path for fifteen years. Regional and community histories are now more frequently celebrated.
Aitken, Albert Faucher, and two of the then famous four Saskatonians, Vernon C. The building-of-the-Canadian-nation histories that typified the Laurentian School have lost some of their appeal.