WASHINGTON —; Canada will soon have a new ambassador to Washington.
Gary Doer has confirmed he’ll be leaving Canada’s most important diplomatic post once he’s helped the new Liberal government with its transition.
The sports-loving ambassador made the announcement in characteristic fashion: with a hockey metaphor.
Repeating a phrase he’s often used when asked how much time he has left, Doer described himself as being in ”double-overtime” — and, in his first interview since Canada’s federal election, he made it clear there will be no triple-overtime.
The former NDP premier of Manitoba was appointed six years ago, making his stint in Washington longer than the vast majority of his recent predecessors.
Doer was selected by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the hope that his left-of-centre roots and social network might help relations with the then-rookie Obama administration.
While much of the chatter about Canada-U.S. relations over the last six years has focused on the Keystone XL pipeline irritant, the era also witnessed a series of successes on Canadian priorities.
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The latter include a deal to unclog border crossings; Canada’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations; an agreement on a new Detroit-Windsor bridge that bypassed opposition in the U.S. Congress; anti-red-tape measures; and a coveted classification of Canadian hydro power as a renewable energy.
Doer says Winnipeg remains home for him — he’s never sold his house or cottage there. However, he says he will continue working on Canada-U.S. issues.