SMLS with Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.

SMLS with Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the U.S.

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Maha Neouchy
November 05, 2012

Ambassador Gary Doer is the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., which he transitioned into in 2009 after his role as the Premier of Manitoba. Prior to his current position as Ambassador, Doer worked to enhance U.S.-Canadian cooperation on trade, agriculture, water protection, climate change and renewable energy. He was named one of the top 20 International leaders on climate change in Business Week magazine.


In his role as the Canadian Ambassador to the U.S., Doer has become involved in many aspects of North American politics. In addition to discussing the time he spent attending the political conventions in Tampa and Charlotte, he also discussed a variety of policies and issues concerning the North American continent as a whole.


U.S.-Canada Relations


Two major concerns of both the U.S. and Canada include energy efficiency and the protection of North America, especially in regards to security. Ambassador Doer touched on meetings between the Prime Minister and the President, who come together often to discuss national security issues such as sanctions against Iran.




The Ambassador emphasized efforts to strengthen the close trade relationship between the U.S. and Canada, since his country is the largest customer of U.S. goods and services.


Looking Forward


Ambassador Doer made predictions of what will happen to the U.S. government after the general election on November 6th. Once Americans nominate their new president, he hopes that members and representatives on the Hill will come together to provide stability for Canada and other U.S. allies. Doer does not want to see another recession or GDP decline because he knows that when the U.S. economy is negatively affected, so is Canada.


Open Forum with Fall Interns


Jennifer Rutter, Ford Motor Company Global Scholars intern and student at Belmont University, asked Ambassador Doer about the  future steps he plans on taking to strengthen the relationship between U.S. and Canada. His response included "keeping trade open and taking action on clean air and water." In addition, Doer addressed the efforts of all three North American countries in regards to energy security.


Heather Kelahan, Ford Motor Company Global Scholars intern and student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, asked the Ambassador to speak about Canada's role in the Arctic. He jokingly responded that whoever has polar bears living in their country, should have automatic membership to The Arctic Council, a high level intergovernmental forum to provide a means for promoting cooperation, coordination and interaction among Arctic States. On a serious note, he informed students that the Arctic Council has now transitioned into a decision-making body and expressed excitement regarding Canada becoming the new Chair in 2013. The Ambassador discussed the fact that "ice is melting and the passage is opening up, so The Artcic Council needs to work in a bilateral way" to ensure the safety and well-being of indigenous communities and inhabitants of the region.


Fiona Rumohr, Law and Criminal Justice intern and international student from the University of Calgary, asked the Ambassador if anything changed when he moved from Manitoba to diplomatic office in D.C. Doer responded that instead of being able to implement changes directly, such as when he held office in Canada, he can now only recommend changes as a diplomat. In addition, as a representative of the Canadian government in D.C., he has to be "more guarded with his personal comments because he's representing his country."


Words of Wisdom


To end the SMLS, Ambassador Doer left the audience with a few words of wisdom: "Today's governor can be tomorrow's Cabinet member. Personal relationships matter. People you meet today can be a Minister of Finance in another country in the future. Make sure to never burn a bridge and build personal relationships. You can get things done a lot quicker that way."


[View photos of the event on our Flickr channel]

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