Sunday, November 1, 2015

Gary Doer Canadian Ambassador to the US and former Manitoba premier to return to province

- Gary Doer is planning to leave his position as Canadian ambassador to the U.S. soon, but is leaving the exact date to the new Liberal government.
When he resigned as premier of Manitoba, he did not say that the Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had chosen him to be Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Given that Doer was a prominent NDP premier, the appointment was a surprise. Harper constantly warns his supporters about the dangers of the socialist NDP. However, as former NDP Manitoba MLA and leftist Cy Gonick claims, perhaps Doer "does not have a socialist bone in his body." No doubt Harper hoped that Doer's diplomatic skills in dealing with politicians of every political stripe and his leftist credentials would help him out in dealing with the new Democratic administration of Barack Obama in the United States.
In spite of his NDP background or perhaps because of it, Doer's efforts were appreciated by the Conservatives. He has served Harper for six years, a period longer than his last two predecessors together. He has worked tirelessly but unsuccessfully to move the Keystone XL pipeline project forward. He was able to negotiate an arrangement to facilitate border crossing, but the deal must still go through the U.S. Congress and Canadian parliament, the same is true of the recently concluded Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP). Trudeau Liberals are likely to support the agreement. Another former NDPer, Liberal Bob Rae, has been rumoured as a possible successor to Doer. Rae was once an NDP premier of Ontario.
It appears Doer will return to the province of Manitoba: "I've never sold my home in Winnipeg, Winnipeg's always been my home. I didn't sell my house, I didn't sell my cabin.I don't want to go into much more detail....I'll talk about the future when the future starts — which is not quite yet ... I loved being premier. It was an honour to be an ambassador. It's always an honour to represent Canada."
Doer's return to Manitoba no doubt will see some provincial NDP insiders planning to have him return to Manitoba politics and perhaps become premier again after the upcoming election next April. The present NDP government is quite unpopular and testing new bottoms in the polls. It trails the Conservative opposition by some 20 percentage points and is almost tied with the Liberals, who have 24 percent of the vote compared to 25 for the NDP in a September poll.
Doer served as Canadian Ambassador to the US since October 19, 2009. Doer had been 20th Premier of Manitoba from 1999 right up until 2009, when he resigned shortly before his appointment as ambassador. For Doer to run, the present leader and Prime Minister Greg Sellingerwould have to step down so there could be an early leadership convention. Sellinger survived a leadership challenge which created divisions within the party but those appear to be mainly patched up by now.

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