Frater Becomes Canadian-US Ambassador
OTTAWA, Ontario (Canada) - Frater Gary Doer (Zeta-Iota, Univ. of Manitoba) was introduced earlier this week in Ottawa as Canada's next ambassador to the United States, a day after surprising many political observers by announcing he was stepping down as premier of Manitoba.
"I was really honored to have the offer, and I really appreciate being the ambassador-designate," he told reporters shortly after a morning meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"So this will be the first time in my life I have to be diplomatic," said Doer, a 61-year-old Winnipegger.
Frater Doer was cagey about when he was specifically asked to take on his new role, saying he had a conversation with Harper over the last couple months. "It was a conversation about due diligence."
Doer said in 2007 he had also discussed with Harper about moving on after 10 years as premier, the precise length of time Doer has been in his job.
The Manitoba premier's appointment still has to be approved by the U.S. government, but that is considered a formality.
Questioned about how he can reconcile his NDP views with a Conservative prime minister, Doer said the public is not interested in partisan politics when politicians are working for the best interest of Canada.
"The public actually wants all of us from different political parties to compete when we're in election campaigns and work together in the public interest after a campaign."
He said he has a history of working with people from all political parties.
The Liberal politician stepped down on his 10th anniversary of becoming premier, and then went on to represent Canada in the United States.
"It's a great job for a former politician," McKenna told CBC News. "They understand how politics works. Someone like Gary Doer has great diplomatic sense, and I think he'd be a great fit with the back channels and social scene down there."
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