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Gary Doer, the next ambassador to the US?

The Toronto Star reports this morning that, “Gary Doer is Canada’s next ambassador to the United States…”

The Star notes that Doer is “well respected, nationally and even internationally. Three years ago, Doer delivered the keynote speech at the annual Public Policy Forum dinner in Toronto, which is usually attended by a blue-chip crowd of Canada’s leading politicos and bureaucrats. …Doer laid out five possible (national) projects: an east-to-west national energy grid; protection of water resources; a national strategy for higher education and skills training; a trade-and-transportation strategy; and improved co-ordination of the provinces, along with Canada, as a unified voice on the global stage.”

The Globe and Mail adds that Doer has “what some describe as a ‘pragmatic’ relationship with Mr. Harper. Those who know him say Mr. Doer believes it’s more important to get along with the federal government than to pick fights. And he is well-liked by U.S. governors of the western states. In fact, he has quite a rapport with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, having bonded with him over environmental issues.”

The National Post highlights Doer’s “long journey from excoriating U.S.-Canada free trade in 1998 to crying out for the ‘defence’ of NAFTA against ‘Buy American’ policies in 2009.” The Post also says, “On key files ranging from health care to public utilities, Mr. Doer was a doctrinaire socialist. …He was probably the Kyoto Protocol’s biggest Canadian defender …but he supported the Afghan war, opposed the federal firearms registry, and could keep up with anybody when it came to fire-breathing law-and-order talk. Manitoba’s business interests generally found him congenial (especially with regard to tax policies)…”

The CBC notes, “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.”

CTV adds, “Paul Thomas, a political science professor at the University of Manitoba, said Doer has an ability to work with others who hold different political views than himself. It’s a skill that will come in handy in Washington and when working with the Conservative prime minister in Ottawa.”

CTV also notes, Doer “led the (NDP) for 11 years before his party won its first majority in 1999. Prior to his time in politics, Doer worked as a guard at a Winnipeg youth jail and as head of the Manitoba Government Employees Union.”