Two former Ambassadors warned that Canada would face U.S. trade action on softwood lumber and pressure to increase defence spending no matter who is elected President on November 8th. However, Gary Doer, former Canadian Ambassador to the United States, and Gordon Giffin, former American Ambassador to Canada, stressed that common Canadian and U.S. goals and values will ensure a smooth transition to a new administration.
Before the two spoke, Colin Robertson, vice-pesident of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, presented a primer on the U.S. election and on the Canada-U.S. relationship before an audience of parliamentarians, diplomats, political staffers, journalists, Carleton leadership and students.
The two former Ambassadors discussed trade, energy and the environment, defence and managing the U.S. relationship in a panel moderated by Maureen Boyd, Director of the Carleton Initiative for Parliamentary and Diplomatic Engagement.
Dr. Meredith Lilly, the Simon Reisman Chair in International Affairs, offered closing remarks. Dr. Lilly, who previously served as Foreign Affairs Advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, noted that it was important for Canada to cultivate allies among Democrats and Republicans to ensure bi-partisan support for issues affecting Canada.
The panel was organized with the support of James Maloney, M.P., chair of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources; Randy Hoback, M.P., Official Opposition critic for Canada-U.S. Relations; and Hélène Laverdière, M.P., NDP critic for Foreign Affairs.