Gary Doer you know. The former Manitoba NDP premier was Stephen Harper’s surprise choice for ambassador to Washington in 2009. It’s not always an easy job, so he’s been sent reinforcements from a surprising corner — the new Alberta government of Premier Jim Prentice, whose emissary to Washington is Rob Merrifield. Merrifield was a longtime Alberta Conservative Member of Parliament, low-key and affable. Now he and Doer are tag-teaming some of the most sensitive bilateral files, the Keystone XL pipeline project first among them.