OTTAWA – The co-chair of the Liberal election campaign in Ontario has been appointed as the new Canadian ambassador to the United States.
David MacNaughton’s appointment was announced Saturday by Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion. In a media release, MacNaughton is described as an entrepreneur and public relations specialist. He also served as principal secretary to former Ontario liberal premier Dalton McGuinty.
MacNaughton will have to deal with ongoing trade, environmental and defence relationships with the U.S.
For one thing, Canada plans to withdraw its CF-18 fighter jets from Iraq, and the U.S. rejected the Keystone XL pipeline which would have transported oilsands oil from Alberta to Texas, with the Americans calling it dirty oil.
MacNaughton takes over from former Manitoba premier Gary Doer, whose term has expired.
Another key appointment announced today sees Marc-André Blanchard as ambassador to the United Nations.
Other appointments include Angela Bogdan as consul general of Canada in Sydney, Australia; Marie-Louise Hannan as ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Jakarta, Indonesia; and Susan Harper as consul general in Miami.
The appointments come just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares to jet off to a gathering of the rich and famous in Davos, Switzerland. He has been treated as a rock star in the world stage. The New York Times on Saturday perpetuated the frenzy, declaring that Canada is officially “hip”, thanks in part to Trudeau.
Journalist Peter Stevenson called the prime minister “muscular, blue-eyed [and] social-media-savvy,” and said Trudeau’s family is creating a “Canadian Camelot.”
In the article, Trudeau is pictured alongside icons like Canadian pop star Justin Bieber and actor Rachel McAdams.