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900 Miles North we find a Son of South Carolina hard at work

November 21, 2007

ambassador-radio.jpgWe start the second day off with a private breakfast one on one with the Ambassador. He busily reads the newspaper preparing for his interview with Steve Madley, with CRFA, Ottawa’s premier NewsTalk Breakfast show. The Ambassador centers in one article of where a Quebec fire truck responding to an emergency request for assistance in upstate New York was delayed at the U.S. border despite having lights and sirens activated. The Canadian Ambassador calls it a “thickening of the border”. Ambassador Wilkins disagrees calling it one lone incident and points to the last sentence of the article that officials from both sides have talked to prevent this from happening in the future.

“He will ask me about this I better be prepared,” he tells me, and then we head out to the radio station.

When the Ambassador stepped out of the car people stopped and took notice of who was arriving. You could also feel the spotlight was on the Ambassador he confidently greeted Steve Madley. Mr. Madley greeted him as “A good friend of this city, a good friend of the radio station and I think a good friend of Canada.” Please listen to the whole interview by clicking here.

 

fjones-3a.gifWe arrived at the Embassy at 9AM where we attended a Political and Economy meeting with his chief deputies in these areas. When he came into the meeting all present showed their respect and immediately rose and sat back down when he sat down. There were about 20 people in attendance and the main discussion was current events, upcoming events and a lively discussion on the Northwest Passage. Canada and the U.S. continue to work on this issue and the U.S. position on this remains that if this waterway ever becomes navigable – it is a strait for international navigation. The U.S. does not question Canada’s sovereignty of the lands, mineral rights, etc, and in fact supports Canada’s efforts in these areas.

rountable.jpgNext on the Ambassador’s agenda is USC video conference/ roundtable with the Parliament Hill Press Corps at the US Embassy. Four of Canada’s top Parliament Hill journalists participated. Bob Fife is the Ottawa Bureau Chief with the top-rated CTV television. Jane Taber co-hosts Sunday morning talk show Question Period on CTV. She’s also the Parliament Hill columnist for the Globe and Mail newspaper. Susan Delacourt is a senior correspondent with The Toronto Star and a best-selling political author, and Chris Hall is the Parliament Hill Bureau Chief for CBC radio. Each of them has at least 20 years in the business and was able to talk extensively on the U.S.-Canada relationship, the impact of the Iraq war and anti-Americanism on Canadian politics, and Ambassador Wilkins tenure in Canada.

The most striking comment made was said by the Ambassador when he told the students in the United States we wonder who will be our next president. In Canada we know who will be elected but we don’t know when the election will be held. At anytime the government could dissolve since the ruling party has a minority government. In Parliament the Conservative party holds fewer seats but they are in control because the other parties do not have enough votes to make up a majority against them. If you watch the video the reporters do an excellent job explaining this.

We have the exclusive full video of this on You Tube.

susananddavid.jpgNext is the Embassy Thanksgiving day party. All of the Embassy staff was invited to take part in a traditional American Thanksgiving Day celebration. Mrs. Wilkins even came over to the Embassy to take part in the festivities.

Allons –y a Montréal. A two hour car ride allowed SCHotline to interview the Ambassador on a range of topics from the North American Union to his first day as Ambassador. The interview will be an upcoming story on SCHotline next week.

We arrived at the consulate in Montreal. To give you some perspective there is only one Embassy in the country. In big centers of population they have consulates the consulate is led by the Consul General who acts on behalf of the Ambassador when he is not present. In Canada there are 8 consulates with Consul Generals from the United States. In Montreal, the Consul General is Mary Marshall.

We are now heading to the Southeastern United States (SEUS) – Canada Alliance. The United States and Canada enjoy the world’s largest and most productive trading partnership. In fact, every day across only one bridge that connects Detroit, Michigan with Windsor, Ontario our two countries conduct more trade back and forth than the U.S. conducts with all of Japan! Canada (not the Middle East) is the United States number one supplier of energy – this includes oil, natural gas, and uranium.

The Governor from Tennessee so wisely stated in his opening remarks at the conference ““I’m a businessman. So when your largest client asks you to come for a meeting you come.” Canada and the southern states want to increase their trade and grow their economies by focusing on their neighbors across the border. The Premier of Quebec put it so forcefully, “If you are not going forward in a relationship then you must be going backwards.” This SEUS-Canada Alliance reaffirms that Canada and the Southeastern United States seeks to promote trade and investments between the two regions and countries.

Four premiers from Canada, two Governors from the United States, and one Lt. Governor attended the conference. This is a great start to creating more trade you can check out more details at Georgia Initiates SEUS-Canada Alliance, Affirms Ties with Largest Trading Partner

We spent the night in Montreal at the Consul General’s residence. This ends our second night of our three day adventure.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Fred Jack permalink
    November 21, 2007 6:08 AM

    Hands off Canada

    your forefathers would be ashamed of you

    That border is what makes me canadian

    do not tamper with the border between Canada and America … it is there for a reason

    Bring your tropps home from Iraq

    We will make sure our troops come home from afghanistan

    You are spending yourselves into militaristic bankruptcy and now you are turning your greedy eyes north

    We do not intend to put you on our welfare list and support your insanity with our resources… it is a resource grab and we are all aware of it…

    Our canadian leaders are not listening to their constituents, we will repair the damage that you americans have done to our sovereignty and we will elect politicians who have canadian interests in mind…

    Go home and repair your own house and leave ours alone

    And if you think this is a lone voice in the wilderness, think again

    There is a growing resentment with the ordinary people of canada about the way you are trying to manipulate us into converting our peacekeeping tradition into something that is aggressive

    Fix the problem with your renegade government and leave ours alone

    Do not do this thing to our country

    Fred

  2. Willy permalink
    November 21, 2007 7:57 PM

    Amb. Wilkins is a good and honorable man…and I am glad he is doing well, and thinking of SC. I hope he returns and becomes active again…we need the leadership.

  3. GreenGuy permalink
    November 21, 2007 7:59 PM

    Ain’t SC Hotline gettin fancy!

    Good job boys…keep up the good work.

    Sewell…don’t saw u last weekend at the ball gme…no acsot. Whats up?

  4. R Bailey permalink
    November 21, 2007 8:03 PM

    The Speaker turned ambassador has always known how to get things done. If he returns and runs for Governor it will be an interesting dynamic. Especially with two former speakers running for a seat that both men hate.

    Glad to see Hotline is stretching out. Except for u guys and Fits, our media is dead…keep up the good work.

  5. Wallace permalink
    November 21, 2007 8:06 PM

    Run for Governor… hell…why would he step backwards? Hope he runs for his old house seat, wins, and gets elected back to the Speakership!!!

  6. Darrell Wallace permalink
    November 24, 2007 5:17 PM

    I agree with Jack from Canada. We don’t want to earase the border between America and Canada. I don’t mind trading or being a good neighbor, but America should remain sovereign and so should Canada. We don’t need to erase the Southern border either with Mexico. I “ain’t” all that fond of tacos.

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