Posted: 12:57 am EDT
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On March 16, the United States and Canada signed a new agreement reaffirming the United States and Canada’s commitment to enhancing security while facilitating lawful travel and trade, and supersedes the existing U.S.-Canada Air Preclearance agreement signed in 2001. The new preclearance agreement – allowing for the immigration, customs and agriculture inspections required for entry into either country to occur on foreign soil – will reportedly reduce congestion and delays at the border and increase efficiency and predictability in cross-border travel, tourism and transportation.
Honour to attend Canada-US #preclearance launch yesterday. Great work @DHSgov Sec. Johnson + @MinStevenBlaney + teams pic.twitter.com/o5jFPP7bdS
— Eric Miller (@ericmiller191) March 17, 2015
All smiles there, and why not?
Then yesterday, the Globe and Mail’s Campbell Clark has a long piece on what is reportedly Bruce Heyman’s “rough year” as America’s ambassador to Ottawa.
For Mr. Heyman, it’s telling that since the day he presented his credentials nearly a year ago, when he and his wife Vicki had a 15-minute meet-and-greet with Mr. Harper and his wife Laureen, the U.S. ambassador has never had a one-on-one with the PM.
“There was no edict,” one senior Canadian government figure insisted. But several sources said there was at least a common narrative, from the Prime Minister’s Office to ministers, that Mr. Heyman wasn’t welcome.
Ouch. “the U.S. ambassador to Canada has never had a one-on-one with PM Harper” http://t.co/jgKONxGaWm — Norman Spector (@nspector4) March 18, 2015
Buried in 9th graf: The (U.S.) ambassador’s chair sat vacant for nine months while frustrations bubbled. http://t.co/A7kHWVrcSX
— Andrew MacDougall (@AGMacDougall) March 18, 2015
Today, there’s also this Vanderbilt Mag piece noting that “Our northern neighbor is the United States’ largest goods trading partner, with $632 billion in total goods trade in 2013.”
“Bruce and I are really tackling this job as a team,” says Vicki. “We’ve been traveling the country like road warriors. Top to bottom, right to left.”
From @VanderbiltU to Vancouver, @BruceAHeyman and @vshey tackle challenges as a team: http://t.co/amKBkLIgr6 pic.twitter.com/YaWLaoeo9M — Vanderbilt Alumni (@VanderbiltAlum) March 19, 2015
A related note — right there is an example of unpaid labor by a chief of mission spouse, a tradition deeply valued by the State Department until 1972 when the directive on diplomatic wives was issued and thereby ruined the much-beloved twofer system. That’s when participation by a Foreign Service wife in the work of a post was deemed “a voluntary act of a private person” and when the diplomatic spouse’s performance memorandum stopped being placed in the FSO’s performance dossier. We presumed, by the language of the directive, that up to 1972 there were no accompanying male diplomatic spouses in the service.