Would-be envoy to Canada displays diplomatic abilities at hearing

It’s probably not the worst sign for an aspiring American diplomat when his congressional grilling ends with Santa Claus jokes.

WASHINGTON — It’s probably not the worst sign for an aspiring American diplomat when his congressional grilling ends with Santa Claus jokes.

The would-be next ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, was spared hostile questioning Wednesday during his Senate confirmation hearing.

By the time it was over, the only senator left in the room was the committee chairman and they were sharing chuckles about Old Saint Nick.

“You have displayed your diplomatic abilities in extraordinary fashion,” Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the rookie diplomat.

This was after an exchange where he’d asked the nominee, tongue planted in cheek, whether an ongoing Arctic mapping project might result in Santa being declared a U.S. citizen.

Heyman’s reply: the jolly North Pole resident is, in fact, a citizen of the world, and his safety is guaranteed by a joint Canada-U.S. military initiative, Norad.

And that’s where they left off.

If the Senate Foreign Relations committee recommends the appointment, and it’s then approved in a vote on the Senate floor, the Chicago investment banker and prominent Democratic party fundraiser will succeed another Chicagoan Democratic party fundraiser as the U.S. envoy to Ottawa.

During the brief hearing, John McCain had asked a couple of terse questions about the Keystone pipeline project.

The former presidential candidate received a non-answer from Heyman, stood up, and left the room.

It was a far cry from the interrogation earlier Wednesday to which McCain had subjected other nominees; he’d pummelled a previous panel with detailed followup questions about aid for Egypt, sanctions for Iran and help for Syrian fighters.

In Heyman’s case, he simply asked whether he supported Keystone. Heyman explained that his job wasn’t to make a decision on the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline, but merely to explain it to Canadians once a decision is finally made.

“There’s a process,” Heyman said.

To which McCain retorted: “So you have no position?” Heyman agreed. And McCain promptly left the room, concluding the most challenging moment of Heyman’s appearance.

Just Posted

Signatures Our Best to You Spring show starts Thursday in Red Deer

The event runs until Saturday at Westerner Park

Red Deer mayor wants to discuss status of projects promised before the election with new UCP government

A new homeless shelter and start on Red Deer hospital expansion were promised by New Democrats

Red Deer murder suspect arrested

Quentin Lee Strawberry was arrested on Tuesday, says RCMP

Updated: Industrial fabrication shop in Red Deer destroyed in morning fire

About 30 workers got out safely before building in north end gutted

Updated: Industrial fabrication shop in Red Deer destroyed in morning fire

About 30 workers got out safely before building in north end gutted

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Netflix adds 9.6M subscribers in 1Q as competition heats up

SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix kicked off the year with the biggest subscriber… Continue reading

Liberals find anti-Trudeau sentiment on campaign trail in Prince Edward Island

OTTAWA — When voters in Prince Edward Island go to the polls… Continue reading

Officer tells of finding body at trial for B.C. dad accused of killing daughters

VANCOUVER — A police officer choked up Tuesday as he recalled finding… Continue reading

Man faces murder charges in slayings of two men, two women in Penticton, B.C.

PENTICTON, B.C. — A former city employee described as a hard-working, civic-minded… Continue reading

A look at Alberta’s elections since the province was created in 1905

EDMONTON — A chronology of Alberta elections: Nov. 9, 1905: Lawyer Alexander… Continue reading

Connor scores in OT as Jets beat Blues to even series

Jets 2 Blues 1 (OT) (Series tied 2-2) ST. LOUIS — Kyle… Continue reading

Teen tennis star Felix Auger-Aliassime has special energy, intensity: coaches

Minutes after speaking with reporters about a tough semifinal loss at the… Continue reading

Most Read