Kirsten Hillman, the woman who now holds the position of Acting Ambassador of Canada to the United States, obtained the permanent position as the best figure in the Trudeau government in Washington.
The word comes after months of speculation that the former trade negotiator would be appointed to the post, making her the first woman to hold the post.
Hillman is widely respected in Liberal and Conservative circles for his background as a negotiator.
Under the previous Conservative government, she was chief negotiator on the Canadian Trans-Pacific Partnership team.
Hillman also played a leading role in Canada’s NAFTA negotiations under the Trudeau government.
In a press release formalizing the appointment, Trudeau said that Hillman had demonstrated his ability to defend Canadians and defend their interests during these negotiations.
“She combines exceptional knowledge and skills and is a gifted diplomat,” he said. “Ms. Hillman will remain a trusted counselor, friend and counselor in Washington and is our contact with Congress and the United States administration. I know Canadians will be well represented by her.”
The position is considered the most important foreign diplomatic position in the Canadian public service, given the crucial importance of Canada-US relations to the Canadian economy.
This relationship has faced significant challenges since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.
In addition to its request to renegotiate NAFTA, its administration made important political decisions or changes that had an impact on Canada – without notifying Ottawa in advance.
Canada was not notified earlier this month that Trump was announcing a travel ban for certain passengers from Europe following the COVID-19 epidemic.
In January, senior Canadian government officials were frustrated with the Trump administration’s decision to keep Canada in the dark about an American drone strike in Iraq that killed a senior Iranian general. Canada has hundreds of soldiers in the region and works closely with the United States military.
The Trudeau government has done everything possible to avoid angering Trump, who is subject to emotional reactions when crossed.
Previous ambassador David MacNaughton – who left public life last fall – told cabinet officials to avoid publicly criticizing the president.
Hillman plays the role as Ottawa and Washington work together to manage the pandemic crisis.
The two counties mutually agreed to restrict border traffic, announcing a 30-day ban on non-essential travel.
Maintaining this border flow will be a priority for Hillman, as Canada relies heavily on the integrated supply chain that brings essential products to the country daily.