It’s always a little odd to watch someone move on in life.
Whether it’s a friend who had a career in the arts suddenly jumping into an MBA program, a colleague who suddenly becomes your boss, whatever, it’s always a transition to wrap your head around the change.
It’s often nice for context as a reporter to have known people before they became big. I’m quite interested now to see Greg Selinger as premier, after covering him for more than seven years as finance minister. (He was finance minister for 10 years but I only covered him as a reporter for a little more than seven.)
When I cover Stephen Harper now as the prime minister I often remember sitting and having a casual conversation with him in the basement of the CanadaInns hotel in Portage La Prairie when he was running for the leader of the Canadian Alliance party way back when. He was actually accessible, and after the event, came up to me to ensure I had everything I needed.
I think it’s going to be a long time before I write Gary Doer’s name and don’t accidentally describe him as Premier before remembering, oh yeah, now he’s the ambassador.
Doer was back in Ottawa this morning for his first press conference since he resigned as premier and became the ambassador-designate. (He won’t actually be the ambassador until tomorrow when the U.S. state department accepts his credentials).
There was the premier, oops, I mean ambassador-designate, scrumming in the foyer outside the House of Commons. Instead of the Manitoba government aides who have been at his side for almost a decade, it was staff from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Even more odd was that the man who I’m sure would like to have climate change policies and boreal forest protection included in things he is remembered for as premier was suddenly out there defending, even promoting, the oil sands.
It was however a little reassuring to see him fall back on promoting energy efficiency as a main way to solve any energy crisis. If I had a dollar for every time Doer has pointed out the energy efficiency programs of the government and Manitoba Hydro, I’d be rich.