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Transition time

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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.

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About Mia Rabson

Mia Rabson is a born and bred Winnipegger whose interest in politics seemed clear when she dressed up as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for Halloween in the 7th grade.

Her interest in writing was no surprise to her parents, who learned early in Mia’s life that no piece of blank paper — or wall, for that matter — was safe in her hands.

She holds an honours BA in English from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and has completed a political journalism fellowship in Washington, D.C. with the Washington Centre for Politics and Journalism.

Prior to working for the Winnipeg Free Press, Mia briefly worked for the Detroit News in the paper’s Washington bureau.

Mia joined the Free Press team in February 2001, and in April 2001 was appointed to the Manitoba legislature bureau. In December 2004, she was appointed bureau chief at the legislature. She became the newspaper’s parliamentary bureau chief/national reporter in Ottawa in January 2008.

In 2008 she was nominated for a Michener Award with a team of reporters from the Free Press for its coverage of the province’s child welfare system.

She counts reliving the invasion at Dieppe, France, with veterans of the failed Second World War expedition and overcoming her fear of heights to touch the Golden Boy statue atop the Legislative Building among her favourite experiences as a reporter.

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