WEEKS before another expected presidential bid of her own, Hillary Clinton will likely talk global affairs but avoid any bold statements today in Winnipeg.

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WEEKS before another expected presidential bid of her own, Hillary Clinton will likely talk global affairs but avoid any bold statements today in Winnipeg.

If today's speech at the RBC Convention Centre is anything like two others she's delivered in Canada in less than a year, the former U.S. senator will focus on foreign relations -- her strength after four years as secretary of state.

Clinton may also mention Tuesday night's state of the union address by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Clinton is expected to confirm her presidential intentions this spring. She has few rivals for the Democratic nomination.

In recent months, her busy speaking schedule has sparked criticism in the U.S. because of the large fees involved.

Last year, Clinton collected US$300,000 for a speech at the University of California, Los Angeles and US$225,000 for a speech at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, among several similar engagements. Though she donated those fees to her family's charitable foundation, the cash sparked an outcry, mostly from Republicans.

Organizers of Clinton's Canadian appearances have declined to put a dollar figure on her speaking fee. Tickets to Winnipeg's luncheon are priced at $300.

Last year, Clinton spoke in Vancouver and Calgary at back-to-back appearances that each attracted more than 2,500 people. Winnipeg's event is being organized by the same Calgary-based public relations firm, tinePublic.

Christian Darbyshire, head of tinePublic, would not comment on today's event, nor would the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, which is also involved.

The speech is part of the Global Perspectives series sponsored by CIBC and is one of two she'll deliver today. After her lunchtime appearance at the convention centre, Clinton will fly to Saskatoon to speak there this evening.

Hillary Clinton's luncheon speech this afternoon will be streamed online.

ELISE AMENDOLA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILES

Hillary Clinton's luncheon speech this afternoon will be streamed online.

Last March, in a speech to Calgary's elite, Clinton gave Wikipedia-esque shout-outs to Alberta's oil city but sidestepped critical questions about the fate of the Keystone pipeline, still Canada's biggest cross-border issue. She name-checked Calgary's popular mayor, Naheed Nenshi, and lauded the city's hosting of the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Calgary Herald reported.

"When it was over," she said, "you did not invade anybody -- you just enjoyed the experience."

That was her entry into a detailed discussion of Russian President Vladimir Putin's growing aggression in eastern Europe following the Sochi Olympics, the Herald reported.

At the time of the Calgary speech, Putin was in the midst of annexing Crimea. A summer of violence in eastern Ukraine sparked by pro-Russian forces would follow.

It's likely Clinton will touch on Putin in today's speech, as well as the more recent threat posed by extremist groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida in Yemen, which claimed responsibility for this month's deadly attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, including several staffers at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The speech will be streamed live at winnipegfreepress.com beginning at about 1 p.m.

There are a small number of tickets still available for purchase by calling the chamber of commerce at 204-944-8484 before 11 a.m.

 

-- with files from The Canadian Press

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

 

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