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Trudeau appoints Ralph Goodale as Canada's new commissioner in the U.K.

Last Updated Apr 21, 2021 at 11:47 am PDT

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed former Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale as high commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom.

Goodale will advise Trudeau on how the two countries should work together to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, fight climate change, pursue post-Brexit trade and build back after the pandemic.

The high commission of Canada in London is the diplomatic mission of Canada to the United Kingdom and it provides full consular and passport services to Canadians in that country.

The U.K. is one of Canada’s largest trading partners. 

The Canada-U.K. Trade Continuity Agreement entered into force on April 1, preserving preferential market access for businesses in both countries.

During the past year, Goodale has served as a special adviser for Canada’s ongoing response to Iran’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020.

“Goodale’s decades of experience will continue to serve Canadians well in his new position,” Trudeau says in a statement. 

“He will work to further strengthen the friendship between our two countries while we work together to tackle our greatest challenges, and continue to offer thoughtful and heartfelt advice on behalf of Canadians.”

Although he released his report on the PS752 tragedy in December, Goodale will continue to provide consultation on the issue, the prime minister’s office says.

Goodale was first elected to Parliament in 1974 at the age of 24, representing Assiniboia in Saskatchewan. In the 1980s, he served as leader of the provincial Liberal party, and was elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly in 1986.

He returned to the House of Commons in 1993 and was subsequently re-elected seven times including in 2015. He lost his seat in Regina-Wascana in the 2019 federal election.

He served in the federal cabinet as agriculture minister, natural resources minister, leader of the government in the House of Commons, minister of public works and government services, minister of finance and minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press