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American ambassador charms crowd

David Jacobson, the new American ambassador to Canada, impressed about 300 attendees during a February luncheon at the Omni hotel that was sponsored by the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

Jacobson is a Chicago lawyer and corporate litigation expert who raised funds for President BarackObama and served as his adviser on government appointments.

Since his appointment in late September, he has familiarized himself with a wide variety of Canadian concerns. He even admitted a fondness for poutine.

In response to a question about the progress of a proposed fast train between Montreal and New York City, he said his son, studying at McGill, had been badgering him on the same question. They’re working on it, he said, but the economic situation and international priorities have delayed that project.

Jacobson expressed gratitude for the work of the Canadian armed forces in Afghanistan. He said that the U.S., fighting for freedom and democracy is unjustly defined as seeking an empire, and he said the U.S. had “never taken one acre of land from the countries” it had entered.

One student in the crowd, however, wondered what the Sioux, Blackfeet, Crow, Cherokee, Apache, Navaho – let alone the Hawaiians –would make of that statement.



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