Bob Rae is PM’s Pick for UN.

Former Ontario NDP premier and former interim leader of the federal liberals, Bob Rae, finally got his father’s old job as ambassador to the United Nations. It is hard to say if this appointment is a slap in the face to the U.N. for not electing Canada to one of the open security council seats recently or a compliment in sending a proven foreign diplomat for the job.

You have to admit that Rae did a good job for Canada in his recent appointments of assistance to the Canadian government. His report to the government on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh was reputed to be an excellent analysis of a serious situation. He also had some very good advice for the prime minister on the problems related to the airliner shot down in Ukraine.

I think the best work that Rae ever did politically was as interim liberal leader leading up to the election of Justin Trudeau in 2013. It was not the finest period for the party but Rae brought it new life in its secondary role in opposition.

I was less impressed when Rae was premier of Ontario. I was around Queen’s Park during the Davis conservative, Peterson liberal and Rae NDP years. my impression was that the Rae government was the most politicized and almost impossible with which to negotiate. As for Rae’s performance as premier, I would consider it indifferent. After he bought into the right-wing ideas of Tom d’Aquino and his business council on national issues and launched his infamous Rae Days, I have not been back to the pink palace on Queen’s Park Crescent.

There were some quiet moves among a few liberals back in 2012 to get Rae to resign as interim leader and to run against Justin Trudeau for the party leadership. I could not see the point.

The United Nations is a fine retirement for Rae.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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