Liberals replace Tory diplomats
The Trudeau Liberals have replaced several high-profile political appointments made by the previous Conservative government with a major shuffle of the top ranks of Canada’s foreign service.
Almost all are career public servants, with three of them replacing political appointees of the Harper government in the United Kingdom, Iraq and Israel.
Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion announced the appointment of 26 new ambassadors, high commissioners and others — 13 men, 13 women.
In the United Kingdom, former British Columbia premier Gordon Campbell is being replaced by the former clerk of the privy council, Janice Charette. In the Middle East, Dion is replacing the heads of two missions whose appointments both drew criticism for being too partisan.
Former prime minister Stephen Harper had appointed the former head of his RCMP security detail, Bruno Saccomani, as the ambassador to Jordan but he is now being replaced. The Jordan mission oversaw neighbouring Iraq.
His successor, Peter MacDougall, is a veteran public servant who most recently was the assistant secretary to the cabinet for foreign and defence policy.
Canada’s ambassador to Israel, Vivian Bercovici, is also gone just two years after her appointment. Bercovici is being replaced by Deborah Lyons, who was previously ambassador to Afghanistan.