With Faith & Goodwill: 150 Years of Canada/US Friendship

With Faith & Goodwill: 150 Years of Canada/US Friendship

Posted on July 4 by Kyle in News
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by Scott Reid

On November 30, 2004 the President of the United States offered me a ‘near’ beer.  George W. Bush was taking part in a state visit to Ottawa and I was working as a senior aide to then Prime Minister Paul Martin. The President said I looked like the kind of fellow who enjoyed a beer from time to time – a thoroughly shrewd assessment. He explained that I should try his favorite non-alcoholic brand, some of which he had shipped in from Texas, just in case. “Our countries share a lot,” he elaborated. “But I wasn’t sure you’d have my beer.”  He was right. I had never heard of it. To my refined Canadian taste buds, it was entirely awful but I smiled and declared it delicious. Such are the sacrifices of high-flying diplomacy.  

For 150 years, Presidents and Prime Ministers have come together to share time and exchange words. Usually, these meetings center on expressions of solidarity and friendship. Occasionally, they include talk of tensions and even outright frustration. But through it all, the partnership and connection between the two countries has been steady and sure. The friendship has been fast.

As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, With Faith and Goodwill captures many of these moments and profiles the power with which leaders on both sides of the border have spoken about the other. You won’t find my story about near beer with George W. Bush between its covers. But, more than a decade after that encounter it was a great thrill to return to the subject of bilateral relations and contribute to this gorgeous collection. Please have a read. Or better yet, visit one of our events where Presidents and Prime Ministers will regather to remember their work together. These are special moments. This is a special book.