Annual July 4th Reception In Ottawa Shows Off Americana

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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The annual July 4th bash at the U.S. Ambassador to Canada’s residence went off without a hitch — but without an ambassador. President Trump’s nominee, Kelly Knight Craft, hasn’t arrived in Ottawa yet because she hasn’t been confirmed.

So it was up to Elizabeth Aubin — the embassy’s chargé d’affaires — to host her thousands of guests. She strolled around the immaculate grounds on the massive estate located in Ottawa’s tony Rockliffe neighborhood. The annual event is one of the most eagerly awaited events on the Canadian capitol’s social calendar — with diplomats, military personnnel and journalists dominating the guest list.

There is always an abundance of free food and drink that reflects the varied American palette. This year’s theme was “Summer Picnic in the American tradition.”

Aubin told The Daily Caller that she was pleased to host the event but no, couldn’t say when the ambassador would arrive. “That’s entirely up to the Senate,” she said. Aubin said it wasn’t unusual for the embassy to be without the ambassador for the July 4th reception, “Actually it happens about every four years,” she said, referring to the need to confirm a new U.S. representative every time the president appoints one.

Earlier in the day, Aubin was on CBC’s Ottawa Morning radio show to talk about the party and U.S.-Canada relations.

She described her job as chargé d’affaires as building the “very important bilateral relationship” between Canada and the U.S., as well as providing administrative and logistical support to the 1,100 people who work not only at the Ottawa embassy us the seven U.S. consulates across Canada.

But Aubin couldn’t ignore the most pressing cross-border issue facing the U.S.-Canada relationship: renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

“Democracy is messy, and we see that in all democracies,” she told CBC. “And our democracy — you have the opportunity to speak your mind, and not everybody agrees on everything, just as in our bilateral relationships, the U.S. and Canada don’t necessarily come to full understanding of each other’s perspective on everything all the time. That’s why we work diplomatically. That’s why we have the relationship.”

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