This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HALIFAX 000016
JOINT STAFF FOR US SECT PJBD
E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO NOVA SCOTIA -- SECURITY AND TRADE
1. SUMMARY: Ambassador Cellucci visited Nova Scotia January
13-15, stressing key policy goals of security and trade. He met
with U.S. and Canadian military officers and the leadership of
the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, the Lt-Governor and the Premier
of the province. He gave several media interviews and spoke to
the new AMCHAM Atlantic Chapter, a group at the provincial
legislature and approximately 600 students at Acadia University.
CG accompanied the Ambassador to all events. END SUMMARY.
2. The Ambassador began his visit to Nova Scotia with a
briefing at 12 Wing Shearwater near Halifax on the U.S. MV-22
Osprey, which is undergoing icing testing at the base. Marine
test pilot Major Frank Conway described the work he and roughly
60 civilian technicians were doing to fly the tilt rotor
aircraft in conditions that would allow them to record the
performance of the aircraft and its deicing systems. Conway
described the support received at Shearwater as "in some ways
better than what we would get at home." Colonel Al Blair,
Commander of 12 Wing, joined the briefing as well, saying that
the base and the Canadian Air Force were pleased to be able to
work with the USMC in the test program.
3. Following the briefing at Shearwater, the Ambassador met
with Rear Admiral Dan McNeil (Commander Maritime Forces
Atlantic) and Brigadier General Ray Romses (Commander Land
Forces Area Atlantic) at McNeil's office. Both McNeil and
Romses noted with appreciation the Ambassador's consistent
support for increased Canadian defense spending. McNeil
described his command's commitment to interoperability and close
cooperation with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, noting areas
such as joint exercises and in particular the Canadian Navy's
submarine program. He indicated that a French aircraft carrier
and associated vessels would coming to Halifax in June and that
he had reprogrammed Canadian participation in exercises with the
UK to join the French and (he expected) U.S. ships in exercises
in the north Atlantic.
4. The Ambassador traveled as well to Cornwallis (about two and
a half hours southwest of Halifax) to the Lester B. Pearson
Peacekeeping Centre (PPC). At the PPC, housed at the former
Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis, he meet with President Sandra
Dunsmore and other key staff to discuss the development of
peacekeeping policies and the PPC's role in training
peacekeepers worldwide. From the discussion it appears that the
PPC has to some extent turned a corner; Dunsmore was confident
that the PPC had moved beyond financial difficulties associated
with reduced federal government funding and was now able to
focus on what it did best, creation and running of training
modules and exercises for international peacekeeping students.
5. The Ambassador was the keynote speaker at a dinner which
formally launched the Atlantic Chapter of the AMCHAM. Event
organizers had expected 50 - 75 guests including founding
members of the Chapter, but ended up selling nearly 140 tickets.
AMCHAM leadership was particularly pleased with the turnout and
enthusiasm for the Atlantic Chapter. The Ambassador was given
an award by the group for his strong support of AMCHAM during
6. The Ambassador spoke to the press on several occasions
during his visit, including a one-on-one interview with ATV's
Steve Murphy, host of the most popular supper-hour news program
in Canada according to the most recent ratings. The ATV 6PM
news is broadcast to the three Maritime provinces and is watched
by nearly 350,000 people on average.
7. Ambassador met with the Lt-Governor of Nova Scotia, Myra
Freeman, and her husband Lawrence. Both thanked him for his
interest in and support for the province during his tenure as
Ambassador. Premier John Hamm expressed many of the same
sentiments during a private meeting with the Ambassador,
particularly noting the work to get DHS preclearance for Halifax
International Airport and to re-open the border to Canadian
cattle. Asked about his future in politics, Hamm did not
explicitly say he planned to retire after this term in office
but noted that he was 67 and if he were to run again he would
have to give at least a three-year commitment to the people of
the province to be a credible candidate. At a subsequent
reception for approximately 100 people in the historic Red Room
of the provincial legislature, Hamm thanked the Ambassador for
his interest in the province and his friendship. The
Ambassador's remarks stressed the importance of strong
8. In addition to his AMCHAM and Province House speeches, the
Ambassador spoke to and took questions from students at Acadia
University in Wolfville, about an hour outside of Halifax. The
large response to the event made the University change the venue
to the Convocation Hall, where approximately 600 students
attended. Questions ranged across the political spectrum, with
many focusing on Iraq, the war on terror and missile defense.
Following the Q and A Acadia President Gail Dinter-Gotlieb
hosted a lunch for students, faculty and administration that
gave the Ambassador a chance to meet Acadia students from
Massachusetts as well as to discuss the importance of American
and Canadian students studying in each others' countries as a
way of improving mutual understanding.
9. The final event on the program was a private dinner hosted
by CG and his wife for the Ambassador, federal Fisheries and
Oceans Minister (as well as Nova Scotia cabinet representative)
Geoff Regan and his wife Kelly, Nova Scotia Human Rights
Commissioner Mayann Francis, and the President of the Bristol
Group (opinion research and communications) Rick Emberley and
his wife Mary. The event gave the Ambassador a chance to hear a
number of different views of the prospects and concerns in the
province and in Atlantic Canada.
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