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Mansbridge One on One: Paul Cellucci

The Story

A year after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci is concerned that military ties between Ottawa and Washington aren't close enough. While an American-led campaign tries to stabilize Afghanistan and track down Osama bin Laden after toppling the Taliban, the outspoken diplomat wants more support from Canadian troops. "We really can't do this alone," he insists during this 2002 interview. In conversation with Peter Mansbridge, Cellucci talks tough on cross-border relations and calls on the Chrétien government to boost defense spending in a post-Sept. 11 world.

Medium: Television
Program: Mansbridge One on One
Broadcast Date: Oct. 19, 2002
Guest: Paul Cellucci
Interviewer: Peter Mansbridge
Duration: 22:30

Did You know?

• Born April 24, 1948 in Marlboro, Mass., Argeo Paul Cellucci held many political posts in his home state, including governor from 1997 to 2001.

• In 2001, just months before Sept. 11, Cellucci was appointed United States ambassador to Canada by President George W. Bush.

• As ambassador, Cellucci was often outspoken on Canada's defense strategy in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In March 2003, he publicly chided the Chrétien government for declining to send troops to assist American forces in Iraq, reminding, "We would be there for Canada. That is why so many in the United States are disappointed and upset that Canada is not there for us now."

• Cellucci's comments reflected the White House's disappointment over Canada's decision and sparked a national debate on Canada's military policy and relationship with its neighbour to the south.

• Tensions over the decision eventually eased and by late 2003, Cellucci praised Canada for deploying 2,000 troops to restore order in Afghanistan, and for providing financial resources to help rebuild Iraq.

• In March 2005, Cellucci resigned as ambassador and later announced that he was keeping professional ties with Canada as vice-president of corporate development for Ontario-based Magna Entertainment Corporation.

• Later that year he also released his memoir, Unquiet Diplomacy, which looked back at his diplomatic career in Canada.



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