Ottawa

No ambassador, no problem — July 4th party in Ottawa a go

The annual Fourth of July party at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Ottawa is a go, even without an ambassador in place to host it.

This year's theme is 'summer picnic in the American tradition'

Former U.S. Embassador to Canada Bruce Heyman takes part in last year's Fourth of July celebrations at Lornado, the ambassador's official residence in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian press)

The annual Fourth of July party at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Ottawa is a go, even without an ambassador there to host it.

Elizabeth Moore Aubin, the chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy, will host the event to celebrate American independence on the grounds of Lornado, the U.S. ambassador's residence in Rockcliffe. This year's theme is "summer picnic in the American tradition." 

The party will feature "all kinds of regional delicacies — what people eat at picnics across the United States today," Aubin told host Hallie Cotnam in CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning.

The spread will include ribs, deep dish pizza, hamburgers, fish tacos and more, according to Aubin.

Elizabeth Moore Aubin is the chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. (CBC)
Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman, who used to host the annual Independence Day party, ended his tenure in January. Kelly Knight Craft was nominated to replace him by President Donald Trump last month, and still has to be confirmed.

Aubin has been in charge since Heyman's departure, and said she is "thrilled and honoured and privileged to have the opportunity to lead during this period of transition."

She said her focus as chargé d'affaires is the "very important bilateral relationship" between Canada and the U.S., and supporting the 1,100 people who work at the seven U.S. consulates across the country and the embassy.

'Really important conversations'

"Americans sometimes take our neighbourhood a little bit for granted. And we're not doing that right now. We're having really important conversations that we need to have to find solutions and to move forward and make progress in our relationship. I think it's actually a very exciting time," said Aubin.

Despite political divisions and unrest in the United States since the election of Trump in November, Aubin said she believes in a diplomatic approach and in creating conversations, ideals she said she brings to her role as a major contact point between neighbouring countries.

"Democracy is messy, and we see that in all democracies," she said. "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."

The Fourth of July Independence Day event at the U.S. Ambassador's residence gets underway at 5:30 p.m. featuring food and live music.

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