Inside Politics

What's Clinton got planned for day three?

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(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
 
Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Canada for a meeting of Arctic coastal countries. She noted Canada failed to invite other interested parties, such as Finland, Iceland, Sweden and aboriginal groups -- which prompted her first slap up the back side of her host's head:
 
"Significant international discussions on Arctic issues should include those who have legitimate interests in the region. And I hope the Arctic will always showcase our ability to work together, not create new divisions,"
Then late in the afternoon, she gave a couple of interviews where inevitably she was asked about Canada's decision to pull its military out of Afghanistan.
 
In an interview with the CBC's George Strombolopolous she delived a gentle jab to the ribs:
 
"The Canadians are really good at what they do. So, yeah, it'll be a loss, but I mean, it's up to Canada to decide how you deploy your forces. But I'm not gonna sit here and tell you we're happy about it because that wouldn't be telling you the truth. We'd love to have Canada stay in this fight with us, but again, you've got your own considerations and we respect that.."
Today Clinton sat with her G8 colleagues for a closing news conference after their meeting, where she was asked the next inevitable question: what does she think about excluding family planning, contraception and access to abortion from any maternal health plans?  For this she used the diplomatic equivalent of a 2x4:
 
"You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.  And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion."
This, while sitting right next to Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, who, when testifying before a committee about his government's maternal health plans, had said, "this does not deal in any way, shape or form with family planning. Indeed the purpose of this is to be able to save lives."
 
(After attacks from the opposition, Cannon said he misspoke when talking about the plan. And the government now says it won't "rule out" contraception.)
 
What could possibly be behind this? Could it be bad blood from 2008?
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