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Guest Gary Doer

You think your job's tough? Talk to Gary Doer.

Sure, he hangs out with Barack Obama. But as Canada's Ambassador to the United States, he handles the difficult issues: border security; the Alberta oil sands; Omar Khadr. For Doer, the high-profile position as our top foreign diplomat is the latest chapter in a dynamic political career.

He was born in Winnipeg, also home to his buddy Neil Young. Raised in a middle-class family, he studied political science for a year, then dropped out of university to be a prison guard.

It takes cojones to work in a prison and Gary would need them later in his career.

He was active in his union and before you know it was head of the Manitoba Government Employees Association.

Then he made the jump to politics. In 1986, he won a seat with the Manitoba NDP. Two years later he was head of a party that was on the verge of collapse. Doer helped rebuild the party and in 1999 was elected Premier of Manitoba.

He held the post for 10 years, became a world leader on climate change and, according to polls, was named Canada's most popular premier four years running.

Then came a call from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, asking if Doer would like to be Canada's next Ambassador to the United States.

Now his job is to deliver Canada's message to the Americans - though it's not always one they want to hear.

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