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Haven't been keeping up?

Been keeping up just fine, thanks. My doubting that any progress will be made until 2017 is not the same thing as saying that some progress will necessarily be made between 2017 and 2021. Rather, it means that efforts during the remainder of 2016 are almost certain to be futile (even if Obama and the current PM seem to like each other). For the next administration, we'll just have to wait and see who wins and whether they hold firm to their current line...

That's why we have diplomats to handle such things, politicians tend to step in the poop.

Yep. Engagement is done at multiple levels, and the largest part is done by faceless diplomats. No doubt about that.

Rule one is regardless who is POTUS, do not publicly insult him ... he will find a way to get you back.

Yep, it doesn't help to insult our friends. The relationship with the US waxes and wanes based on personalities and our respective policy agendas. Nixon hated Trudeau. Mulroney and Reagan got along famously well. Chretien and Junior Bush were not a good combination. Harper and Junior Bush got along okay. Obama and Harper were not such a great combination. That's life. But Keystone was a different beast altogether, and it's one that probably would not have turned out differently even if we had had a different PM, as US domestic pressure was more important than appeasing people from the north.

My daughter's last day at the embassy tomorrow, she is looking forward to something different. We are looking forward to having her in Halifax.

Congratulations. You should be proud of her service. Much good work gets done quietly in the embassy in DC. Few people have a clue about the value of continuous engagement.

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