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Ralph Goodale at a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Aug 6, 2019.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Former veteran Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale has been appointed High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister’s Office announced Wednesday.

The appointment was made as both countries continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic and Britain deals with the aftermath of Brexit.

Last month, the House of Commons passed Bill C-18, to ensure that trade between Canada and Britain would not be disrupted after Britain officially left the European Union at the end of December.

“As a trusted adviser in London, he will work to further strengthen the friendship between our two countries while we work together to tackle our greatest challenges, and continue to offer thoughtful and heartfelt advice on behalf of Canadians,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a statement.

Coming G7, climate meetings will be ‘pivotal,’ says Goodale, Canada’s new rep in U.K.

Mr. Goodale will be replacing Janice Charette, who was announced as the interim Clerk of the Privy Council in March. Ms. Charette replaced Ian Shugart, who is on medical leave.

In March, 2020, Mr. Goodale was named a special adviser to the federal government on Iran’s downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752.

Mr. Goodale’s report on Flight 752 was published in December, but he will continue to advise Mr. Trudeau on the crash, according to the statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1974 at the age of 24, representing Assiniboia in Saskatchewan, as part of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s government. He is the only MP to serve in both Trudeau governments.

“Ralph Goodale is a former colleague and someone who I think brings a lot of experience to the role of High Commissioner to the United Kingdom,” said Conservative MP Michael Chong.

“I hope it indicates that the Liberal government is looking to strengthen the ties with the United Kingdom as part of our efforts to work multilaterally in countering the threats that are being presented by Russia, China and other authoritarian regimes.”

Some of his ministerial positions over the years have included Agriculture, Natural Resources, Public Works, Finance and Public Safety.

Mr. Goodale was elected Liberal MP for Regina—Wascana in 2015, having represented the riding since 1993. He lost his seat after being defeated in the 2019 federal election, as the Liberal Party failed to win any seats in Saskatchewan or Alberta.

He served as leader of Saskatchewan’s Liberal Party from 1981 to 1988 and as a member of the provincial legislature from 1986 to 1988.

Last week, the government appointed Ian McKay as Canada’s ambassador to Japan. He had been CEO of Invest in Canada, a federal government body, and is a former national director of the Liberal Party.

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