Kelly Knight Craft mentioned softwood lumber, dairy and poultry as priority areas when asked about Canada and U.S. relations. (The Canadian Press)

Trump ambassador to Canada confirmed

Kelly Knight Craft swiftly confirmed by U.S. Senate

Donald Trump’s ambassador is heading to Canada: the United States Senate has swiftly confirmed Kelly Knight Craft, endorsing her nomination in time for her to begin work as major trade negotiations start.

The confirmation was announced Thursday by the Republican leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell.

He applauded the appointment of his fellow Kentuckian, whom he knows through politics back in their home state, and whom he publicly endorsed during her congressional hearing two weeks ago.

That swift two-week turnaround is faster than how the Senate handled the last ambassador’s appointment, as it allowed the nomination of Barack Obama’s pick Bruce Heyman to languish for months before proceeding.

It came after a breezy confirmation hearing.

Anything but a grilling, Knight Craft was asked two questions about basketball, and others about Russian election-meddling and NATO in her congressional hearing. She declared that she believed Russia interfered in the U.S. election.

She was also asked about promoting U.S. exports to Canada, and mentioned softwood lumber, dairy and poultry as priority areas.

RELATED: Horgan to talk softwood in Washington

This appointment allows Knight Craft to start work at a sensitive moment in Canada-U.S. relations — the two countries and Mexico will start negotiating an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement on Aug. 16.

Knight Craft is a longtime philanthropist, wife of a Kentucky coal magnate, and supporter of Republican causes who organized inaugural events for the state’s governor and for President Donald Trump.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland offered her congratulations on Twitter Thursday night.

“Great news, congratulations,” Canada’s ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, tweeted Thursday.

The new ambassador’s state governor sang her praises during a recent meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. At a governors’ conference in Rhode Island, Matt Bevin told Trudeau: “You’re going to have a good colleague… You’re getting someone who’s gracious, and very well-networked. Very respected.”

In a statement Thursday, McConnell saluted the new ambassador.

“Our two nations share much more than a border; we have a heritage of trade and security relations that benefit us both,” said the Republican leader.

“As a proven advocate for our national interests, Kelly will use her position to continue the long history of friendship between the United States and Canada. I appreciate her willingness to serve our country once again, and I know that she will make Kentucky proud.”

Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Sooke’s Canada 150 Pageant has historical roots

20 skits planned to lay out history of the region

VicPD officers hurt in separate weekend incidents

Both altercations involved aggressive individuals encountered by police

Material spill slows traffic on Highway 1 near Victoria

You may experience heavier traffic than normal if you’re headed from Victoria… Continue reading

Pumpkin Lady carves Halloween niche

Sooke artist puts new spin on jack-o-lanterns

Victoria couple hope unmanned boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus, UVic scientists to have drone collect environmental data en route

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek farm search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

Flu could see greater transmission in 2017

Health asking the public to get their flu vaccinations leading into a flu season that could start early and affect many in 2017.

Nanaimo man assaulted, tied up and robbed at his home

Incident occurred about 7 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23 at a home on Beverly Drive

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Red hot Vikes women to host playoff opener

UVic Vikes This Week: basketball season kicks off at home

Most Read