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Former MP named as Alberta's new trade representative in Washington, D.C.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has named a former member of Parliament to be its senior representative in Washington, D.C.

James Rajotte, who represented Edmonton-Southwest from 2000 to 2004 and Edmonton-Leduc from 2004 to 2015, will take over May 1 in the position that has been vacant for a few months.

The Washington office has been around for 25 years and representatives have included former energy minister Mel Knight and former Calgary mayor Dave Bronconnier.

Kenney says Rajotte's main responsibility will be to bring Alberta's voice to policy-makers at both the national and state levels as the province looks for North American energy security.

Rajotte was chairman of the House of Commons finance committee during the global financial crisis and co-chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group.

Kenney said the delay in filling the position was to give Rajotte time to tie up lose ends with his job as a business executive at Rogers Telecommunications and to make necessary changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We had some delays on this just because of the pandemic, being able to move somebody down there and sorting all of the quarantine protocols," Kenney said Friday.

"I'm very excited about this. You talk to former colleagues of James in Ottawa they will tell you he was someone really renowned for working across party lines and getting things done as a very effective senior parliamentarian."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 24, 2020

The Canadian Press

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