A recent revelation of the news regarding the appointment of Stephen Harper’s top bodyguard as the new Canadian ambassador to Jordan has raised eyebrows in diplomatic circles. The former head of the RCMP protective detail, trusted to guard the prime minister and his family, Supt. Bruno Saccomani, is now on his way to join the Foreign Service.
The director of global security at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, Fen Hampson, alleged that “it does seem like what I would call a friendship move, a reward for a job well done.” He pointed out that “do you want career diplomats serving in these positions or do you want people who are parachuted in because they are close to the prime minister.” Hampson alleged during an interview, “yes, it’s certainly raising some eyebrows . . . the optic is a little odd.” The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the new appointment, when it was approached on Thursday, while the spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, dismissed it as “pure speculation.”
Harper has previously made political appointments to the diplomatic corps, as he appointed the defeated cabinet ministers Lawrence Cannon and Jean-Pierre Blackburn to postings in France. Speaking on suspicious appointment of Saccomani, NDP MP Paul Dewar stated that the top diplomatic job in Jordan demands an understanding of the complex issues of the Middle East. He stated that “it would appear that the only thing he has is a connection to the prime minister and not a deep profound knowledge of diplomacy or a deep profound knowledge of the issues in the region.”
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