The former Canadian ambassador to the United States and past premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, has joined Dentons in its Toronto office.
In the role of senior business adviser, Doer will be working with all of the firm’s offices across Canada (including Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montréal and Vancouver), throughout the United States and around the world.
“I think advocacy through an international law firm, particularly with assets in the United States could be a real advantage for Canadians and for Americans to get stuff done,” says Doer.
Doer served as Canada's ambassador to the United States from October 2009 to March 2016.
Prior to that, Doer was the 20th premier of Manitoba, from 1999 to 2009, leading the New Democratic Party to win three consecutive majority governments. During his 10 years in office as premier, he led strategic investments in health care, education and infrastructure, and worked with both U.S. and Mexico governors to improve trade and energy co-operation.
“I was involved as a premier in the European trade discussions and one of the big issues for Europe was procurement for subnational governments. I was very involved in that process and very aware of what the benefits are for Canada. I was very involved in TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) negotiations, which gives some certainty and parameters to state-owned enterprises in dealing with free market countries like Canada, the United States and Mexico,” he says.
Doer also referenced Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current visit to China.
“For Canada and trade with China, rule of law and reciprocity is very important and Dentons has a large presence in China as well,” he says. “To me, the political, the public and the legal all go together and this firm affords that ability to deal with the challenges and opportunities in an international world.”
With the U.S. election months away, Doer says whatever the outcome — Trump or Clinton — the focus for Canada will be to emphasize that Canada is the largest trading partner Americans have.
“With a $2-billion-a-day trading relationship, it’s very important for Canada to continue to repeat over and over again that we are the U.S.’s largest customer and we buy more goods than the whole European Union put together instead of getting into abstract statistics that don’t mean much to the average consumer,” he says. “That’s our populism in an election with lots of populist sounds emanating from different candidates.”
Doer will work with Dentons’ Canada-U.S. trans-border practice. He will also be deeply involved in the firm’s global public policy initiatives.
“We are honoured to welcome Gary to Dentons — his arrival further strengthens the unmatched talent and scope of our team of business and public policy advisors,” said Chris Pinnington, Dentons’ Canada chief executive officer, in a statement.
“Gary’s experience and widely-respected stature in public service, in government and with cross-border diplomatic and business relations in North America, will be invaluable to our clients.”
"I have worked with Gary in his capacity as Premier and Ambassador. He is an extraordinary talent, whose ability to clearly define public policy challenges and then fashion solutions is virtually unparalleled,” said Gordon Giffin, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada (1997 – 2001), chairman of Dentons' U.S. Public Policy and Regulation practice, and co-chairman of Dentons' global energy sector team. “I have been privileged to work with him in my capacities in and out of government and enthusiastically look forward to teaming with him at Dentons to solve client problems and create client opportunities throughout North America and around the world.”
“We are very proud of the accomplishments and perspective our team brings to the table, and the arrival of former Canadian Ambassador Doer further enhances our unique capabilities and focus with identifying the right solutions and opportunities for our clients,” said Elliott Portnoy, Dentons’ global chief executive officer. “This is an exciting announcement for Dentons and for our clients.”