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.

Donald Trump

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More than 250 riders took part in the fifth annual Tripleshot CrossFondo, which riders across parts of the Saanich Peninsula, including this field near Sluggett Farms. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tripleshot CrossFondo rides across Saanich Peninsula

More than 250 cyclists took part in mystery-course race

City of Victoria crews will soon be gathering up fallen leaves in neighbourhoods and city parks. First up on the pickup list are the James Bay, Fairfield, Rockland, Gonzales and South Jubilee neighbourhoods, starting Oct. 19. (Courtesy City of Victoria)
Victoria city leaf pickup a sure sign of fall

Residential pickup begins Oct. 19, drop-offs can happen anytime at city yard

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

The Capital Regional District spent $1.7 million to restore the Todd Creek Trestle. (Sooke News Mirror)
Todd Creek Trestle restoration completed

Restoration work adds 35 to 50 years to life span of the structure

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning customers of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on WestJet flight 195 from Calgary into Victoria on Oct. 11. Passengers seated between rows one and seven should self-minotor for symptoms for the next 14 days. (Black Press Media file photo)
Confirmed COVID case on WestJet flight day after previous exposure on same route

BCCDC warning passengers seated in rows one to seven on WestJet flight 195 on Oct. 11 into Victoria

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read