U.S. Consul General in Toronto, John R. Nay, told CEMA members on June 4 that his three-year stay in Ontario has been among the most pleasurable of his tours of duty. He will be taking another posting after the beginning of July but was not able at the moment to disclose his successor’s name. He told a packed meeting: “On this particular day I am extremely proud to be a U.S. citizen after listening to President [Barack] Obama’s speech in Cairo. It might potentially be the start of a new peace initiative by Muslim nations and Israel.” Copies of that speech were made available to those attending the meeting . The Deputy Secretary of State had just completed a visit to Canada, and Nay, referring to this visit, said it pointed to the importance President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton were attaching to U.S.-Canada relations.
After a brief address, Consul General Nay answered a number of questions, many touching on the need for passports or a Nexus Card for trusted travellers. He admitted that frequent border crossings made by a single persons were often scrutinized by both American and Canadian customs and immigration officials because it is necessary not to turn a blind eye to the drug trafficking which still continues. Nay said his consulate would be delighted to receive visits from small groups of CEMA ethnic journalists to view at first hand the day-to-day operations of the consular service and said that the public relations staff would be happy to discuss these visits with applicants. Consul General Nay introduced Charles Cole, who begins a stint with the Consulate in Toronto as media relations chief and who has previously served at consulates in Morocco and Spain. Also, he said, a new U.S. Ambassador would be named shortly.