When new ambassadors arrive in Ottawa they are obliged to troop along to Rideau Hall, where they are officially welcomed by the Governor General, as the Queen’s representative in Canada.
The presentation of credentials ceremony is normally a formality carried out by the dignified branch of government – perfunctory and uneventful, if done right.
Yet heads of mission who have handed over their letters of credence to Julie Payette in recent times say they were lobbied privately by the Governor General to support Canada’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. A vote will be held in June and Canada is running against Norway and Ireland for the two-year mandate to represent “Western Europe and Others”. Government sources suggest it will be a close call.