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Trudeau names former B.C. premier Canada's ambassador to Germany

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John Horgan, the former premier of British Columbia, has been named Canada's next ambassador to Germany.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment Wednesday, calling the former New Democratic Party premier a "passionate public servant and an experienced leader."

Horgan, who has twice battled cancer, stepped down as premier in November 2022 and resigned his seat in the B.C. legislature in March, ending a 30-year career in politics that included five terms as a Vancouver Island MLA and eight years as leader of the B.C. New Democrats.

A statement from the Prime Minister's Office commended Horgan on his leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic and his efforts to create jobs in an environmentally sustainable economy.

"I am confident that he will continue to serve Canada well and help advance our two countries' common interests in this new role, including our shared commitment to building a clean future with good middle-class jobs and a strong economy that benefits everyone," Trudeau said.

Horgan was among dozens of Canadians sanctioned by Russia's foreign ministry last spring after he publicly condemned the country's invasion of Ukraine, and pulled Russian vodka from B.C. liquor store shelves in protest.

Horgan called the sanction, which bars him from entering Russia, a "badge of honour, not for myself but for British Columbia."

A married father of two adult sons, Horgan took his first post-politics job in April when he joined the board of Elk Valley Resources, a coal-mining unit that was spun off from Vancouver-based mining giant Teck Resources.

In his new role as ambassador, Horgan will provide strategic advice to the prime minister as Canada and Germany navigate the shared challenges of food and energy security and global conflicts, the PMO said.

Horgan, 64, isn't the first former B.C. leader to receive a post in Canada's foreign service.

Former premier Gordon Campbell was named the high commissioner to the United Kingdom by the federal Conservative government in 2011, serving in the role until 2016.

The Canadian embassy in Germany is located in Berlin, with consulates in Munich, Dusseldorf, and an honorary consul in Stuttgart.

Germany maintains an embassy in Ottawa, as well as consulates in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

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