Ottawa taps former cabinet minister Ralph Goodale as U.K. high commissioner: sources

The federal government has tapped former Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale to serve as Canada’s next high commissioner in the United Kingdom, CBC News has learned.

While the longtime Saskatchewan MP is Ottawa’s pick for the job, the U.K. has not officially approved the appointment, according to confidential sources who spoke to CBC News on the condition they not be named.

Goodale, who lost his Regina-Wascana seat in the 2019 federal election, would take over the job from Janice Charette, who was appointed in 2016 after serving as clerk of the Privy Council.

As high commissioner, Goodale — who has held a number of federal portfolios during his political career, including finance and public safety — would be responsible for charting a path forward on a bilateral trade deal.

While the United Kingdom left the European Union in January, the terms of the EU’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada continue to apply until the end of this year.

Since losing his seat, Goodale has served as a special adviser to the Trudeau government on the destruction of a commercial airliner by Iranian military forces in January.