Former Cape Breton-Canso MP starts job as consul general to Boston

OTTAWA: Following a 20-year political career, a former Liberal MP recently started his new job representing his fellow Canadians south of the boarder.

A release from the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on October 30 confirmed that Rodger Cuzner was appointed Consulate General in Boston,replacing David Alward.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared the announcement and congratulated Cuzner via his Twitter account.

“For nearly 20 years, Rodger Cuzner served Canadians in Parliament. Now, as our new Consul General in Boston, he’ll serve Canadians again,” Trudeau said. “This time building bridges with New Englanders and strengthening ties with our closest trading partner.”

The 64-year-old Cuzner served six terms as MP for Bras d’Or Cape Breton, which later became Cape Breton-Canso. The Glace Bay native first entered federal politics in 2000 and went on to serve five consecutive terms before deciding not to re-offer in the 2019 election.

In 2015, he received 74 per cent of the popular vote and didn’t lose one poll.

Since exiting federal politics, Cuzner had been working in the private sector as a senior advisor with Rubicon Strategy Inc. – a government relations and digital marketing company – based in Ottawa.

Cuzner said the consulate general serves Canadians living abroad, while also playing a role in connecting Canadian and American businesses.

“I wasn’t quite ready yet to hang it up,” he said. “I think it’s an opportunity to give back, to use some of the tools I’ve learned along the way and to [build on] contacts you’ve developed.”

Cuzner will be providing government services to Canadians throughout the New England states – Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

He advised that may be something as simple as helping someone vote in a Canadian election, to something a little more complex as working alongside representatives with the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. to administer foreign policy directives from government officials.

Upon leaving politics, Cuzner gave a once-over to the available appointments, and based on his skillset, the appointment in Boston was of interest for the Cape Bretoner – who will move to Boston with his wife Lynn for the duration of the four-year term.

“It’s a little tough leaving the Mira and leaving our home in Cape Breton,” he added. “Of course it feels bitter sweet but I think this is going to be a tremendous life experience for me.”