Cablegate: Fy 2005 Ivlp Evaluation: Kerry Mcquarrie Smith; January

Published: Tue 12 Jul 2005 07:07 PM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
Ref: [A] STATE 187945, [B] OTTAWA 2291
1. Summary: Program evaluation for International Visitor
Leadership Program grantee Kerry McQuarrie Smith. End summary.
2. MPP Theme Addressed: Open Markets, Mutual understanding.
Strategic Goal: Economic Prosperity.
3. Post Objectives: Learning about the U.S. federal system of
government - overview of federalism; the relationship of states
to the federal government; state-to-state relations; Canada-U.S.
-- Developing an understanding of the roles and responsibilities
of the federal and state governments in areas of shared
jurisdiction including healthcare, energy, and agriculture.
-- Aboriginal self-government (aboriginal groups and their
relationships to other local governments)
-- Understanding the federal-state relationship on environmental
issues - specifically how environmental policy is developed and
enforced in the context of Manitoba's ongoing disputes with North
Dakota over water issues (Devils Lake and the Northwest Area
Water Supply initiative). Specific topics might include water
quality, the interbasin transfer of invasive species and foreign
4. Results: McQuarrie Smith found the program very useful both
in terms of her professional development, and her understanding
of U.S. federalism and the decision-making process in the United
States. In particular, McQuarrie Smith said her IVLP gave her a
much better understanding "where the U.S. is coming from" in
developing policy, and how the dynamics within the U.S. federal
system that shape U.S. policy differ from those in Canada. Her
understanding of U.S. federalism was enhanced by a better
understanding of the internal dynamics of the U.S. system and by
seeing the number of different and overlapping levels of
jurisdictional authority (e.g. City, County, regional government,
etc.). Because Canadians are exposed to U.S. culture from a very
early age, many assume they know everything they need to know
about the country. When they spend an extended period of time in
the United States - away from tourist attractions and other
Canadians - they see that the United States does not fit into
their preconceived notions. Post noted that McQuarrie Smith's
understanding of the country and its people has been
significantly altered and enhanced as a result, making her more
closely attuned to the "real" America. We believe the program
has had a profound impact on her views of the United States, and
will make her more sensitive to U.S. interests and concerns as
she begins her ascent through a very promising career in the
Manitoba Government. Although the 3 weeks involved in the IVLP
was a huge time commitment for a busy professional with a young
family, she thoroughly appreciated the experience and said that
she found it to be very useful in her professional development.
McQuarrie Smith complimented organizers on a visit that was
generally well organized, with high-level and useful meetings
with people who were of interest professionally. She also
enjoyed the discussions she had with Americans outside of the
official program that had nothing to do with work. Whether
spending time with her hosts in several of the cities who spoke
frankly about life in the United States, or talking to ordinary
Americans she met in hotels or on the subway, she was surprised
at how willing Americans are to enter into candid discussions
about politics with somebody they barely know. Her travels gave
her the opportunity to meet many people in different walks of
life and she found the experience extremely useful in developing
a better understanding of the American people and the things that
motivate them.
McQuarrie Smith found programming uneven between cities. Her
program in Washington was busy, possibly due to losing a day's
worth of programming time because of the Martin Luther King
holiday - but there were sometimes long gaps between meetings in
the other cities. She would have preferred a busier schedule and
meeting with more people to enhance and maximize her opportunity
to learn about the United States. She also said that she would
have found it useful to do more of the programming in groups, or
as joint sessions with other IVs on Individual programs who
happened to be in the same cities at the same time. She found a
joint session with other IVs in Washington (on U.S. federalism)
very useful, and she believed it would be even more useful for
IVs who are less familiar or comfortable in the United States to
be paired up with others. After the briefing, she enjoyed the
chance to speak with the other participants to compare notes and
talk about their programs. McQuarrie Smith cited this example
from Denver: In her hotel, she met up with an Italian IV and her
ELO. Both McQuarrie Smith and the Italian participant had
requested meetings with the Western Governor's Association, but
only the Italian was successful in getting an appointment. She
certainly understands that the WGA would find it repetitive to do
separate briefing for two IVLPers on the same day, but perhaps
they would have considered doing one joint session with both
participants? Post endorses McQuarrie Smith's call to look at
doing joint programming where possible to reduce the number of
requests we make of busy interlocutors and to enhance the
experience of participants.
McQuarrie Smith noted that she did not meet one person during her
trip who admitted to being a Republican. She found it unusual,
especially since she visited several "red states" and another
(Wisconsin), which is very competitive. She would have found it
useful to get the perspective of those millions of Americans who
identify with the Republican Party.
McQuarrie Smith found the Washington program the busiest and best
organized of the visit. She found the Inauguration and Inaugural
events interesting and useful in understanding the importance of
the presidency in American life, although she said she would like
to visit Washington again sometime when it's not Inauguration
week to get a better sense of how the city normally functions.
She found the security overwhelming, especially at federal
government buildings, but it gave her a better understanding of
Americans' concerns about security post-9/11. She enjoyed
visiting the Smithsonian in her free time, and she identified the
Kermit the Frog exhibit as her favorite.
In Atlanta, McQuarrie Smith found the meetings interesting and
useful, but the schedule was light. She said it was as if they
only had enough programming for one day, but had to stretch it to
cover two. The highlight of Atlanta was her meeting with Kathie
Robichaud at the Research Alliance. McQuarrie Smith appreciated
learning about Georgia's confident approach to the
commercialization of biotechnology which McQuarrie Smith
affectionately referred to as the "build it and they will come"
McQuarrie Smith found the Denver visit to be the least useful of
her visit. One meeting she identified as being with "an NGO that
distributes needles to the third world" and was not really
applicable to her area of interest, and another with a city
councilor was not particularly useful. She also suffered from a
stomach flu, which limited her involvement in the Ski Day with
her Denver hosts that she was really looking forward to. She
really appreciated the home hospitality she received in Denver,
and said that her hosts and local organizers were all very
Upon arrival in Sacramento, McQuarrie Smith learned that the
Executive Director of the local council for International
Visitors had recently resigned, leaving the Intern to set up her
program. Considering the adjustments the Intern had to make at
the last moment to accommodate, McQuarrie Smith was very
impressed with the arrangements that awaited her. The logistical
arrangements in particular were detailed, correct, and useful.
She described the appointments themselves as "up and down". The
meeting with the energy utility turned out not to be that useful,
although she found the meeting with the energy commission to be
quite interesting and helpful in understanding California's
recent history with deregulation. She found some direct
parallels with the discussion over deregulation in Manitoba and
Canada, and learned many lessons from California's experience
that can be applied in the Canadian context. Her meeting with
Governor Schwarzenegger's staff was good - but brief - and she
developed a contact she intends to use in future contact with the
Madison was McQuarrie Smith's favorite city on the visit. Among
the highlights in Madison was her meeting with Professor Richard
Monette at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In what she
identified as the best meeting of her program and the most
applicable to the work she is doing at this point in her career,
McQuarrie Smith had a long and thorough visit with Monette on a
vast array of issues including Native American issues, and the
position of a small Midwestern state in the U.S. federalist
system. They found they shared many common experiences from
their Midwestern backgrounds. McQuarrie Smith also found the
meeting with the State Senator especially useful in understanding
state politics and Wisconsin's involvement in the Midwestern
Legislative Conference, which Manitoba has recently joined.
Although she found the meetings interesting and useful, her
schedule again was somewhat light.
Among the things McQuarrie Smith discovered on her IVLP, she was
surprised to learn that State legislators in Colorado serve part-
time and are paid only $30,000 per year. She contrasts that with
Manitoba where legislators work full-time on behalf of their
constituents, and she was left wondering who represents
Coloradoans the rest of the time. She noted that it limits the
number of people who can afford the time and cost of running for
- and serving in - elected office. Also the role of lobbyists in
policy research and developing position papers differs greatly
from Canada. McQuarrie Smith is a little introverted and
expected to enjoy the issues and learning of the program the
most. She was surprised to discover that the interpersonal part
of the program - both on and off program - gave her the most
pleasure and the most long-lasting and positive memories of her
McQuarrie Smith developed 6-7 good contacts on her IVLP that she
will keep in touch with; some of whom she has already contacted
and others that she will put in touch with their counterparts in
the Manitoba Government so they can talk directly. Several of
the people she met expressed an interest in visiting Winnipeg,
and she will encourage them to come. She found it useful for her
job to meet so many people and develop a better understanding of
who to talk to in each state to set things up for future visits
by legislators or government officials.
The transportation and logistics for the visit were very good.
With the exception of the domestic flight arrangements - her name
was misspelled on all of them so she had to call program
organizers to get it fixed - the flights, taxis, metro
arrangements all worked out perfectly. She said the hotels were
fine: they were clean and safe, although the renovations at the
hotel in Madison were somewhat inconvenient.
McQuarrie Smith does not really have the type of position where
she can make a public statement about her IVLP. She does plan,
however, to write a full report on her visit and share it with
Manitoba Government officials and she has already shared contact
and other information with colleagues.
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