Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More



Cablegate: Fy 2005 Ivlp Evaluation: Luci Grechen; February 7-25,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

121911Z Jul 05












E.O. 12958: N/A

Refs: (A) STATE 6971

(B) STATE 188247
(C) OTTAWA 2290

1. Summary: Program evaluation for International Visitor
Leadership Program grantee Luci Grechen. 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. relations

-- Developing an understanding of the roles and responsibilities
of the federal and state governments in areas of shared
jurisdiction including healthcare, energy, and agriculture.

-- 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

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

4. Results: Luci Grechen gave generally a positive review to her
IVP, especially for the broadened perspective it gave her on the
United States, its land and its people. She found it beneficial
to learn about U.S. federalism in theory in Washington through
academic briefings and with federal agencies, and then to see how
it worked in practice in cities and states. Seeing how policy is
developed in the U.S. federalist system - which differs
significantly from Canadian parliamentary federalism - was a real
eye-opener to Grechen, who saw the importance of building
consensus and the role of process in building consensus on
several issues that have an effect on Manitoba.

In planning Grechen's program, we anticipated that her study of
policy-making might focus more on environmental issues,
specifically the contentious Devils Lake outlet proposal.
Grechen indicated on her return that she learned more about
policy-making in the context of the debate over the re-opening of
the border to imports of live cattle from Canada since the
discovery of BSE. This is also an important issue to Manitoba -
and one that Grechen knows well - and it provided an equivalent
opportunity to see how policy is developed in the United States.
She learned about the wide assortment of players in that debate
in the United States including the administration, congress,
industry groups for and against the proposal, and the role of the
Courts in arbitrating specific legal questions. She met in
person with several of the key agencies and lobbyists. Referring
to the administration's support for opening the border to live
cattle, a question we hear often from Canadians is: "If the
President wants to open the border to our cattle, why doesn't he
just open it?" As Grechen now knows, there is much more to the
process and she understands how it differs from the policy-making
process in Canada. She can also extrapolate the knowledge she
gained about the policy-making process on the BSE issue to other
issues that affect Manitoba, such as the Devils Lake diversion
case and softwood lumber.

The opportunity for Grechen to meet with Americans from a wide
variety of geographically, economically and professional
backgrounds gave her a better understanding for the diverse
interests within the United States that must be accommodated in
the policy-making process, and how that is accomplished. As
Grechen noted in the follow-up interview, "the decision-making
process in the U.S. isn't a straight line. Decisions don't
always go the way you think they will, as so many people have
input, and there is so much competition between all these
competing bodies." She noted that coalitions - sometimes very
unlikely and temporary alliances - will form around issues, and
personal relations also play an important role in the legislative
process. This contrasts with Canadian federalism, which tends to
be more ideological, and party discipline is much tighter,
resulting in most legislative proceedings being a foregone

Grechen found the Washington meetings useful in getting a
national perspective on federalism and many of issues she would
be exploring in more depth later in her program. She
specifically mentioned the "Intro to the U.S." seminar at
Georgetown University as providing her a useful overview on the
United States. There were a few minor "cock-ups" on meetings,
such as an office that had moved, and several cases of offices
scrambling when she arrived. She expects that many of the
meetings were scheduled quite a while in advance, and suggested
that perhaps this could be remedied by program organizers re-
confirming meetings shortly before her arrival. Fortunately, her
schedule was never that busy, so she was always able to
accommodate. She noted that she did find the USDA meeting too
long - it ran for a full morning - although she found the handout
materials very useful. The meeting with EPA's Pete Christich was
quite useful to her in understanding the water issues, although
she found that his message was quite tightly scripted and she got
the impression he was not being as candid as he would like.

Grechen described her program in Washington and in the other
cities as "leisurely", often with a lot of time between meetings.
On a typical day she would have meetings at 10:00 and 3:00,
leaving her downtown most of the day in full business attire.
She was a little overdressed to go sightseeing - which she did
anyways - but did not have enough time to go back to the hotel
and change. Her preference would be either for a busier schedule
that would keep her fully occupied, or pushing her business
appointments into a block during the morning or afternoon to
leave her larger blocks of time to explore her own interests.

Grechen has an excellent series of meetings in Kansas City, and
indicated that some of the contacts she made there have already
proven very useful. She has been in touch with a contact in the
KC mayor's office already, and officials from the Manitoba
Government will be visiting Kansas City this year to pursue
economic and trade relations. The home hospitality in Kansas
City went well. Her host made her feel very welcome, and gave
her an excellent overview of the city, although Grechen noted she
was a bit critical of some of her fellow Kansas City residents.
Grechen also found the meeting with the academic in Kansas City
very useful. He gave an excellent explanation of local
government structure, and left her with a strong sense of the
overlapping nature of the many elected councils, boards and other
officials, and the dispersive nature of that structure on policy-
making. Grechen found KC somewhat difficult to get around
because of the distance between meetings.

Grechen offered few thoughts on her Austin program, despite being
there for nearly a week. She noted her meeting with Buddy Garcia
in the TX Governor's office as one of the least useful of her
visit. It lasted only 15 minutes, and he seemed distracted

Prior to leaving for her program, Grechen had relatively low
expectations for Springfield, the last city she visited. It was
a compromise choice after several other cities she had requested
turned out not to be available. Her expectations were even lower
as she arrived, tired after two weeks of constant traveling and
without much idea of what to expect in Springfield. Grechen was
pleasantly surprised when Springfield turned out to be the
highlight of her visit. Her exact words were "Springfield was
fabulous!" The meetings were interesting and useful, including a
valuable session with the pharmacists association that gave her a
good sense of their perspective on the Internet Pharmacy issue -
an important issue in Manitoba, and she found state agriculture
officials very keen to establish a relationship with Manitoba.
The agriculture officials also extended thru Grechen an
invitation for Manitoba officials to attend an agriculture
economics summit they are holding, and she is hopeful that
representatives from Manitoba will attend. Grechen also
developed a good rapport with "Katie" - her host in Springfield -
who Grechen described as giving her "personalized treatment" and
really made her feel at home. Katie was also instrumental in
conveying to Grechen the depth of love Americans have for their
country. Even though they may disagree or protest, American
patriotism and national symbols unite citizens and transcend
individual issues.

Grechen's IVLP experience was overwhelmingly positive and she
thanked the Consulate, Embassy and ECA/PE/V/R/W for making this
once-in-a-lifetime experience possible. The experience gave her
a new and enhanced perspective on the United States and the
policy process that will benefit her personally and
professionally for years to come. This is particularly useful to
Post, since Grechen is the point person on Manitoba's significant
political and economic relationship with the United States. We
are confident in calling on Grechen in future that her IVLP has
sensitized her to U.S. concerns and the slow nature of the U.S.
policy-making process.

Although her program was excellent, Grechen said that she would
have found it easier to settle in to each city if there had been
a "mentor" to help her familiarize herself. The mentor could be
a volunteer who meets the participant at the airport, takes them
on a windshield tour of the city, and generally acquaints them
with the city's history and atmosphere. On accommodations, she
was quite satisfied with the quality of all of the hotels she
stayed in, but apparently one of the hotels did not offer room
service. Grechen noted that there were a couple of nights where
she was tired at the end of a long day and she could have made
use of the room service option. She was also surprised at being
asked to make an impromptu presentation to an African-American
lobby group. Grechen is uncomfortable at public speaking even
when prepared, and specifically asked not to make any
presentations during her program. She went into the meeting
expecting them to make a presentation to her, but instead she
faced a group of 40 people who were expecting her to make a
presentation to them. Her presentation on Manitoba was quite
brief, and the meeting changed into more of an open dialogue,
which is a more comfortable format for Grechen.


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.