The appointment of Gary Mar to the Alberta Washington Office is a great one. Yes there will be the cries of partisanship from the opposition but they are hollow and pale when measured beside the experience and capabilities of Gary. Kudos to Premier Stelmach for this choice.
Mar has served in a number of Alberta ministerial portfolios since he entered Alberta politics in 1993. His quick mind, quick wit and analytical capacity plus a well honed BS detector will serve him (and Alberta) well in this new position.
For a policy wonk like Gary going to Washington, the centre of the political universe of the planet has to be a treat for him too. This is going to be especially true given the enormous changes that will be happening in American politics between now and the Presidential elections of 2008.
The Alberta-US-Canada triangulation of issues and jurisdictions will benefit from Gary's education as Alberta's Minister of Intergovernmental and International Relations. Having a strong background in law will be a core talent that he brings to the new position too.
Talk about a politician's next dream job and particularly for a young guy who bleeds policy issues. Who knows Gary maybe one day you will find yourself as the Secretary General of the UN. It would be a good thing for a Canadian to be in that role some time soon.