Condoleezza Rice makes visit to Nova Scotia

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay made a visit to MacKay's Nova Scotia riding, Pictou, Nova Scotia, yesterday. Rice spent 23 hours in Canada. She thanked people in Atlantic Canada who helped thousands of Americans stranded when their planes were forced to land in the region. Rice and MacKay travelled together to and from the riding. It was a 90-minute drive each way from Halifax.

At the reception on Monday night, she met with members of MacKay's family, his father Elmer MacKay, a former federal Tory cabinet minister. "Family means a great deal to me ... Wherever you go and whatever you're doing, there's nothing like really strong and great family. They keep you grounded," she told local dignitaries gathered at the Museum of Industry. "They remind you of the things that you did when you were 5 years old, and it's not easy then to lose sight of who you are," said Rice. "And so, Peter, thank you very much also for letting me share some time with your family."

"You don't get four hours of the secretary of state's time even if you're the Queen of England," said an American official.

Rice and MacKay took a stop at the Tim Horton's in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

The mayor, Sandy Cyr, of nearby Westville said, "This is the biggest thing we've ever had here and I've been here for 70 years."

She delivered her message as a two-day visit that focused on thanking Canadians for their support during the 9/11 crisis just five years ago. They discussed a number of issues including border security, Canada's role in Afghanistan, and support for the war.