President Obama to Spend The Day with Harper and Other Politicians

No Walk By The Frozen Rideau Canal Waving At Canadians For The President

By Glen McGregor,

OTTAWA (RushPRnews) 02/19/09-10 a.m.: Airspace over Ottawa will be closed down about half an hour on either side of the president’s arrival. Some flights to and from Ottawa could be delayed slightly. “Plane spotters” are expected to gather outside the airport perimeter, along Alert Road, in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the 747 that carries the president.

10:30 a.m.: Air Force One lands at the Ottawa International Airport. The president will be greeted on the tarmac by Governor General Michaëlle Jean and her husband, Jean-Pierre Lafond. She will be accompanied by Canadian ambassador to the U.S., Michael Wilson, and the U.S. charge d’affaires in Canada, Terry Breese.

10:50 a.m.: Ms. Jean will meet with Mr. Obama in the airport lounge for about 15 minutes. Mr. Obama will then the airport in his armoured limousine with a police escort. The exact route of the motorcade is kept secret, but it is almost certain to proceed north on the Airport Parkway, at least until Bronson Avenue. The most likely route would see the motorcade turn off Bronson onto a small residential street, Bronson Place, then follow Colonel By Drive to Sussex Drive. There, it would turn left onto Wellington Avenue towards Parliament Hill.

11:40 a.m.: The motorcade will arrive on Parliament Hill and Mr. Obama’s limousine will pull up under the Peace Tower. Crowds on the Hill will be penned in on the front lawn behind double rows of steel barricades that will keep them far away from the action. The closest they can come is about 100 metres from the Peace Tower. The archway below the Peace Tower has been covered with bullet-proof Plexiglas and the reflection of the morning sun off the plastic will make it difficult to see the president emerge from his limousine. Mr. Obama will move into the rotunda, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be waiting to meet him. A table is set up for Mr. Obama to sign a visitor’s book, as former president George W. Bush did in 2004. Mr. Harper and Mr. Obama will then hold a brief private meeting in Mr. Harper’s office, followed by a photo-op.

12:55 p.m.: Mr. Obama and members of his delegation will hold a working lunch with Mr. Harper in the Senate Speaker’s dining lounge. According to the White House, Mr. Obama will be joined by several of his officials, including National Security Adviser Gen. Jim Jones; chairman of the National Economic Council Larry Summers; energy and climate co-ordinator Carole Browner; John Brennan and White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. The White House said Canadian ministers would be present, but the Prime Minister’s Office has not revealed which ones. But it’s a good guess that Mr. Harper will match the U.S. officials with their counterparts from his cabinet. On the agenda, according to the White House: the economy, energy and the environment, Afghanistan, and the upcoming NATO summit and Summit of the Americas.

2:45 p.m.: Mr. Obama and Mr. Harper will hold a joint news conference in the Reading Room on the second floor of Centre Block. They will stand behind two podiums, flanked by Canadian and American flags. Dozens of U.S. journalists, but only 40 Canadian reporters will be allowed into the Reading Room. At least two — one in French and in English — will be able to ask questions. Two reporters from the U.S. will get to ask questions. Mr. Obama will then visit the Library of Parliament. Afterward, he returns to the airport.

4:00 p.m.: Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, accompanied by foreign affairs critic Bob Rae, will hold a 20-minute meeting with Mr. Obama at the airport’s Canada Reception Centre. Mr. Obama will also meet with staff from the U.S. Embassy.

5:15 p.m.: The president boards Air Force One around 4:30 p.m. and returns to Washington.
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