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The Red Passport Podcast

The Red Passport. The special passport used by Canadian diplomats accredited abroad or travelling from Ottawa on high-level business. Louise Blais, Jeremy Kinsman and Peter Donolo have all held the Red Passport at key moments in their careers – and in Canada’s recent history. In every episode of the CIC’s new podcast, they offer listeners their own “Red Passport”, giving them an inside view how Canadian governments and policy makers try to steer our country through today’s turbulent world – while advancing our interests, and keeping true to our values.

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Rebuilding the Bridge

In an increasingly fragmented world, how can Canada reestablish its historic role as an international bridge-builder and honest broker?

S01E03 | Recorded Friday April 5, 2024

Trump, Elections, Haiti & what it means for Canada

Ready for Trump: The Sequel? High-stakes elections this year in the USA and Mexico.  What does that mean for Canada?  How do we prepare for the storm – or the opportunity?  Plus, what can Canada do to help resolve the latest Haiti crisis?

S01E02 | Recorded Friday March 15, 2024

A World At War: What’s at stake – What can be done?

In its inaugural episode, the Red Passport dives right into the twin crises in Ukraine and Gaza – and their impact on Canada.

S01E01 | Recorded Friday February 22, 2024

The Hosts


Peter Donolo holds the record as the longest-serving Director of Communications for a Canadian Prime Minister – under Prime Minister Jean Chretien. As the former Vice Chair of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Canada and a partner at the Strategic Counsel, he provided strategic communications counsel to CEOs, government departments, and public agencies.  With a diverse career including roles as Senior VP of Air Canada, Chief of Staff for Michael Ignatieff, and Canadian Consul General in Milan, Italy, Peter currently holds vice chair positions in three notable not-for-profits and serves on the boards of Journalists for Human Rights, CIVIX, PEN Canada, and Transparency International Canada. Residing in Toronto with his wife Mary Cruden, they have three children.


Louise Blais, former Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN (2017-2021), played a pivotal role in the 2030 Agenda and the Security Council campaign. Elected Vice-Chair of the UNICEF Executive Board in 2019, she co-facilitated the resolution for the 31st Special Session on COVID-19. Blais initiated her career as an Art Theft Analyst at Interpol, later excelling in diverse roles such as Program Manager, Director of Public Diplomacy, and Consul General in Atlanta.


Over 40 years in Canada’s Foreign Service, Jeremy Kinsman held key ambassador positions 1992-2006 in Moscow, Rome, London, and Brussels (EU). Prior notable postings included Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York and Minister for Political Affairs in Washington. In Ottawa, he was Chair of Policy Planning, and Political Director over the end of the Cold War. Post-government service, he directed an international project for the Community of Democracies that produced A Diplomat’s Handbook on Democracy Development Support. Kinsman, an influential speaker and media commentator, was Diplomat in Residence at Princeton University, Regents’ Lecturer and Resident International Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and Ryerson University’s Diplomatic Visitor. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the CIC.