Noon, July 16, 2012


Colin Robertson, a Senior Strategic Advisor for  McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP was given the "Hot Potato Award" for helping to increase collaboration between U.S. and Canada organizations and stakeholders at the 2012 Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) Summit in Saskatoon, July 16.

Each year, PNWER has bestowed the "Hot Potato Award" to someone who has provided exemplary leadership in reducing tension between the U.S. and Canada in the Pacific Northwest, or played a major role in bringing greater awareness and collaboration across the border.

The award takes its name from the Pig War, also called the Potato War, a confrontation in the San Juan Islands in 1859 between America and the British Empire over boundaries. The incident was triggered after an American farmer shot a pig that was eating his potato crop. The pig belonged to an employee of the Canadian-owned Hudson's Bay Company and was the only casualty of the otherwise bloodless-conflict.

A former Canadian diplomat, Robertson is Senior Strategic Advisor for  McKenna, Long and Aldridge LLP working with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He is Vice President and Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, an Honorary Captain (Royal Canadian Navy) assigned to the Strategic Communications Directorate. Living in Ottawa, Robertson writes and speaks on international affairs and is a commentator on CTV, CBC, CPAC and SUN-TV and a contributor to the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, ipolitics and a contributing writer to Policy Options. Visit his website at     

Last year's Hot Potato Award winner was Don Alper, Director of the Center for Canadian-American Studies and Beyond Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University.

To nominate someone for next year's award, send an email to with the nominee's name, organization, contact information if available and a brief description of the person's commendable action by June, 2013.  

For more information, contact:


Gabrielle Nomura 

PNWER Media Relations
Summit cell phone: 306-539-7039


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