Bruce Heyman, a Chicago investment banker and major Democratic Party fundraiser, formally became the U.S. ambassador to Canada this afternoon after presenting his credentials to Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall.
Heyman replaced Chicago-lawyer David Jacobson, who bid Ottawa farewell shortly after hosting his final July 4 party last summer.
Some observers say the long delay reflects Obama's indifference towards Canada. However, the job was vacant for 18 months under former president Bill Clinton in the 1990s.
The delay in confirming Heyman's appointment drew criticism last month from the Canadian American Business Council, which called it counterproductive to relations between Canada and the U.S. The two countries have the world's largest two-way trading relationship.
Heyman will have to confront the Harper government's eagerness for the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Alberta oilsands crude to the southern United States.