Bush to speak on his office years in Canada next month

February 13th, 2009 - 10:23 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 13 (IANS) Is George W. Bush set to follow Bill Clinton to make millions by speaking at global forums?
The former American president, who left office Jan 20, will visit the Canadian city of Calgary next month to address a private gathering called “A conversation with George W. Bush.”

Invitations to the event say the former president will speak “on eight momentous years in the Oval Office” as well as “the challenges facing the world in the 21st century,” the Canadian Press reported.

It will be Bush’s foray abroad after leaving office amid opinion polls ranking his presidency among the worst in American history.

Reports said the former president has chosen Calgary because he still enjoys considerable support in this traditionally conservative Canadian city.

But most Canadians have been hostile towards the former president because of his decision to invade Iraq. Even former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien had refused to join the coalition forces in Iraq in 2003.

About 1,500 people are likely to attend the March 17 event which is not open to public or the media. It is also not known whether the former president will be paid for his speech.

A spokesman for the organizers was quoted by the media as saying, “It’s our understanding it’s one of the first - if not the first - times he’ll speak since leaving office.

“I imagine it’ll be a reflection on issues that arose during his time in office, and maybe drawing from that his perspectives on the way forward.”

The event is being supported by the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Ernst & Young, and various other business and professional bodies.

Bush comes to Canada a month after President Obama’s official visit to Ottawa next week.

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