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Featured News Item:    US Ambassador’s July 4th Party Boycott

Some invitees boycotting Ottawa July 4th party in protest of Trump policies.

A cosier, more modest Fourth of July party than usual is scheduled for the U.S. ambassador's residence in Ottawa tonight — and the decision by some to steer clear will make it even smaller than planned.

In past years, the annual Independence Day bash has been the talk of the town, with a guest list that grew to include more than 4,000 people under former ambassador and Barack Obama appointee Bruce Heyman.

Under successor Kelly Craft, however — named to the post by U.S. President Donald Trump — the guest list has been trimmed to an estimated 1,000 people.

The start time was also pushed back to make it more cocktail party than picnic, said Sarah Goldfeder, a principal at Earnscliffe in Ottawa and former special assistant to two U.S. ambassadors.

While some in the Ottawa social circuit bemoan having been left out this year, some who made the cut say they plan to stay away out of principle.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and interim Ontario Liberal leader John Fraser are among those giving the event a pass, citing trade tensions and ongoing concerns with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

"Given the current political climate, I don't think it would be appropriate," Fraser said in an emailed statement. "I wish all of my American friends a happy Fourth of July."

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