The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.
Friction between the US and Canadian governments has had a disappointing Ñ not to mention surprising Ñ impact for a local entrepreneur. Judy Pettersen, inventor of the BabyTrekker, a strap-on infant carrier worn by parents around the world, has been canned from her scheduled appearance on ABC television's Good Morning America. "I'm disappointed but it's not the end of the world," said Pettersen, who was to talk about her innovative product on Monday's broadcast. "It's because of the coolness between our countries right now. That's the impression I get." On Wednesday afternoon, Pettersen received an e-mail from her public relations firm hinting that her appearance was in limbo. "Good Morning America is concerned about having you on because you are Canadian," read the e-mail. A short time later, another e-mail came informing her that she would no longer be appearing on the popular New York City-based program. "Everybody's so sad on behalf of my business," said Pettersen. "People I didn't even know said they were so excited for me. They thought it was going to be a pretty exciting opportunity. "It's just one of those things." Pettersen had expected the appearance would prompt "a huge jump in sales" of the soft-cotton infant carriers, which are produced locally at a factory on North Avenue. The entrepreneur gave ample credit to her US-based public relations representative, Ann Noder, for trying to change the minds of Good Morning America producers. She said that Noder was as "dumbfounded" by ABC's decision as the entrepreneur herself. Pettersen was looking forward to the trip to the Big Apple and had planned on seeing Broadway musicals and touring the former World Trade Center site with her daughter, Michelle. She was told that the show's producers may invite her back at some point in the future, and she is optimistic that may happen. "You know what? You have to be positive if you're going to stay in business," said Pettersen. "I'm absolutely optimistic about future opportunities." There have been a number of signs in recent months Ñ some subtle, some not Ñ that relations between Prime Minister Jean Chretien and US President George W. Bush are far from cozy. Observers believe political differences are at the root of the situation, most notably Canada's refusal to join the American-led coalition in Iraq.