Gar is a son of the Rock, otherwise called Newfoundland and Labrador, and his early education was in Norris Arm and Gander. He first worked for the Meteorological Service of Canada in Gander, Goose Bay and then Frobisher Bay.

Following a honours degree from Acadia University and a Master's from McMaster, he joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1967. He served in India, Kenya, the United States and Central America where he was Ambassador to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

From 1992 to 2003 he was head of the Canadian Consular Service. He retired in 2003 and since has been a commentator and writer on issues of Canadian foreign and public policy. He lives in Ottawa.