Freeland in 2017
|10th Deputy Prime Minister of Canada|
|Assumed office |
November 20, 2019
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Anne McLellan[a]|
|Minister of Finance|
|Assumed office |
August 18, 2020
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Bill Morneau|
|Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs|
November 20, 2019 – August 18, 2020
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Dominic LeBlanc|
|Succeeded by||Dominic LeBlanc|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
January 10, 2017 – November 20, 2019
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Stéphane Dion|
|Succeeded by||François-Philippe Champagne|
|Minister of International Trade|
November 4, 2015 – January 10, 2017
|Prime Minister||Justin Trudeau|
|Preceded by||Ed Fast|
|Succeeded by||François-Philippe Champagne|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
|Assumed office |
October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Riding created|
|Member of the Canadian Parliament|
for Toronto Centre
November 24, 2013 – October 19, 2015
|Preceded by||Bob Rae|
|Succeeded by||Bill Morneau|
Christina Alexandra Freeland
August 2, 1968
Peace River, Alberta, Canada
|Residence||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
St Antony's College, Oxford (MSt)
|Awards||Rhodes Scholarship (1993)|
Christina Alexandra Freeland deputy prime minister of Canada and minister of finance – the first woman to hold the latter post. She previously held the portfolios of intergovernmental affairs from 2019 to 2020, foreign affairs from 2017 to 2019, and international trade from 2015 to 2017. A member of the Liberal Party, Freeland represents the riding of University—Rosedale in the House of Commons.(born August 2, 1968) is a Canadian journalist and politician who presently serves as the
Freeland began her career in journalism working in a variety of editorial positions at the Financial Times, The Globe and Mail and Thomson Reuters, becoming managing director of the latter. She was elected to the House of Commons in 2013 and following the 2015 election was appointed to the Cabinet by newly-elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In a 2017 shuffle, Freeland was appointed minister of foreign affairs, and after the 2019 election was named deputy prime minister; in August 2020, she was also appointed Canada's first female minister of finance.
Freeland is the author of Sale of the Century, a 2000 book about Russia's journey from communism to capitalism and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else in 2012. Plutocrats was the winner of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize for non-fiction reporting on foreign affairs. It also won the 2013 National Business Book Award for the most outstanding Canadian business-related book.
Her father, Donald Freeland, was a farmer and lawyer and a member of the Liberal Party, and her mother, Halyna Chomiak (1946–2007), was also a lawyer who ran for election in Edmonton Strathcona in the 1988 federal election, representing the New Democratic Party (NDP).
Freeland's paternal grandfather, Wilbur Freeland, was a farmer and lawyer who rode in the Calgary Stampede, and his sister, Beulah, was the wife of a federal member of Parliament (MP), Ged Baldwin. Her paternal grandmother, Helen Caulfield, was a WWII war bride from Glasgow.
Freeland's mother, Halyna Chomiak, was born at a hospital administered by the US Army; her parents were staying at the displaced persons camp at a spa resort in Bad Wörishofen, Germany. Halyna's Ukrainian Catholic parents were Mykhailo Khomiak (Anglicized as Michael Chomiak), born in Stroniatyn, Galicia, and Alexandra Loban, originally of Rudniki, near Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivsk). As Ukraine experienced democratic backsliding from the 1990s, Freeland, who grew up in Alberta, saw "firsthand" the consequences of her mother's activism as a "prominent member of the Ukrainian Canadian community."
Freeland's maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak or Mykhailo Khomiak in Ukrainian, had been a journalist before World War II. During the war in Nazi-occupied Poland and later Nazi-occupied Austria he was chief editor of the antisemitic daily newspaper Krakivs'ki visti (News of Krakow) for the Nazi regime. After Chomiak's death in 1984, John-Paul Himka, a professor of history at the University of Alberta, who was Chomiak's son-in-law (and also Freeland's uncle by marriage), used Chomiak's records, including old issues of the newspaper, as the basis of several scholarly papers focused on the coverage of Soviet mass murders of Ukrainian civilians. These papers also examined the use of these massacres as propaganda against Jews. In 2017 when Russian-affiliated websites further publicized Chomiak's connection to Nazism, Freeland and her spokespeople responded by claiming that this was a Russian disinformation campaign during her appointment for the position of minister of foreign affairs. Her office later denied Chomiak ever collaborated with the Nazi Germany. However, Freeland has known of her grandfather's Nazi ties since at least 1996, when she helped edit a scholarly article by Himka for the Journal of Ukrainian Studies.
Freeland attended Old Scona Academic High School in Edmonton, Alberta for two years before attending the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy, on a merit scholarship from the Alberta government for a project that sought to promote international peace and understanding. She received her bachelor of arts degree in Russian history and literature from Harvard University and a master of studies degree in Slavonic Studies from St Antony's College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1993.
Freeland started her journalism career as a stringer for the Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Economist while working in Ukraine. Freeland later worked for the Financial Times in London as a deputy editor, and then as an editor for its weekend edition, FT.com, and UK news. Freeland also served as Moscow bureau chief and Eastern Europe correspondent for the Financial Times.
From 1999 to 2001 Freeland served as the deputy editor of The Globe and Mail. Next she worked as the managing director and editor of consumer news at Thomson Reuters. She was also a weekly columnist for The Globe and Mail. Previously she was editor of Thomson Reuters Digital, a position she held since April 2011. Prior to that she was the global editor-at-large of Reuters news since March 1, 2010, having formerly been the United States managing editor at the Financial Times, based in New York City.
Freeland is the author of Sale of the Century, a 2000 book about Russia's journey from communism to capitalism and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else in 2012.
Sale of the Century is an account of privatization in Russia that is informed by interviews with leading Russian businessmen that Freeland conducted during four years from 1994 to 1998 that she lived in Russia as Moscow Bureau Chief for the Financial Times. The book chronicles the challenges that the "young reformers" championing capitalism such as Anatoly Chubais and Yegor Gaidar had in wresting control of Russian industry out of the hands of the communist "red barons". The compromises they made, such as the loans for shares scheme, allowed businessmen such as Mikhail Friedman, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Vladimir Potanin to seize control of the economy and install themselves as Russian oligarchs.
Plutocrats was a New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize for non-fiction reporting on foreign affairs. It also won the 2013 National Business Book Award for the most outstanding Canadian business-related book.
On July 26, 2013, Freeland left journalism to enter Canadian politics as a candidate for the nomination of the Liberal Party in the riding of Toronto Centre. On September 15, 2013 she won the nomination, with an opportunity to replace outgoing MP Bob Rae in the November 25, 2013 by-election. During the campaign she received criticism for purchasing a 1.3 million dollar home, although the price was consistent with Toronto's home prices. Freeland won 49% of the vote and was elected.
As the Liberal's trade critic, Freeland interviewed noted economist Larry Summers in a formal event at the 2014 Liberal Party convention; the interview is available on YouTube and the party website. Freeland wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, in which she contraposed the rise of the plutocrats with the popularity of the television series Downton Abbey.
On January 27, 2014, during the demonstrations leading up to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, Freeland wrote an op-ed for The Globe and Mail, in which she excoriated the government of Viktor Yanukovich. She is a proponent of personal asset seizures and travel bans as part of economic sanction programs. Later, at the beginning of March, Freeland visited Ukraine on behalf of the Liberal Party, and tweeted her progress in meeting community leaders and members of the government in Kyiv. She lunched with the chief rabbi of Kyiv, met with Mustafa Dzhemilev, leader of the Crimean Tatars and an MP, and with Vitaly Klitchko, who is leader of the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform party, and with Ukrainian MP Petro Poroshenko, who was subsequently elected president of Ukraine in May 2014, Ukrainian presidential elections.
Freeland was one of thirteen Canadians banned from travelling to Russia under retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2014. She replied through her official Twitter feed, "Love Russ lang/culture, loved my yrs in Moscow; but it's an honour to be on Putin's sanction list, esp in company of friends Cotler & Grod."
In the riding redistribution of 2012 and 2013, much of Freeland's base was shifted from Toronto Centre to the new riding of University—Rosedale, while seemingly making Toronto Centre less safe for her. Then, in the 2015 federal election, Freeland opted to run in University—Rosedale, and defeated NDP challenger Jennifer Hollett.
Minister of international trade
Freeland was involved in negotiations leading up to the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), between Canada and the European Union, former-prime minister Stephen Harper's "legacy project". CETA is Canada's "biggest trade deal since NAFTA". After it was signed October 30, 2016, Freeland made comments about "building bridges and not building walls".
Minister of foreign affairs
In a Cabinet reshuffle on January 10, 2017, Freeland was appointed to the foreign affairs portfolio, replacing Stéphane Dion. On March 6, 2017, together with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Freeland announced Canada's military training mission in Ukraine would be extended until March 2019, maintaining the 200 soldiers previously mandated by the Harper government.
In August 2017, Freeland has instructed her department and officials to 'energetically' review reports of Canadian-made military vehicles being used against civilians in Shia-populated city of Al-Awamiyah by Saudi Arabian security forces.
Freeland issued a statement via Twitter on August 2, 2018 expressing Canada's concern over the recent arrest of Samar Badawi, a human rights activist and sister of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. She advocated their release. In response to Canada's criticism, Saudi Arabia expelled Canada's ambassador, and froze trade with Canada. Freeland asked for help from allies including Germany, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
In January 2019, at the request of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Canada granted asylum to 18-year-old Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed, who was fleeing her abusive family in Kuwait; Freeland personally greeted Mohammed at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
On April 18, 2019, she was ranked 37th among the world's leading leaders in Fortune Magazine's annual list.
Deputy prime minister
Minister of intergovernmental affairs
Following the 2019 Canadian federal election, Freeland assumed the role of deputy prime minister, along with taking over the intergovernmental affairs portfolio. In her new capacity she was responsible for handling regional issues such as western alienation—particularly in Alberta and Saskatchewan where the Liberals had failed to win a single seat—as well as the resurgence of the Bloc Québécois. Furthermore, she remained in charge of Canada-U.S. relations, including the ratification of the renegotiated free-trade agreement with the United States and Mexico (USMCA), roles that have traditionally resided with the minister of foreign affairs. The USMCA was ratified in March 2020 as the number of COVID-19 cases began to climb rapidly.
During the pandemic Freeland developed a close working relationship with premier of Ontario, Doug Ford—a Progressive Conservative—despite the Liberals having used the Ford government's track record to campaign against the federal Conservatives during previous fall's election campaign.
Minister of finance
After the resignation of Bill Morneau on August 17, 2020, Justin Trudeau announced a cabinet shuffle with Freeland being appointed as minister of finance and Dominic LeBlanc, president of the Privy Council, replacing her as minister of intergovernmental affairs.
Freeland appeared several times between 2010 and 2015 as a panellist on Real Time with Bill Maher. She has also made appearances on The McLaughlin Group, The Dylan Ratigan Show, Imus in the Morning, Fareed Zakaria GPS, and The Colbert Report. She is a frequent guest on public radio's political debate program Left, Right & Center, produced by KCRW. In addition, Freeland was featured on a panel discussion on Tom Ashbrook's On Point regarding inequality and democracy in the United States. In June 2013 she gave a speech at the TED Talks, speaking on the subjects of economic inequality, plutocracy, globalization, and "the growing gap between the working poor and the increasingly disconnected mega-rich."
|2019 Canadian federal election|
|New Democratic||Melissa Jean-Baptiste Vajda||12,573||21.9||-6.60|
|Animal Protection||Liz White||159||0.3||+0.08|
|Stop Climate Change||Karin Brothers||124||0.2||-|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||100.0|
|Total rejected ballots|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|2015 Canadian federal election|
|New Democratic||Jennifer Hollett||15,988||28.59||-15.24||$142,562.73|
|Animal Alliance||Simon Luisi||126||0.22||–||$153.10|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||55,925||100.0||$206,261.82|
|Total rejected ballots||–||–||–|
|Liberal notional gain from New Democratic||Swing||+17.24|
|Source: Elections Canada|
|November 25, 2013: Toronto CentreCanadian federal by-election,|
|Liberal||Chrystia Freeland||17,194||49.38||+8.37||$ 97,609.64|
|New Democratic||Linda McQuaig||12,640||36.30||+6.09||99,230.30|
|Progressive Canadian||Dorian Baxter||453||1.30||–|
|Independent||John "The Engineer" Turmel||56||0.16||–|
|Total valid votes/Expense limit||34,821||99.49||–||$ 101,793.06|
|Total rejected ballots||177||0.51||+0.12|
|By-election due to the resignation of Bob Rae.|
She has lived in Toronto since the summer of 2013 when she returned from abroad to run for election. She speaks Ukrainian at home with her children. Apart from that and English, she speaks Italian and Russian, and is conversant in French. She is the co-owner, with her sister, of an apartment which overlooks the Maidan square in Kiev.
- This position was vacant from February 6, 2006 until November 20, 2019.
- Chrystia Freeland – Parliament of Canada biography
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Krakivs'ki visti published materials from German papers, especially the Nazi party organ Völkischer Beobachter, which appeared frequently. Articles were also translated from Berliner Illustrierte Nachtausgabe and all most important Berlin papers.
- "Іван-Павло Химка: "Історична політика є хворобою всіх посткомуністичних країн"". Himka's account of the Khomiak story from an interview (in Ukrainian).
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- Glen McGregor (October 11, 2013). "Slumming in Summerhill: LPC candidate Freeland now a Toronto homeowner". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
The Liberal Party's star Toronto candidate, who has promised to advocate for the interests of Canada's middle class, had to get her parents to co-sign a mortgage on a $1.3-million home in an affluent Toronto neighbourhood. Chrystia Freeland on Friday closed on the purchase of a three-storey townhouse in Summerhill, in the Toronto Centre riding.
- Siekierski, BJ (October 15, 2013). "Chrystia Freeland defends $1.3-million home purchase".
With the Ottawa Citizen's Glenn McGregor reporting on Friday that Chrystia Freeland and her husband recently bought a $1.3-million townhouse in Toronto's distinctly upper-class Summerhill neighbourhood, it was only a matter of time before the Toronto-Centre Liberal candidate was asked how she reconciled that with her and the party's 'struggling middle-class' mantra.
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It was a rather uncomfortable little soap opera that was played out in Brussels, complete with very public tears of disappointment coming from Canada's International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland
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- Brewster, Murray (March 6, 2017). "Canada extending military mission in Ukraine to 2019". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
- "Freeland says officials urgently reviewing reports Canadian arms used in Saudi crackdown". CBC News. August 8, 2017.
- "Violence against Rohingya 'looks a lot like ethnic cleansing,' Freeland says". September 14, 2017. CBC. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation).
- Jon Gambrell (August 5, 2018). "Saudi Arabia expels Canadian ambassador, freezes trade in human rights dispute". Toronto Star. Associated Press.
- "'We don't have a single friend': Canada's Saudi spat reveals country is alone". The Guardian. August 11, 2018.
- "Canada Asks for Help in Saudi Dispute". VOA News. August 9, 2018.
- "Al Jubeir: No room for mediation with Canada". The Nation. August 8, 2018.
- "Trudeau, Freeland face criticism for failing to condemn China over Uyghur detentions". The Globe and Mail. September 27, 2018.
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- "Trudeau slams Venezuelan 'dictator' Maduro, sidesteps question on Brazil's president". Global News. January 15, 2019.
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- "Chinese embassy tells Canada to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs". Reuters. August 19, 2019.
- "Canada condemns Turkey's military action against Kurdish forces". Reuters. October 9, 2019.
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