Chrystia Freeland

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The Honourable
Chrystia Freeland
Chrystia Freeland - India Economic Summit 2011.jpg
Minister of International Trade
Assumed office
November 4, 2015
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Preceded by Ed Fast
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for University—Rosedale
Assumed office
October 19, 2015
Preceded by Riding Established
Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Toronto Centre
In office
November 24, 2013 – October 19, 2015
Preceded by Bob Rae
Succeeded by Bill Morneau
Personal details
Born Christina Alexandra Freeland[1]
(1968-02-08) February 8, 1968 (age 47)
Peace River, Alberta, Canada
Citizenship Canadian
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Graham Bowley
Children 3
Residence Rosedale, Toronto, Ontario
Alma mater Harvard University (A.B.)
St Antony's College, Oxford (M.St.)
Occupation Journalist, author

Chrystia Freeland PC MP (born Christina Alexandra Freeland; February 8, 1968) is a Canadian writer, journalist, and politician. Freeland is currently the federal Minister of International Trade. She has served in various editorial positions with the Financial Times, The Globe and Mail and Thomson Reuters, where she was the managing director and editor for consumer news before she announced her resignation to run for the Liberal Party nomination in the by-election to replace Bob Rae as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre. She won the Liberal nomination on September 15, 2013, and was elected to parliament in the November 25, 2013, by-election defeating Linda McQuaig of the New Democratic Party, and acted as the Liberal Party of Canada's trade critic.[2] With the federal electoral redistribution for the 2015 federal election Freeland chose to seek election in newly created University—Rosedale electoral district rather than seek re-election in the adjusted Toronto Centre electoral district.[3] She was elected to this seat, October 19, 2015. She was appointed to the Cabinet of Canada as Minister of International Trade on November 4, 2015. In November 2015 she was named one of Toronto's 50 most influential by Toronto Life magazine.[4]

Early life[edit]

Freeland was born in Peace River, Alberta.[5][6] Her father, Donald Freeland, was a farmer and lawyer and a member of the Liberal Party of Canada,[7] and her mother, Halyna (Chomiak) Freeland (1946–2007), was also a lawyer who once ran for election in Edmonton-Strathcona, representing the New Democratic Party.[8][9] Her paternal grandfather, Wilbur Freeland, was a farmer and lawyer who rode in the Calgary Stampede, and whose sister, Beulah, was the wife of federal MP Ged Baldwin.[10] Her paternal grandmother, Helen (Caulfield) Freeland, was a WWII war bride from Glasgow,[11] while her mother was born in a displaced persons camp in Bad Wörishofen, Germany, to Ukrainian Catholic parents, Mykhailo Chomiak and Alexandra (Loban) Chomiak.[8][12] Freeland attended the United World College of the Adriatic.[13] 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 at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1993.[14][15]

Journalism career[edit]

Freeland started her journalism career as a stringer for the Financial Times, The Washington Post and The Economist while working in Ukraine.[16] Freeland later worked for the Financial Times in London as a deputy editor, and then as an editor for its weekend edition,, and UK news.[16] Freeland also served as Moscow bureau chief and Eastern Europe correspondent for the Financial Times.[16]

Freeland served as the deputy editor of The Globe and Mail from 1999 to 2001.[16]

Freeland was the managing director and editor of consumer news at Thomson Reuters.[17] She was also a weekly columnist for the Globe and Mail.[18] Previously she was editor of Thomson Reuters Digital, a position she held since April 2011.[19] Prior to that she was the global editor-at-large of Reuters news since March 1, 2010,[20] having formerly been the United States managing editor at the Financial Times, based in New York City.

Published works[edit]

She is the author of Sale of the Century, a 2000 book about Russia's journey from communism to capitalism[14] and Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else in 2012.[21][22]

Plutocrats was a New York Times bestseller, and the winner of the 2013 Lionel Gelber Prize for non-fiction reporting on foreign affairs.[23] It also won the 2013 National Business Book Award for the most outstanding Canadian business-related book.

Personal life[edit]

Freeland is married to Graham Bowley, a British writer and New York Times reporter.[24] They have three children together.[25] She has lived in Toronto since the summer of 2013 when she returned from abroad to run for election.[16][26][27] She speaks Ukrainian at home with her children, English, and is conversant in French.[28] She also speaks Russian[29] and Italian, and is the co-owner, with her sister of an apartment which overlooks the Maidan square in Kyiv.[30]

Political career[edit]

On July 26, 2013 she 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,[31] with an opportunity to replace outgoing MP Bob Rae in the November 25, 2013 by-election.[27] Freeland won 49% of the vote and was elected.[32]

As the Liberal Party of Canada's trade critic,[2] Freeland interviewed noted economist Larry Summers in a formal event at the 2014 Liberal Party convention;[30] 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.[33]

On 27 January 2014, Freeland wrote an op-ed for The Globe and Mail, in which she excoriated the government of Viktor Yanukovich, who later was ousted as during the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.[34] She is a proponent of personal asset seizures and travel bans as part of programmes of economic sanctions.[30] 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,[29] 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.[35] 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."[35]

In the redistricting in 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. Freeland opted to run in University-Rosedale, and defeated NDP challenger Jennifer Hollett.[36]

On November 4, 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chose Freeland as Minister of International Trade.[37]

Media appearances[edit]

Freeland appeared several times as a panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher between 2010 and 2015.[38] She has also appeared 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.[39] In June 2013 she gave a speech at the TED Talks, speaking on the subjects of economic inequality, plutocracy, globalization,[40] and "the growing gap between the working poor and the increasingly disconnected mega-rich."[41]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Conservative report calls middle-class dreams a ‘myth’" 23 Feb 2014
  3. ^ O'Malley, Kady (April 16, 2014). "Liberals to acclaim Chrystia Freeland for 2015 in University Rosedale". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved October 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Toronto's 50 Most Influential People: Chrystia Freeland | Toronto Life". Toronto Life. Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  5. ^ interview with "Chrystia Freeland – U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times" 20 May 2013
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Halyna Freeland's quest to 'change the world' influenced feminism in Alberta and Ukraine, and left a mark on her family and friends". July 14, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Obituary: Halyna Chomiak Freeland". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  9. ^ LeBlanc, Daniel (July 27, 2013). "Journalist Chrystia Freeland to seek Liberal nod for Toronto Centre". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Peace River Woman Set to Join Trudeau Liberal Government as a Toronto MP". AM 610 Newsroom. October 23, 2015. Retrieved November 29, 2015. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Chrystia Freeland". United World College of the Adriatic. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Chrystia Freeland." The Financial Times biography. 3 Feb 2004; 26 May 2007.
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b c d e "Chrystia Freeland". Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Development Canada (DFAIT). 2013-04-25. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Chrystia Freeland's Plutocrats wins National Business Book Award". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). May 28, 2013. 
  19. ^ Saba, Jennifer (April 7, 2011). "Chrystia Freeland named Thomson Reuters Digital editor". Thomson Reuters. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Chrystia Freeland Joins Reuters as Global Editor-at-large" (Press release). March 1, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ Plutocrats: the rise of the new global super-rich and the fall of everyone else. New York: Penguin. 2012. ISBN 9781594204098. OCLC 780480424. 
  22. ^ ‘Romney is Wall Street’s worst bet since the bet on subprime’ Ezra Klein, Washington Post, November 28, 2012. Interview with Chrystia Freeland.
  23. ^ "Plutocrats author Chrystia Freeland wins $15,000 book prize for international affairs". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). March 25, 2013. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Weisblott, Marc (July 29, 2013). "Chrystia Freeland to make U.S. Media Party care about Canadian politics". Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  26. ^ Semeniuk, Ivan (September 15, 2013). "NDP's McQuaig, Liberals' Freeland to face off in battle for Toronto Centre". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Gustin, Sam (July 29, 2013). "Prominent Journalist Chrystia Freeland in Surprise Canadian Political Bid". Time. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Parliament: Speaking a language all its own" 7 Feb 2014
  29. ^ a b "Government to send military observers to Ukraine" 5 Mar 23014
  30. ^ a b c "Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland on Ukraine" 20 Feb 2014
  31. ^ Mok, Tanya (September 15, 2013). "Liberals choose Chrystia Freeland to face NDP candidate Linda McQuaig in upcoming byelection in Toronto Centre". National Post. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Complete results from Toronto Centre and three other federal by-elections". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). February 24, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Sympathy for the Toffs" (Freeland) 24 Jan 2014
  34. ^ G+M: "Why Canada should support Ukraine’s democratic protesters " 27 Jan 2014
  35. ^ a b Susana Mas (March 24, 2013). "Russian sanctions against Canadians a 'badge of honour'". CBC News. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  36. ^ Otis, Daniel (20 October 2015). "Liberal Chrystia Freeland wins in University-Rosedale". Toronto Star. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  37. ^ "Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet". CBC. 4 November 2015. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  38. ^ "Real Time with Bill Maher". HBO. 
  39. ^ "Inequality And American Democracy". 
  40. ^ Chrystia Freeland: The rise of the new global super-rich. TED Talks, June 2013
  41. ^ Speakers, Chrystia Freeland: Plutocracy chronicler. TED Talks, June 2013

External links[edit]

29th Ministry – Cabinet of Justin Trudeau
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Ed Fast Minister of International Trade
November 4, 2015-present