Former Journalist Chrystia Freeland Becomes Canada’s First Female Finance Minister
52-year-old Chrystia Freeland has been appointed as Canada’s first-ever female finance minister. Freeland is a former journalist and foreign minister who has also been serving Canada as the deputy prime minister. In an announcement during a conference on August 18, 2020, the prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau declared Freeland’s appointment as the former finance minister, Bill Morneau, resigned suddenly amid the tensions and pressures erupting due to the COVID-19 crisis.
As the finance minister, Freeland will be responsible for reviving the country from the financial crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Canada Undergoing Economic Crisis Due To COVID-19
Like many other countries across the world, Canada has also suffered a significant setback in its economy due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown as it mainly relied on fossil fuel exports. As per reports the budget deficit in Canada (an economic crisis when the expenditure exceeds the budget) is likely to amount as high as $253.4 billion due to the extra-ordinary measures undertaken to deal with the pandemic. This is touted to be the largest economic downfall of the country since the Second World War. Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau said in a conference on Tuesday that there is a dire need to protect and revive the crippled economy of the country. “We need a long term plan for recovery, a plan that addresses head-on the fundamental gaps that this pandemic has unmasked,” he said in the conference.
And so, citing the need to embrace “bold new solutions”, he appointed Freeland as the new finance minister making her responsible to recover the country from the COVID-19 economic crisis.
A look on Freeland’s Work
Born on August 2, 1968, Freeland is a Harvard University Graduate and a Rhodes Scholar. She began her career as a journalist and worked with eminent media agencies like Financial Times, the Globe and Mail, and Reuters. She served as the deputy editor of the Globe and Mail in Toronto and the Financial Express. Freeland joined politics in the year 2013 as the member of Labour Party, recruited by Trudeau himself. Today, Freeland is the tenth deputy prime minister of Canada and is likely to be Trudeau’s successor as the Labour Party leader. While she was also the foreign minister of the country and handled the international trade affairs, she is remarked for heading the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade pact in 2017 and 2018. Even after becoming the finance minister, she will hold her position as the deputy prime minister.
She has also been vocal about her opinions and stance on social issues and crisis. According to her the inequalities of the society can be partly removed if the rich people are made to pay more taxes. Giving a glimpse of her policies as the finance minister to deal with the current economic crisis, she said, “The restart of our economy needs to be green. It also needs to be equitable and inclusive.” She has also been a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Women have been leading the COVID-19 battles in the world
Leaders like Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Angela Merkel of Germany and Tsai Ing-Wen of Taiwan have been appreciated for their response to the COVID-19 crisis, early lockdown and its systematic easing and decrease in the cases and mortalities. All eyes are now on Freeland for reviving the economy in Canada in a post COVID world.
Picture Credit: BBC.com