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Canada Chrystia Freeland is now the minister for almost everything

12:04  14 december  2019
12:04  14 december  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

Canada sees 'tough challenge' getting trade deal ratified by U.S.

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Chrystia Freeland , the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Canada. Nicolas Maeterlinck/AFP/Getty Images. When asked at a press conference on March 6 about the allegations that her maternal grandfather was a Nazi collaborator, Chrystia Freeland

Voted this year’s hardest-working MP, Freeland spent most of the past year effectively doing two ministerial jobs at the same time.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso© Thomson Reuters Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace, in Mexico City, Mexico December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso Justin Trudeau continues to task his government with doing a great many things. And he has now assigned a great deal of responsibility for getting things done to Chrystia Freeland.

Sometime after the prime minister issued mandate letters to his ministers in 2015 — the first time those official letters of assignment had been made public — officials in the Privy Council Office sat down to tally up a cumulative to-do list. In all, they counted 364 commitments, roughly in line with the 353 campaign promises the Liberals had made.

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Justin Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle thrust the hyperconnected Freeland , a hardliner on Russia with deep ties in official Washington, into the spotlight.

When Chrystia Freeland , Canada’s foreign minister , showed up this week for our public discussion at the University of Toronto, she came by bicycle. Was it true that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau considered not actually attending in person? “Our objective was always to get to a signing on the 30th

That is, by any standard, a lot. And some of those items remain works in progress four years later — implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools, for instance, or following through on a national housing strategy.

In this fall's election campaign, the Liberal platform included approximately 180 promises — a comparatively paltry sum, but still a substantial list, with significant additions to the pile. In their current minority situation, the Trudeau government also might not get a full four years to do all of it.

But that minority isn't yet being treated as an excuse for not doing things. So the to-do list is again extensive. The mandate letter for Carla Qualtrough, the new minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion, lists 27 items. Health Minister Patty Hajdu has 25 things to do.

Deputy Prime Minister Freeland en route to Mexico to discuss CUSMA: source

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Chrystia Freeland was sworn in as Canada’s top diplomat on Tuesday, as part of a wide-ranging cabinet shuffle that also saw Ahmed Hussen, a Freeland , whose tenure as trade minister was marked by her efforts to push forward the trade agreement between Canada and the European Union

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland discusses Trump's presidency and how it could possibly effect Canada. Subscribe to CTV News to watch more videos

Getting things done - and getting credit for it

If they do nothing else, the letters illuminate all the things a government can do with its time and resources.

Conservatives will say it's too much and New Democrats will say it's not nearly enough, but the Liberals must concern themselves first and foremost just with doing everything they've identified as things worth doing.

The Liberals did a significant number of things in their first four years, but they struggled to get credit for any of it. Whatever they did was haunted by the things they failed to do (electoral reform, balancing the budget) and the things that either didn't go smoothly or weren't getting done fast enough (Indigenous reconciliation, in particular).

Then, of course, there were the things that Trudeau shouldn't have done — the things that distracted from the rest of the government's agenda (the trip to the Aga Khan's island, the trip to India, the SNC-Lavalin affair, those blackface photos).

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The news conference on Monday by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was interesting not for the announcement that Canada was extending its training mission to Ukraine but for the questions and answers about the minister ’s grandfather.

The Canadians could see the trouble looming in the summer of 2016. Chrystia Freeland , Canada’s trade minister at the time, found herself, along with millions of Canadians, fixated on the unfolding United States presidential election

Trudeau's own high profile arguably crowded out any focus on what his government was supposed to be doing. His frequent statements about his government's ideals also seemed to make its failures more spectacular. And when he got knocked down, he was unable to fall back on a widely accepted public record of simply getting things done.

Freeland is everywhere now

Given a second chance, he has stepped back from the spotlight and enlisted a second-in-command — the relentless Chrystia Freeland.

When Freeland was announced as the new deputy prime minister and intergovernmental affairs minister, it wasn't obvious what she would be doing, beyond perhaps shuttling between provincial capitals to broker peace with recalcitrant premiers.

With the release of her mandate letter on Friday, it's now clear what files Freeland will be involved with: nearly all of them.

According to that letter, she will work "very closely" with Trudeau "in both setting and fulfilling the government's agenda." She will "lead key cabinet work streams in the achievement of national commitments to Canadians," including enhancements to medicare, the implementation of the pan-Canadian framework on climate change, new measures to control the use of firearms and improved access to child care.

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Chrystia Freeland was first elected as a Member of Parliament for University—Rosedale in July 2013, and has served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs since 2017. From November 2015 to January 2017, Ms. Freeland served as Canada's Minister of International Trade, overseeing the

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland begin a U.S. media grievance tour to frame a narrative around the recent The Canadian duo intentionally conflate a U.S. objective to secure the Steel and Aluminum industrial base into a narrative that the U.S. is targeting

She'll also lead work with the provinces to improve international provincial trade, assist with regional economic development initiatives and support efforts to advance Indigenous self-determination. She's also still responsible for completing the ratification of NAFTA (at least that's nearly done now).

In all, Freeland's mandate letter mentions 11 other ministers with whom she is being asked to work.

The title of "deputy prime minister," it turns out, was not a symbolic gesture.

One might wonder whether other ministers — particularly those who imagine themselves one day succeeding Trudeau — could eventually chafe at Freeland's prominence or purview. But for the sake of ensuring that Trudeau isn't soon succeeded by the person the Conservative Party chooses as its next leader, Freeland's fellow ministers have to hope that she succeeds in helping this government get things done.

Whenever the next election comes, the Liberals need a record of achievement to run on and a leader who has been able to rehabilitate and re-frame his public image. A list of accomplishments would go a long way toward rehabilitating that leader.

With so much to do, and so much riding on getting it done, Trudeau has asked Freeland to shoulder a large share of the load.

MacDougall: The ascent of Chrystia Freeland – Does Trudeau still want to be prime minister? .
With everyone focused on Andrew Scheer’s clown car exit from party leadership, I fear we’re not spending enough time wondering if Justin Trudeau is also planning his next act. In case you missed it, Trudeau this week released his new government’s mandate letters and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has been given a to-do list that’s, to quote the political philosopher Malcolm Tucker, longer than a Leonard Cohen song. In addition to chairing and vice-chairing two big-ticket cabinet committees, the former foreign minister is now also the “implementer-in-chief” and lead minister across a whole host of government files. Some of it makes sense.

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