Minister of Foreign Affairs
After a Cabinet shuffle on January 10, Chrystia Freeland ended a fourteen-month term as Minister of International Trade to become Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was a pivotal time to take over the role, with Donald Trump sworn in as President of the United States just ten days later. In the months that followed, Freeland has faced attacks on NAFTA, a border tax proposal, a softwood lumber dispute, and other protectionist policies — not to mention the uncertainty of dealing with a volatile and inexperienced politician prone to leading via Twitter-rant. She’s responded with a firm stance. In a much-discussed and often-quoted speech to Parliament in June, Freeland outlined what she saw as Canada’s need for a new direction, openly calling out the United States without mentioning Trump’s name. “The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership,” she said, “puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course.” Facing a future where Canada can no longer rely on the U.S. to fight for once-shared ideals, Chrystia Freeland is helping to plot our own way forward.