Freeland promises “bold new solutions” for economic recovery
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed his close ally and deputy Chrystia Freeland as finance minister on Tuesday and promised “bold new solutions” to help Canada recover from the pandemic.
Freeland, 52, a former journalist and foreign minister, becomes the country’s first female finance minister, replacing Bill Morneau who resigned on Monday amid friction with Trudeau.
Freeland, who is considered Trudeau’s most likely successor as Liberal Party leader, spearheaded negotiations of the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade pact in 2017 and 2018 as foreign minister.
According to Reuters, she will be tasked with reviving an economy crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the budget deficit this fiscal year forecast to hit $343.2 billion. That would be the largest shortfall since World War Two.
“We need a long term plan for recovery, a plan that addresses head-on the fundamental gaps that this pandemic has unmasked,” Trudeau told a news conference.
Canada should embrace “bold new solutions”, he said, citing the need to do a better job of protecting the vulnerable and greening an economy that relies heavily on fossil fuel exports.