Extraordinary Women::Chrystia Freeland
Christina Alexandra "Chrystia" Freeland was born in Peace River, Alberta, to Donald Freeland, a lawyer and farmer, and Halyna (Chomiak) Freeland. Gerald Baldwin, a great-uncle on her father’s side, was a Progressive Conservative MP who was credited as the “father and grandfather” of the Access to Information Act.
Her Ukrainian Canadian mother, Halyna, was born in a U.S. Army–run refugee camp in Germany, and her parents fled Ukraine after the 1939 German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. Halyna Freeland stood for Parliament under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner in Edmonton-Strathcona in 1988 and ran a feminist socialist cooperative.
Chrystia values her Ukrainian heritage. In her maiden speech in the House of Commons on 27 January 2014, she noted, “My mother was born in a refugee camp. Her parents, together with her and her three sisters, were grateful and delighted to find refuge here in Canada, like so many other Ukrainian Canadians.”
She is the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for University-Rosedale and currently serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. She is the first woman in Canada to hold the latter position. She has also served as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of International Trade. Notably, she handled the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as complicated diplomatic situations involving Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia and China. Freeland is an award-winning journalist, editor and author of such books as Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012).
~ The Canadian Encyclopedia
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