Inside Politics

It's official: Chrystia Freeland to vie for Liberal nomination in Toronto Centre

In a release that employs the phrase "middle class" no fewer than six times in seven paragraphs, "celebrated author and journalist" Chrystia Freeland has officially announced her intention to "join the race" to carry the big red banner in the upcoming -- but as yet still uncalled -- by-election in Toronto Centre.

UPDATE: I confess that it slipped right past me, but eagle-eyed editor Chris Carter has spotted a truly unfortunate typo in the original release: namely, the misidentification of her (recent) former employer as "Thomas Reuters" and not "Thomson-Reuters." 

According to today's release, her campaign will be co-chaired by four "notable" local Liberals, including two who had heretofore been rumoured to be considering a run for the gig themselves  -- Sachin Aggarwal and Glen Murray -- as well as former Toronto Centre MP Bill Graham and Amanda Alvaro. 


Celebrated author and journalist Chrystia Freeland, today announced that she is seeking the Federal Liberal nomination in the riding of Toronto Centre, with the hope of running as the Liberal candidate in the upcoming by-election.

"As the lucky beneficiary of Canadian scholarships, public education and healthcare systems, I owe our country everything," said Chrystia Freeland at launch. "For me, the time is now to put my name in the race to serve the residents of Toronto-Centre and give back to a system that can work to address some of the greatest economic challenges of our time."

Freeland is a global journalist who most recently served as Managing Director and Editor of Canadian-owned Thomas Reuters [sic] and was a weekly columnist for the Globe and Mail. She has written extensively about the challenges facing the middle class in her award-winning books and articles. Her book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else (2012) describes a hollowing out of the middle class in western democracies and won the prestigious 2013 Canadian Business Book Award.

"Over the past few years, as I have been working through the issues facing the middle class for my book, I have felt their urgency ever more strongly," said Freeland. "Diagnosing the problem is an important first step, but it isn't enough. Figuring out how to make today's vast economic transformation work for the middle class is the central political challenge of our time."

Freeland is expected to meet residents of the riding in open coffee chats over the coming weeks.

"Solving the challenges facing the middle class requires a new vision of politics and what it can and must accomplish," said Freeland. "I believe strongly in Justin Trudeau's vision for a thriving middle class and was inspired to run by his dedication to address this tremendously important issue."

"It is a privilege to join this race and begin to earn the confidence of the residents of Toronto Centre. "

Campaign Co-Chairs

Freeland's candidacy has been backed by several notable Liberals who are local to the riding of Toronto Centre and will serve as co-chairs to her campaign, including:

- Hon. Bill Graham - former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of National Defense who served the riding of Toronto-Centre as the Member of Parliament from 1993-2006.

- Hon. Glen Murray, MPP - current MPP for Toronto-Centre.

- Sachin Aggarwal - successful entrepreneur, lawyer,community leader and Liberal activist.

- Amanda Alvaro - local business person, political commentator, active Liberal and long-time resident of Toronto-Centre.

"I served the riding of Toronto-Centre Rosedale for thirteen years and became intimately familiar with the unique challenges that exist in the riding that mirror those faced by Canadians across the country. In Chrystia I have met someone with an impressive understanding of those issues and a profound desire to address them. She is the best person to represent this riding," Hon. Bill Graham, Campaign Co-Chair.

"Chrystia Freeland is a leader in a new generation of innovative and thoughtful professionals entering public service who bring a remarkable competence and passion for nation building. The complex challenges Canada faces in the fast changing global economy require her experienced leadership," Hon. Glen Murray, Campaign Co-Chair.

"Toronto Centre is the most diverse riding in the country and home to the richest, the poorest and everyone in between. The growing income gap is a national issue but it's also an issue the affects the residents of this riding. Chrystia is uniquely positioned to help our party focus and address these challenges," Sachin Aggarwal, Campaign Co-Chair

"Chrystia possesses a unique combination of economic smarts and compassion. Her grasp of the most important issues of our time and her profound desire to address those challenges, will make her one of the most impressive candidates seeking public office. I think Toronto- Centre would benefit tremendously from Chrystia's leadership and I am proud to support a dynamic female candidate in this nomination," Amanda Alvaro, Campaign Co-Chair.

If she successfully secures the nomination -- which, of course, is by no means assured -- Freeland may find herself facing off against a New Democrat candidate who is every bit as comfortable in front of the cameras: former journalist and digital activist Jennifer Hollett, who launched her bid to represent Team Orange on the Toronto Centre hustings last week. 

As yet, there's no official word on who may be on the ballot for the Conservatives, the Greens or any of the dozen-odd lesser known parties likely to throw their respective hats in the ring when the writ drops. 

Stay tuned! 

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