Metro Morning

Chrystia Freeland vows to 'make Canada a winner' on global trade

Chrystia Freeland said Thursday her goal as Canada's new minister of international trade is to "make Canada a winner in the international economy."
Liberal MP Chrystia Freeland said yesterday's swearing-in ceremony "was a wonderful day for our country and a privilege to be part of." (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Chrystia Freeland said today her goal as Canada's new minister of international trade is to "make Canada a winner in the international economy."

The Liberal MP for University-Rosedale was appointed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet yesterday and spoke on CBC Radio's Metro Morning about her new role.

​Freeland, a former journalist and Rhodes scholar, is one of seven MPs from Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area to be named to Trudeau's 31-member cabinet.

She told guest host Nil Köksal that yesterday's swearing-in on the lawns of Rideau Hall "was a wonderful day for our country and a privilege to be part of."

 "It was wonderful to have the grounds of Rideau Hall opened up, to have so many people there," she said. "To really have the chance to share the moment."

When asked how she feels about her portfolio, Freeland said "there are no bad seats at the cabinet table. All of us have the attitude of being honoured to serve in any way the Prime Minister needs us to."

Freeland said she met with her team last night and now has the busy task of getting up to speed on the issues she'll face, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The text of the massive trade pact was made public today. The TPP is aimed at opening up commerce among 12 Pacific nations including Canada but has been criticized for being negotiated largely in secret.

Trudeau has promised a full and open debate in parliament about the TPP, which accounts for an estimated 40 per cent of the world's economy. 

Freeland repeated that promise on Thursday.

"The details of this deal are just coming out right now and we are going to familiarize ourselves before coming down with a verdict on it. We will have a full parliamentary debate about this. We regret the fact that the discussions about it leading up to this point weren't transparent."


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