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Aug 18, 2020
Freeland takes over as finance minister after Morneau resignation
BNN Bloomberg Rewind: Morneau out, Freeland in as finance minister
Chrystia Freeland will replace Bill Morneau as Canada’s finance minister but will remain in her current role as deputy prime minister.
The cabinet shuffle took place Tuesday afternoon, the day after Morneau resigned from his position.
Dominic LeBlanc will take over for Freeland as intergovernmental affairs minister.
“I think it’s a terrific choice,” former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Tuesday. “She has proved herself over and over again in different portfolios.”
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Freeland, who will be the country's first female finance minister, entered politics in 2013 as a Liberal candidate for Toronto Centre after working as a journalist at publications including the Financial Times, Reuters and The Economist.
She served as Canada’s minister of international trade from 2015-2017 before moving to the role of foreign affairs minister until 2019 when she was appointed deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs.
Freeland was integral in negotiating the new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and also helped negotiate the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
Morneau announced his resignation as finance minister Monday evening amid reports of a rift with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, though he refused to cite that as the reason for stepping down.
In an emailed statement to BNN Bloomberg, a spokesperson for U.S.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he "has enjoyed working with Bill Morneau as Canadian Finance Minister and wishes him all the best.”
“I think it was absolutely critical that the prime minister moved immediately to appoint a new finance minister,” former Conservative finance minister Joe Oliver told BNN Bloomberg Tuesday.
Former Bank of Canada and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney came up in media reports as a possible frontrunner for the position after Bloomberg News reported last week he was advising the prime minister.
“Freeland is going to take on that extremely challenging role without a direct background in finance or economics, but a fairly extensive background now, with five years in government,” Oliver said.
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