Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Taps Byelection Star Chrystia Freeland for Economic Advice

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trudeau Taps Byelection Star Chrystia Freeland for Economic Advice

Article excerpt

Trudeau taps Freeland for economic advice


OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau has tapped star byelection candidate Chrystia Freeland to help craft economic policy for the Liberal platform in 2015.

The choice of Freeland as co-chair of an economic advisory council serves a double purpose: bolstering the Liberal leader's relatively weak economic credentials as well as Freeland profile before she runs in the upcoming Toronto Centre byelection, which promises to be an epic struggle for supremacy between the Liberals and NDP.

Freeland is a former journalist and author of an internationally acclaimed book, "Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-rich and the Fall of Everyone Else."

Trudeau called Freeland "a tremendous source of strength and expertise" for the Liberal party.

Her emphasis on income inequality fits neatly with Trudeau's stated priority to improve the lot of struggling middle-class families. He hasn't made clear how he intends to do so, however -- and Freeland's expertise could help mute some of that criticism.

Trudeau stuck Tuesday to his position that detailed policies should be developed only after extensive consultation with Canadians, not handed down from on high.

To that end, he announced the creation of a council of economic advisers, which will consult experts and engage ordinary folks in the development of Liberal economic policies.

"What we're doing today is putting in place a very serious process and effort to address -- in a sophisticated, smart way -- how we can secure real prosperity for the Canadian middle class going forward," said Freeland, who will co-chair the council with Liberal finance critic Scott Brison.

"This is not something that you can sit down and write a bumper sticker about, it's not a three-point plan you can come up with on a napkin one morning. This is a really, really hard problem and we are rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on it, starting today. …

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