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Chrystia Freeland to make U.S. Media Party care about Canadian politics

July 29, 2013

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The view that much of Canadian journalism is one gigantic anti-Conservative cabal — which the Sun News Network has branded “The Media Party” — was further validated as the Globe and Mail prominently trumpeted that one of its own was bidding for the Liberal nomination in a forthcoming byelection to replace outgoing MP Bob Rae.

But the journalist in question has spent more time working outside of the country than within it.

A teaser at the top of the front page of the Saturday newspaper indicated that “Star Power” was enlisted to pursue the nomination in Toronto Centre. Still, many casual readers who flipped to page A3 surely needed an explanation of why the status was warranted, even as the Twitter elite extended their kudos.

The fame of the name Chrystia Freeland, a native of Peace River, Alta. who announced that she would step down as an editor at Thomson Reuters in New York to move with her family to Toronto — where she was the Globe’s deputy editor from 1999 to 2001 — is largely confined to those who recognize her byline from the financial press, including the Report on Business section, or her best-selling book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.

Nonetheless, she was on the radar of Justin Trudeau — who often cited her book in discussing his ambitions to revive the fortunes of Canada’s middle class — although her pursuit of the nomination is technically not guaranteed, as the new Liberal leader said he will not appoint candidates.

Todd Ross, who formally announced his bid for the same nomination last week, does not seem inclined to pack it in just because he could not match Freeland’s attention from the Globe.

Yet it is also likely that the decision to leave her full-time job behind and relocate with her husband and three children was attached to the expectation that there would be a second chance to run in 2015.

A riding redistribution is expected to split the downtown part of Toronto Centre — where a greater number of voters would likely lean NDP — from the more politically conservative and affluent Rosedale neighbourhood that lies above it.

But many Canadian wags couldn’t help but draw initial comparisons to how the Liberals parachuted Michael Ignatieff into a leadership role after 34 years away from Canada, which essentially ended in disaster, thanks in part to Conservative attack ads with the lacerating line, “He didn’t come back for you.”

Freeland has already fended those accusations off with a Monday column — published by the Globe — to assert that her motivations are focused on everyone else. Read more in Canada.com.

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