In John Helmer, Russia

By John Helmer, published on his website Dances With Bears, Jan 16, 2017

MOSCOW – Chrystia Freeland, a leading figure in the Ukrainian and Canadian campaigns against Russia, was promoted last week in Ottawa to become Canada’s foreign minister. She is now one step away in her plan to replace Justin Trudeau as prime minister, sources in Ottawa, Washington, and Moscow report.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and then-int’l trade minister Int’Chrystia Freeland at APEC meeting in Peru Nov 2016 (Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

There was a hitch in the plan, though. Freeland had been hoping for a senior ministry when Trudeau took power in November 2015. Instead, he gave her the low-ranked international trade portfolio to keep her out of Canada as often as possible. Freeland then counted on Hillary Clinton to win the US presidential election last November, in order to persuade Trudeau she had better relationships in the coming Washington administration than the incumbent foreign minister, Stéphane Dion. The election of Donald Trump, with whom Freeland has no relationship and no agreement either, disappointed but didn’t deter her.

Trudeau has also accepted the Freeland scheme, and also for a Clinton reason. Trudeau will be safer in the prime ministry, Ottawa sources believe, if Freeland follows the Clinton role model into public acrimony, private hysteria, then defeat.

The usually dignified Dion departed his office last week, not by saying he wished Freeland well, but that he wished her luck. He meant Freeland, whom he blamed along with Trudeau for his abrupt ouster, would need it…

Last Friday, Freeland told Canadian reporters she had met Putin at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting in Peru last November[2016]. This was the first time she had made the disclosure. “I’ve spoken with the top guy in Russia quite recently,” Freeland told her state radio CBC.  “We spoke in Russian and we had quite a long conversation.”  The Kremlin records no such conversation took place, a spokesman for the president adding: “Vladimir Putin did not have a meeting with Freeland.” . . .

Read the full article and view the photos at the original weblink above.

Related news:
Ukraine seeks ‘clarity’ from Canada on continuation of military mission, by Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press, Jan 16, 2017

Ukraine’s envoy says his country is growing concerned about whether Canada will continue its future military support to his country to help it deter Russian aggression.

Canada has deployed 200 troops to Ukraine in a non-combat mission [sic] working with Ukrainian troops on marksmanship, communication, survival and ethics training. The mission is set to expire at the end of March…

Donald Trump shows free trade can be challenged, by Thomas Walkom, columnist, Toronto Star, Jan 16, 2017

… The Justin Trudeau government confuses unfettered free trade with tolerance — arguing that countries that open their borders fully to commodities, investment and labour are somehow more virtuous than those that do not. In defending Canada’s Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union, even someone as sophisticated as Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland seems to be a captive of this 19th century delusion.

Yet what she lauds about this pact is precisely what makes it so dangerous: It is not just about trade; it is about everything — including government’s ability to regulate in the public interest…

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