Canadian news sources have been calling the country’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, the “minister of everything” for months. The recent spread of the coronavirus has only given that title more weight. A week ago, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made Freeland the overseer of the federal response to the pandemic. And now, with Trudeau entering a 14-day quarantine after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, tested positive for the disease, Freeland appears poised to take on still more responsibility.
Before entering the Canadian Parliament and, soon thereafter, the cabinet in 2013, Freeland worked full-time as a journalist. Articles she wrote for The Atlantic both before and after her election offer some insight into her view of geopolitics and the world economy—systems in which she’s now playing a more powerful role than ever before.
“The Rise of the New Global Elite” (January/February 2011)
The global financial crisis, Freeland observed, shed new light on the increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of an elite few—a trend already evident for years at that point. But it also, she wrote, made it clear that “the rich of today are … different from the rich of yesterday … They are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home.”