In a surprise move, Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister, replaced prominent Liberal Stephan Dion by Chrystia Freeland who had been serving as international trade minister.
|Freeland is banned from Russia as part of Russian counter-sanctions. In 2014 after the referendum and Crimea's joining Russia, the Harper Conservative Government imposed sanctions on some Russian officials. Russia responded by sanctioning 13 Canadians. Freeland responded in a tweet in March 2014: "Love Russ lang/culture, loved my yrs in Moscow; but it's an honour to be on Putin's sanction list, esp in company of friends Cotler & Grod." Freeland is a proponent of personal asset seizures and travel bans a part of an economic sanctions program against Russia. She visited Ukraine on behalf of the Liberal Party. She met with MP Petro Poroshenko who was subsequently elected president of the Ukraine. She owns an apartment with her sister in Kiev overlooking Maidan square.|
Critics oppose the treaty on the grounds that it will weaken European consumer rights, including those concerning food safety, and that tariffs are already very low. It has also been criticized as a boon only for big business and multinational corporations, while risking net-losses, unemployment, and environmental damage impacting individual citizens. The deal also includes a controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. The agreement has prompted protests in Europe and Canada.
"This appointment is a catastrophe for Canadian-Russian relations, I cannot understand why the government would have selected her to be minister for external affairs with her stated position with respect to Russia, Crimea, and Ukraine. She's a Russophobe, a hater of Putin, of Russian politics. To me this looks like the Prime Minister Trudeau is just abandoning any thought of better relations with Russia, for me it's an incomprehensible appointment."