Chrystia Freeland has returned to her first profession. Susan Delacourt writes:
In The Economist’s special New Year’s issue, “The World in 2018,” Freeland has penned an article about how Canada plans to battle global trends toward nationalism and protectionism.
She calls it “progressive internationalism” and describes how Canada will be pursuing this idea in 2018 on two tracks: internationally, in the realms of human rights, immigration and freer trade; and domestically, with fairer taxation and improved labour standards here in Canada.
The two tracks work together, Freeland says. Canadians won’t support immigration, rights and trade if they feel they’re paying an unfair price at home.
“Progressive trade is not a feint or a frill,” she writes. “It is fundamental to the furtherance of a trading system that will enjoy popular support.”
At the moment, some of that policy is being implemented in Ontario:
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is also in the midst of a large-scale effort to battle economic inequality, as she described it to Star columnist Martin Regg Cohn in a recent, year-end interview.
“I have a deep belief that we don’t play on a level field, and so what can I do to level that playing field?” Wynne said in the interview. “It’s our job as human beings to find ways to help each other, and so that for me is at the root of what government is about. We come together, and we decide as a society how we are going to support each other.”
There is a big temptation, an understandable one if you read the polls, to see these next few months in Ontario as the prelude to Wynne’s departure and the end of the Liberals’ 15-year hold on power in the province.
The first battle is all about the $14 -- soon to be $15 -- minimum wage, with Tim Horton's leading the resistance.
Will progressive internationalism take hold? Stay tuned.
Image: The Toronto Star