Freeland Backs Trudeau as a Leader and Feminist

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s foreign minister isn’t wavering in her support of Justin Trudeau -- or his feminist credentials.

All eyes were on Chrystia Freeland and her cabinet colleagues on Tuesday after the sudden exit of Jane Philpott, who quit cabinet on Monday over Trudeau’s handling of the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. controversy. Trudeau ran on a feminist agenda and appointed a gender-balanced cabinet -- only to see two of his most high-profile female ministers quit on principle.

Freeland is easily Trudeau’s highest-ranking female cabinet minister remaining, and is sticking by him. Speaking in Montreal on Tuesday, she declared full support for Trudeau, including as a feminist.

“I am proud to call myself a feminist and I am really glad that our government has taken on feminist issues with real seriousness,” she said. “I have found him to be absolutely supportive. He is a feminist as a prime minister and he is a feminist as a boss.”

Freeland has essentially downplayed the controversy, and did so again Tuesday, chalking up discussion of SNC to a debate, and saying that “having debate means that we have a truly strong democracy.” She lauded Trudeau for waiving privilege to allow former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to testify.

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