February 2nd, 2021
The National Post’s Rupa Subramanya reported,
“The World Economic Forum (WEF), which has met at the Swiss ski resort of Davos every year since its creation in 1971 by German academic and entrepreneur Klaus Schwab, was forced to convert its annual schmoozefest into a virtual event this year due to COVID-19. Of note on the main agenda was a “stakeholder capitalism” panel, which included Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland. The former-journalist-turned-politician has been a fixture at the WEF for years. “
The one-time critic has enjoyed an apotheosis of sorts and since 2019 has sat on the board of trustees of the WEF itself. Other members include Canada’s own Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England; Al Gore, former U.S. vice-president; Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest individual; Larry Fink, head of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment fund; and a slew of other bankers, CEOs, tycoons and celebrities. Notably, Freeland is the only government minister presently on the board.”
While there does not appear to be anything explicitly proscribed about Freeland’s serving on the board of a private foundation, the optics are extremely problematic, as Schwab and the WEF take strong positions on matters of global public policy which, if implemented, will affect all Canadians. Even more strangely, Freeland also sits on the supervisory board of the Aspen Institute Kyiv, a chapter of another Davos-type exclusive club that holds forth on global issues. That’s quite a journey from her beginnings as a freelance journalist working out of Ukraine.”
These board memberships are far from symbolic. According to the WEF, the board of trustees “act as guardians of its mission and values” and are its “highest-level governance body.” Similarly, board members of the Aspen Institute Kyiv are responsible for providing “counsel to the president, as well as governance over the business, affairs, and property” of the institute. What would happen if acting as a “guardian” for the WEF came into conflict with acting as a guardian for Canada’s public finances, which is Freeland’s day job? What would happen if providing “counsel” to the Aspen Institute president came into conflict with providing counsel to Canada’s governor general, which is part of Freeland’s day job as a member of the Privy Council?”
Read the full story [here].