“If we can just keep the world together until you take over, everything’s going to be fine.”
April 2019—Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke at the closing ceremony of the 31st World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships, hosted by Branksome Hall and held in Canada for the first time.
A former journalist, author and Oxford University-educated Rhodes Scholar, Freeland has served as various international newspaper bureau chiefs, deputy editor of The Globe and Mail and managing director of Thomson Reuters. Her best-selling book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else won the Lionel Gelber Prize.
In her keynote address as Branksome’s 2019 Rachel Phillips Belash Speaker, Freeland identified distinctive Canadian values such as the belief that “diversity is our strength” and our openness to immigration and trade. She also focused on our challenges. “The threats to liberal democracy are greater now than at any time since World War Two,” she said. “Over the last two or three decades, Western industrialized countries have seen a hollowing out of the middle class and we’re reaping the political consequences.”
In her insightful and rousing speech, she ultimately conveyed hope and conviction about the upcoming generation’s talents and resolve to make a better world.