February 14th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 7
A girl from a little Alberta town
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
The year was 1968 and the place, Peace River Alberta. I visited Peace River around 1972 and it was much the same as the Crowsnest Pass. At night you could see lights from the highway signaling the location of farms and ranches. One of them belonged to a farmer-rancher lawyer named Donald Freeland. Donald never gained fame but was unique in one way. He was a Liberal in a Conservative country. The other distinguishing aspect was the fact that his daughter would eventually gain international fame.

Most kids from little communities assume that they will have to move to a city when they grow up. I remember listening to a group of teens here in the Pass a few years ago. They were discussing what they will do when they grow up. The general consensus was that they will finish high school and move to a city to continue their education or find a job. Mostly, they looked at each other and said that there is nothing here, nowhere to go. Of course, being teenagers, they were thinking about the lack of entertainment possibilities and nightlife opportunities. However, some have higher aspirations. Donald Freeland’s daughter, Chrystia from the Peace country, did.

She left home early and studied in Italy, got her Bachelor’s from Harvard University and her Master’s from St. Antony College in Oxford. Later, she worked as a journalist in Ukraine and served as Moscow bureau chief and Eastern Europe correspondent for the Financial Times. In a short time, Chrystia became a well-known name in the media.
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In 2000 she authored a “best selling”, award-winning book “The Sale of a Century” that is about Russia after the fall of Communism.

I didn’t read this book yet, but I listened to a Ted Talk speech she made about it. The speech that was given before Chrystia entered politics was dealing with the number one threat to human existence. Not the danger of quick extermination by nuclear war, nor slow suicide by use of fossil fuels, but the threat from the ever-growing global inequality. A small fraction of 1% of humanity whisking away most essential resources for their personal pleasure. The abuse and corruption, guarded by strong military forces which most likely cause humans to destroy themselves.

In a later speech, our Chrystia revealed strong opposition to Communism while explaining the rise of Putin and the modern plutocrats of today’s Russia. Consequently, she was barred from entering Russia. Putin reserves that measure for the most worthy opponents.

In 2013 Chrystia left journalism to enter the political arena and play a role in reshaping the world. The girl from a little Alberta town, in five years, became the voice of the second largest country in the world, Canada. When she speaks, the world listens.
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Now, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, she oversees the NAFTA renegotiations. Flipsi, bigly Trump in his alternate reality, imagined that he could just make Canada into another Puerto Rico, to be kicked around, but discovered that we have a weapon not available to him. A little Alberta girl that has brains and will not be bought. He placed the almighty Rex Tillerson in her way and realized that a short-sighted businessman, with no care about anything but selling oil, is no match either. Now if Trump doesn’t get impeached first, he will face great opposition from his own people, who like NAFTA, and will have to say the biggest “sorry” which any president in history ever had to admit to. He met a woman who is not a man’s toy but a better business person than he can ever hope to be.

The Crowsnest Pass has done its share in raising some very capable people for Canada and new ones are growing up, getting educated and will make their mark. There are some, (I will let you guess) who got educated, came back here and are just beginning to make an impact right now. Being from a little Alberta town is not a hindrance these days, as it used to be many years ago. We can lead the nation and more, as Chrystia Freeland is demonstrating. The only girl that both Trump and Putin are worried about.

Avner Perl
February 14th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 7
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