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Chrystia Freeland

Chrystia Freeland

Public editor

Readers question Globe's publication of Freeland opinion column Add to ...

A few readers were puzzled by Monday's opinion column by Chrystia Freeland.

On Saturday, a story on page A3 said that Ms. Freeland, a senior editor at Thomson Reuters and a former columnist for The Globe and Mail, will be a candidate for the federal Liberal Party nomination in the Toronto Centre riding formerly held by Bob Rae. The Saturday article said "The Globe and Mail and Reuters will no longer employ Ms. Freeland as a columnist."

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And yet, there she was in Monday's paper explaining her views about where Canada must proceed on income inequality. A few readers wondered why that happened.

Editor-in-chief John Stackhouse says, "She is no longer a columnist for The Globe, a decision she was informed of on Friday. Given her long association with Globe readers, we agreed she had a responsibility to explain to them why she's pursuing public office, and they'd want to know what she's thinking. They, in turn, can criticize her, as many have done. We will continue to provide space for that."

A few other readers wondered if all Liberal candidates and all candidates for other parties in that riding would receive the same treatment. One reader called the decision to run the opinion piece troubling. "The Globe and Mail chose to publish an OpEd piece written by the same ‘star candidate’ giving her an opportunity to outline her likely platform. To this reader, the editors of The Globe and Mail would appear to have shown favoritism and bias towards this individual."

Mr. Stackhouse said she is a high-profile candidate, and will get more attention as a result. "That's true for all parties. We weigh comment pieces from politicians on a case-by-case basis, and have given such space to people from all parties. We ask that such pieces be non-partisan in tone, and focus on issues, as hers did."

He noted that the race to win the riding vacated by Mr. Rae is a high-profile race. "We wouldn't give the same space to every candidate in every by-election, but we would be open to submissions from others."

Follow on Twitter: @SylviaStead

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