There was one side of Freeland, in particular, that McQuaig kept poking: Her supposed un-Canadianness. “Toronto is my home, I’ve lived and worked here all my life,” McQuaig noted in her opening remarks. It was a clear side swipe at Freeland, who’s been abroad for years in Russia, the U.K. and the U.S., and settled down in Toronto Centre only recently. Later on came McQuaig’s straight-out jab: “You’ve been there in Manhattan, hanging out with the rich,” McQuaig told Freeland, speaking, for those in the know, about her competitor’s former gig in New York and her recent book on the ultra-rich.
I suspect Freeland chose not to respond in kind. Because if she’d wanted to, there was an obvious line of attack. For all her fondness of being a true Canadian and disdain for hanging out in Manhattan, McQuaig has publicly praised a controversial U.S. law that might end up encroaching on the constitutional rights of a good many Canadians, including, possibly, Freeland and her family.