Chrystia Freeland fesses up, pays $273 fine for driving at near criminal speeds during Alberta junket

Despite Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland being chauffeured repeatedly across Canada, and her self-professed love of cycling, the Alberta-born MP paid a $273 speeding fine after she was clocked doing 142 km/h during a trip in northern Alberta.

Chrystia Freeland pays $273 fine for driving at near criminal speeds during Alberta junket
The Canadian Press / Darren Calabrese
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As first reported by The Counter Signal, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland sped 142 km/h on Alberta’s Highway 2 before being pulled over by local police.

It remains to be seen which part of the highway she received the ticket, as stretches of the road allow speeds of up to 110km/h, whereas others permit only 100 km/h.

According to a senior government official, Freeland received the ticket on August 15 while driving alone between Grande Prairie and Peace River without an RCMP security detail. 

The official anonymously told The National Post that Freeland has since paid the $273 fine while travelling near criminal speeds (132km/h).

As a Peace River resident, the deputy prime minister toured a natural gas plant in her hometown after speaking with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith on ‘net-zero’ targets.

Smith posted a photo of herself with Freeland on X, formerly Twitter, thanking the Toronto MP “for coming to Alberta […] to discuss Alberta’s position on key policies, including reasonable carbon neutral timelines.”

On Wednesday, a reporter asked Freeland if her leaked speeding ticket bothered her. She replied: “I did get a speeding ticket driving between Grande Prairie and Peace River.”

“I was driving too fast, and it won’t happen again.”

The minister has faced repeated scrutiny over using a chauffeur to drive her within Toronto for “meetings and events” at least 14 times in the past two years despite lauding her claim of not owning a car to reduce her carbon footprint.

Last month, the finance minister touted being car-less during a trip to Charlottetown, P.E.I., when asked if her government’s ‘green policies’ are coming “too soon, too fast” for residents.

On July 28, Freeland told reporters she avoided car travel and attended meetings on foot or by public transit. “I don’t own a car because I live in downtown Toronto. I am like 300 metres from the nearest subway.”

“I walk, I take the subway. I make my kids walk, ride their bikes, and take the subway,” she claimed. “It’s healthier for our family.”

However, expense records obtained by Blacklock’s Reporter show Freeland frequently used a car chauffeured by Daniel Labelle.

Freeland is privy to a taxpayer-funded car and driver around Ottawa like any cabinet minister. Labelle last claimed expenses on March 6 in Toronto and again on February 18 and 19, 2022. 

The chauffeur billed taxpayers in 2021 for driving the minister in Toronto on April 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27, May 2, 3, 5 and 6, again on May 25 and 26, July 28, 29 and 30 as either “ministerial transportation” or “transportation of the Minister.” 

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, the expense records did not include being chauffeured in Québec City, Montréal or Ottawa during that period.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre mocked Freeland for telling Canadians to ride their bike instead of using a car to mitigate the cost of two carbon taxes.

“Freeland’s message to Prince Edward Islanders worried about 61 cents per litre carbon tax: move to Toronto and get a bike,” he said.

According to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), Freeland also billed taxpayers for transport abroad during the COP26 climate summit in Scotland. 

It cost Canadians more than $3,000 for Freeland to commute between Edinburgh and Glasgow using an executive car service.

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