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Morneau steps down as finance minister

August 18, 2020   Don Horne




Bill Morneau is resigning as the federal minister of finance and a Liberal MP.

Morneau, who has been in the role since 2016, told Canadian Press he is putting his name forward as a candidate to lead the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

For several weeks, opposition parties have been calling for Morneau’s resignation over allegations that he had a conflict of interest in the WE Charity affair.

Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are both facing investigations by the federal ethics watchdog.

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The recent news that Mark Carney, a former governor of both the Bank of Canada and Bank of England, is helping to advise Trudeau on the post-pandemic economic recovery fuelled speculation that Morneau was about to be replaced.

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to shut down speculation that his finance minister was on the way out, taking the unusual step of issuing a statement to say he had full confidence in Morneau and that reports of policy clashes between them were false.

A deepening rift between Trudeau and his finance minister about coronavirus spending also fuelled disagreements over the scope and scale of proposed green initiatives, three sources familiar with the matter Reuters.

Morneau and his team have pushed back against other Cabinet ministers about how much funding was needed, including to what extent the recovery could be helped by investing in environmental projects, sources added.

Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform to tackle climate change, believes the 2021 budget should have an ambitious environmental element to start weaning the heavily oil-dependent economy off fossil fuels and he recently hired former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney as an informal adviser, aides say.

(Canadian Press/Reuters)


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