OTTAWA - Mark Carney, long touted as a potential Liberal leader one day, will be a keynote speaker at the federal party's convention later this week.

It's a political coming out party of sorts for the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England.

Until recently, his role as a central banker required Carney to avoid any hint of partisanship.

But he is known to have nevertheless quietly flirted with the idea of jumping into politics, and Liberals have bandied his name about for at least 10 years.

Back in 2012, after the Liberals suffered their worst electoral thrashing in history, questions about a leadership run grew so intense that Carney was compelled to deny any interest with a stinging rejoinder: “Why don't I become a circus clown?”

He left the country shortly thereafter to take over the helm of the Bank of England, but speculation about his interest in federal politics intensified once again with his return to Canada last summer and the recent release of his memoirs, “Value(s): Building a Better World for All.”