Trudeau declares full confidence in Bill Morneau
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is refuting any notion that he’s lost confidence in Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the Prime Minister’s Office said Trudeau’s faith in Morneau’s ability to navigate the post-COVID recovery remains unshaken.
“Of course the Prime Minister has full confidence in minister Morneau and any statement to the contrary is false,” the PMO said in its statement. “The Prime Minister knows that minister Morneau and the entire team of cabinet ministers will keep doing the work that Canadians rely on to get them through this pandemic.”
The statement comes after The Globe and Mail reported Tuesday that Trudeau “is not committed” to keeping Morneau in his current role. The Globe’s report follows a Bloomberg News report from Monday that said the prime minister is tapping former Bank of Canada and Bank of England governor Mark Carney as an informal advisor.
Moving Morneau out of his current position as Canada’s finance minister might not be Trudeau’s best move right now, according to the chief data scientist and founder of Nanos Research Group.
“Probably the best situation for Justin Trudeau is to keep Morneau where he is because the fact of the matter is that if there’s a perception he’s been fired or shuffled, it will be an admission of weakness and of a mistake – and will validate the narrative of the opposition parties,” Nik Nanos told BNN Bloomberg’s Amber Kanwar in a television interview Tuesday.
The Globe report also said Carney could replace Morneau as finance minister “if he is interested” in the job. However, that would only be possible if he’s elected as a member of Parliament.
Nanos said he doesn’t believe it has to be an either-or scenario between Carney and Morneau.
“By bringing Carney into the mix, [Trudeau] basically adds another voice at the table giving advice to the prime minister, and bolsters the Liberals on the economic and fiscal front. So it’s a bit of a two-for-one when the prime minister has both,” he said.
“Any kind of overreaction to unseat Morneau would probably be received negatively and would probably help the opposition parties.”
Morneau recently came under fire for his involvement in the WE Charity scandal, but Nanos said Canadians are more concerned about the health of their loved ones, their jobs and the economy right now.
He said that Carney can help craft a long-term plan for Canada’s economy, which would be welcomed by most Canadians.
“He’s one of the thought leaders when it comes to central banks and finances and fighting recessions,” Nanos said. “I think what he brings to the table is a lot of expertise in terms of shaping a plan for Canada’s future. Right now, Justin Trudeau has the cabinet ministers that he needs to run the day-to-day affairs of government.”
“What Mark Carney represents is an outside voice to think about the long term. And, I think if Canadians start to see some sort of plan or vision for the long-term, and where prosperity and jobs are going to come from, and how the Canadian economy will look in the next 10-20 years, that will probably be very welcome.”