Former Liberal Finance Minister Says Trudeau’s Economic Priorities Are “Baffling”

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on June 3, 2022

Former Liberal Finance Minister Bill Morneau went after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the other day in a rare public speech since resigning from office after being thrown under the bus by Trudeau and the PMO for the WE Charity scandal. 

Morneau being an economist by trade was focused on the dysfunction of the current Liberal economic policy and why he as Finance Minister felt restrained from being able to make decisions that would be positive for Canada’s economic situation. 

Speaking in front of the C.D. Howe Institute think tank Morneau explained that during his time as the Liberal Finance Minister:

There was little attention given to the importance of increasing our collective prosperity — let alone developing a disciplined way of thinking and acting on the problem…There is no real sense of urgency in Ottawa about our lack of competitiveness … It’s not that this is one of the big problems facing Canada’s economy, it’s that this is our fundamental problem. Nothing else is solvable if we don’t put this issue first.’

Morneau also said that despite being in charge of crafting economic policy for the country and being one of the foremost economic experts in the government, Liberal MPs and the PMO would constantly interfere with his work. He also mentioned political priorities getting in the way of economic development. 

Morneau stated:

Sometimes it’s other MPs who think they can do a better job than you, sometimes it’s staff in other offices or the (Prime Minister’s Office) who also think they can do a better job than you…I struggled to get our government to focus on the need for sustained economic growth because it was constantly crowded out by other things that seemed more politically urgent, even if they weren’t truly as important.

Related to that, Moreau also said he found it “baffling” that despite the government not getting their national pharmacare plan properly funded they are already moving on to implementing a public dental health care plan. 

Despite what many more conservative Canadians’ impressions of Morneau may be due to the high deficit spending of the Liberal Party under Mornuea’s watch, he also did not seem to like the overall financial strategy of Justin Trudeau when he was still in Parliament. 

Moreau explained that he saw the Liberal government as always restraining private firms and corporations with burdensome regulations trying to manage economic growth from the top-down when they should be more hands-off and allow businesses to achieve government growth targets with minimal regulation. That sort of perspective sounds like it would be a Conservative Party perspective yet Morneau is now echoing the same sort of small-government financial philosophy.

Obviously, Bill Morneau would not be nearly as Conservative in his views on economics as someone like MP Pierre Poilievre, but the fact that even Morneau views the sluggish state of the economy as being largely the fault of Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government is telling about how Canada is being managed. 

Trudeau has concentrated power around the PMO and a few loyalists in his government and is pushing his priorities onto Ministers who, like Morneau, know better than Trudeau but who are unable to act with any independence.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

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