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Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver arrives for the announcement of a renewed Federal Gas Tax fund at a TTC transit yard in Toronto on Friday, July 11, 2014. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver arrives for the announcement of a renewed Federal Gas Tax fund at a TTC transit yard in Toronto on Friday, July 11, 2014. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press)

Oliver adds retail expertise to Economic Advisory Council Add to ...

Finance Minister Joe Oliver has shaken up the roster of Canadian elites who will advise him on economic policy, adding fashion and retail moguls to the group of business leaders. The new members of Mr. Oliver’s Economic Advisory Council include Dani Reiss, the force behind the enormously popular Canada Goose brand, and Bonnie Brooks, the luxury retail executive who is vice-chairman of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

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Mr. Oliver is keeping eight of the 13 members who served on the previous panel under the late Jim Flaherty’s helm. Mr. Oliver is adding eight new faces to the mix, including John Bradlow, chairman of private equity firm Penfund, who raises the number of Harvard MBAs to three. Each member of the panel will earn one loonie per year for their services, plus expenses.

Mr. Flaherty first introduced the notion of an economic advisory council during the turmoil of the financial crisis in 2008, drawing together powerful business and academic leaders for him to consult on economic policy.

The economy has clearly brightened since 2008, and it seems the focus will now be on the fiscal picture. “As we return to balanced budgets in 2014, it is important we listen to Canada’s leading business and economic innovators,” said Mr. Oliver in a statement.

Among the eight new members Mr. Oliver has recruited, three are women and four are Ontario-based. The group is split evenly between Western and Eastern Canadians, as was the case in the previous roster. Canadian finance legend Peter Brown will remain on the council, as will Paul Desmarais Jr., who succeeded his prominent father to co-chair Power Corp. of Canada.

Notably, Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., leaves the panel, as will Robert Prichard, chairman of the Bank of Montreal.

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