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Mark Carney’s will-he-or-won’t-he political dance takes another step Friday night as the former central banker appears as the keynote speaker at the Liberal Party’s policy convention.
For years, Liberal operatives have hoped to entice Mr. Carney to enter federal politics and Mr. Carney has carefully avoided opportunities to shut down the speculation. The Globe has previously reported that he is among a group of informal advisers that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has on “speed dial” for advice on managing the pandemic.
He’s been making the media rounds in recent weeks to promote his new 531-page book Value(s): Building a Better World for All. During his interview with The Globe, he was asked directly whether he is ruling out a political role in the future. His answer: “You’ll be the first to know. You and everyone else.”
The 56-year-old economist led the Bank of Canada from 2008 until 2013 and headed the Bank of England from 2013 to 2020. Since then, he and his family have returned to Ottawa. He is currently vice-chair of Brookfield Asset Management and Head of ESG and Impact Fund Investing. He is also United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
His interest in harnessing the power of private capital to curb the risks of climate change align closely with the Liberal government’s stated desire to attain net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for Canada by 2050. Many global companies and investment funds have made similar net-zero pledges, including Brookfield, where Mr. Carney now works.
On Friday, the Financial Times published a critical look at the net-zero claims made by Mr. Carney and Brookfield, headlined “Carney’s stumble at Brookfield intensifies focus on ‘net zero’ claims.” The report notes that Mr. Carney said in February that Brookfield was already net zero, but the company issued a revision in March, stating that “our global business is not net zero today, and it was not our intention to suggest that we have achieved our objectives in carbon reduction.”
The FT said the situation illustrates the complexity of climate accounting and the fact that “net zero” is not clearly defined.
At a news conference Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked if he is encouraging Mr. Carney to run for the Liberals in the next election. Mr. Trudeau did not directly answer the question.
“Liberal conventions are always an opportunity to gather as Liberals and reflect on the ideas that can push Canada forward,” Mr. Trudeau said. “One of the things that we’ve always done is brought in strong voices who contribute to our reflections - sometimes partisans, sometimes independent - but always they feed the discussions that we have.”
Mr. Trudeau said he’s pleased that Mr. Carney has agreed to participate in light of his interest in how economic and environmental considerations can work together.
“That is something that the Liberal Party has always stood for and I look forward to seeing Mark’s speech tonight,” he said.
Prince Philip was Queen’s ‘liege man of life and limb’ to the end: Sandra Martin writes an obituary of Prince Philip, whose death at Windsor Castle was announced by Buckingham Palace on Friday.
Ed Broadbent weighs in: The NDP is also holding a policy convention this weekend. The former NDP Leader spoke with the Globe’s Ian Bailey and shared his thoughts on what the party should do ahead of an expected federal election.
Elections Canada and WE Charity: The Globe’s Robert Fife and Steven Chase report that Canada’s elections watchdog has been making inquiries about whether WE Charity carried out activities that benefited the Liberal Party in violation of electoral laws. A researcher said a senior investigator from the office recently interviewed her.
Canadian Museum of History CEO resigns: The Globe’s Janice Dickson reports on Mark O’Neill’s departure as the museum’s CEO. Mr. O’Neill went on leave last August, after the museum’s board of trustees received complaints of workplace harassment. His resignation comes two months before he was to retire.
More calls to scale back on stimulus: Royal Bank of Canada’s CEO Dave McKay tells The Globe’s James Bradshaw in an interview that the federal Liberals should not overspend on new stimulus measures in the forthcoming budget and to hold back some fiscal capacity in case of unexpected setbacks to Canada’s economic recovery. The government has promised that the April 19 budget will detail a plan to spend between $70-billion and $100-billon on postpandemic stimulus measures, but with the economy already heating up, many fiscal policy experts are questioning whether a package of that size is warranted.
Canada’s unemployment rate drops from 8.2 per cent to 7.5 per cent in March: The Globe’s Matt Lundy reports on Friday’s Statistics Canada job numbers, which show Employment jumped by 303,100 last month. The gain was triple what economists were expecting, but the recent wave of new COVID-19 shutdowns could put a damper on future job reports.
Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) takes a look at the substance of the policy resolutions at this weekend’s Liberal Party policy convention. “This is not your grandparents’ Liberal Party. The policy resolutions that Liberal activists are backing at this weekend’s convention are a set of left-leaning ideas that wouldn’t be out of place in the NDP. Universal basic income. National pharmacare. Economic equality. A green new deal. Increasing Old Age Security. Forgiving student debt. Taxing the wealthy. In 2021, this is the stuff that Liberals’ dreams are made of.”
Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) says Canada should check its COVID-19 superiority complex: “The U.S. is slowly getting back to normal, whereas our system is at risk of crumbling under the pressure of the third wave. If nothing else, it should make us realize that our health care cow isn’t so sacred after all.”
Tanya Talaga (The Globe and Mail) writes that it is time for Canada to respect its treaties: “For the past two weeks, during a global pandemic, Pikangikum First Nation – a Northern Ontario community of nearly 3,600, located along the Berens River near the Manitoba border – has operated without a fully equipped police service or access to proper medical care. Canada, meanwhile, appears to continue to suffer from long-term memory loss on what it means to be a treaty partner, as it relates to the legal and moral obligations stemming from the signing of Treaty 5.”
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