Canadian Finance Minister Morneau resigns, says will seek top OECD job

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced his resignation on Monday amid reports of friction with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and after coming under fire for his ties to a charity tapped to run a student grant program. Morneau said he would not run for parliament again and would instead seek, with the support of Trudeau, to become the next secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Trudeau had expressed confidence in his finance minister just last week.

Reuters August 18, 2020 07:10:17 IST
Canadian Finance Minister Morneau resigns, says will seek top OECD job

Canadian Finance Minister Morneau resigns says will seek top OECD job

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced his resignation on Monday amid reports of friction with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and after coming under fire for his ties to a charity tapped to run a student grant program.

Morneau said he would not run for parliament again and would instead seek, with the support of Trudeau, to become the next secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Trudeau had expressed confidence in his finance minister just last week. Morneau, 57, has been in the job since Trudeau's Liberals took power in late 2015.

Morneau and his team have pushed back against other Cabinet ministers about how much pandemic funding was needed, including to what extent the post-lockdown recovery could be helped by investing in environmental projects, sources had told Reuters.

"While we didn't get everything right, I know the cost of inaction would have been greater," Morneau said, before adding he met with Trudeau earlier "to tell him I do not intend to run again in the next election".

Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform to tackle climate change, believes the 2021 budget should have an ambitious environmental element to start weaning the heavily oil-dependent economy off fossil fuels and he recently hired former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney as an informal adviser, aides say.

Possible replacements for the key post are likely to be Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and President of Canada's Treasury Board Jean-Yves Duclos.

In a statement, Trudeau thanked Morneau for his service over the past five years.

"Canada will vigorously support his bid to lead this important global institution that will play a critical role in the global economic recovery," Trudeau said of Morneau's bid to head the OECD.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer and Amran Abocar; Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.