Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

A big job for the new minister

  • Print

Joe Oliver had been a member of Parliament less than five years when Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week asked him to step into the place of retiring finance minister Jim Flaherty. After a career in investment banking and securities regulation, Mr. Oliver entered Parliament in 2011 as a kind of retirement project.

In five years, however, he has covered a lot of ground, picked up some political scars and made a name for himself in the Conservative party and in the country. As minister of Natural Resources, he has been leading the fight for the government's favourite pipeline projects over opposition in the U.S. and British Columbia. He moves on to Finance before winning approval for those projects, but he has acquired precious experience in Canada-U.S. relations and in dealing with environmental movements and Canada's First Nations.

As a law graduate from McGill and a business graduate from Harvard, Mr. Oliver is exceptionally well-qualified for the Finance portfolio. He is already well known among bankers and investment managers from his years as executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and his further years as chief executive of the Investment Dealers' Association of Canada. A finance minister must occasionally lay down the law to the money managers of Bay Street. Mr. Oliver knows in great detail how they conduct their business and where the bodies are buried.

He has not yet shown the confidence and easy rapport with Parliament and the public that helped make Jim Flaherty a success at Finance. Mr. Flaherty did the heavy lifting to bring the federal budget back close to balance, but national regulation of securities trading remains unfinished business. Mr. Flaherty clearly recognized the inefficiency of Canada's network of provincial securities commissions and made a good case for pooling of powers and efforts to create a single national structure comparable to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority. He was never able, however, to bring this reform to the top of the national agenda.

From his years of riding herd on investment dealers, Mr. Oliver knows more than most people how badly Canada needs a modern, efficient financial regulatory agency. If he makes that a top priority and persists against provincial obstruction, Canadians will thank him for improving the investment climate, protecting the savings of the public and rescuing the country from the horse-and-buggy era of securities regulation.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 25, 2014 A8

History

Updated on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:49 AM CDT: adds image

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Glenn January won't blame offensive line for first loss

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Standup- Morning Fog. Horse prances in field by McPhillips Road, north of Winnipeg. 060605.
  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google