New Finance Minister has big shoes to fill

New Finance Minister Joe Oliver (third left) takes over for Jim Flaherty after his eight years of service| Courtesy Department of Finance Website New Finance Minister Joe Oliver (third left) takes over for Jim Flaherty after his eight years of service| Courtesy Department of Finance Website

Aabida Dhanji
Biz/Tech Reporter

The new federal finance minister, Joe Oliver, has a lot to do to impress Canadians and live up to previous finance minister, Jim Flaherty, according to Lennox Fraser, an instructor at the Humber Business School.

“It may affect Canada in the short term unless the new Minister can establish his brand quickly…and that brand should clearly be to continue the strategy of Mr. Flaherty,” she said.

Flaherty retired his position of Finance Minister Mar. 18, after over eight years of service.

Flaherty’s work had a great impact on Canada’s financial situation in terms of keeping it under control during the global financial crisis in 2008, said Noureen Merchant, a member of the Bank of Montreal’s Client Tax Team.

Flaherty’s resignation could affect Canada, but opinions as to what happens next vary among Humber business school professors.

If the new Minister tries to make extreme changes to Flaherty’s previous policies it will affect Canada negatively, said Fraser.

“Canada is in a good place economically and if this new Finance Minister establishes himself as a credible replacement to Jim Flaherty by slowly working himself into the position, we should be okay for the next little while,” she said.

Professor Duncan Fletcher from the Humber Business School however, said Flaherty stepping down from his position won’t affect Canada in any great way.

“The eight year Flaherty legacy will continue for at least another as the 2014 budget was recently introduced,” said Fletcher.

The new Finance Minister has a year before another budget is due, he continued.

“I am hoping with his departure we can get our economy going again, especially jobs and the environment,” said Business School instructor Stephen Harpley.

“Jim Flaherty has made some major changes that contribute to this economy such as getting rid of the GST tax, and the penny among other policies,” said Merchant.

“It will take some time for the new Finance Minister to warm up to the demand and pressures of the place he is taking, the budget might not be what is expected but, there is still some hope for the potential of the economy,” said Merchant.

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