Former federal finance minister advocates for energy transition

Bill Morneau hopes to continue making an impact in Canada

Journalist Paul Wells interviewed Bill Morneau on different aspects of his time as a minister. (Rodrigo Huerta Aguirre/Toronto Observer) 

With plenty of resources and a growing immigrant force, Canada is well-equipped to make choices for the better, Trudeau’s former minister of finance said on Monday.

“Obviously, it’s challenging,” Bill Morneau said during a conversation with political journalist Paul Wells in Toronto.

The former federal finance minister spoke about the importance of reducing carbon emissions and developing government policies to enhance economic growth. He also said that major energy firms “do not trust the price on carbon because they think it can change, then they are less likely to make investments.” He said a transition to cleaner energy sources is possible with “all the technologies that are available right now.”

“Canada is falling behind,” Morneau said. “That was [the] main reason why I got into public life … and something that I’m worried about.”

Morneau made his comments during a publicity tour for his newly released second book, Where To From Here: A Path to Canadian Prosperity. In it, narrates the “ups and downs” during his venture in to federal politics.

The former politician, who left Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet in 2020, also expressed his concern for climate change and solutions coming from business investments, “I’ve been engaged in efforts around decarbonization.”

Morneau, a successful businessman, began his public life on the board of St. Michael’s Hospital in 2003. His participation in different foundations and initiatives and later involvement with the Liberal party earned him an election as a member of Parliament for Toronto Centre in 2015. Trudeau appointed him as the finance minister the same year.

“There was not, on an ongoing basis, regular interactions,” Morneau said about his communication with the prime minister. “And for me, having worked hard for the four years previously, I’m trying to make sure that we came up with good economic policies. I wanted to see that continue.”

Public pressure after the WE Charity scandal, which involved both Trudeau and Morneau, forced the latter’s resignation from the cabinet and Parliament. “I certainly acknowledge I made mistakes,” Morneau said. “But I do think, in the longer term, we’ll look at the kind of response we put forward.”

Morneau said he is “quite happy to be on the other side of politics.” He said that he currently wishes to remain in the private sector, where he will focus on driving “outcomes that matter.”

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Posted: Feb 1 2023 3:16 pm
Filed under: News