In a Globe and Mail story about former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s work and legacy, many noted friends and colleagues are quoted with praise for his willingness to make “tough, controversial decisions”. Flaherty, who passed away on April 10, was credited with steering Canada through the economic crisis that began in 2008 and, according to Gerry Schwartz of Onex Corp., “Jim’s steady hand kept us floating on top of the waves while many other countries went under.”
Macdonald-Laurier Institute Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley worked with Flaherty as a visiting economist in the Finance Department. Speaking to the Globe, he recalled Flaherty’s willingness to listen as part of the decision making process. Crowley also hosted Flaherty’s summer policy retreats in Wakefield, Que. The Globe reports: ‘”He loved the two-day, closed door frank discussions,’ said Mr. Crowley, now managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa think tank. Unlike other politicians who would hog a microphone, Mr. Flaherty preferred to keep a low profile, listening intently and taking copious notes, according to Mr. Crowley. Several ideas he heard made their way into his budgets, most notably the tax-free savings account”.