Writing in the Globe and Mail about Jim Flaherty’s sudden resignation as Finance Minister, reporter Campbell Clark quotes MLI managing director Brian Lee Crowley, a former visiting professor in the Finance Department.
Clark writes about Flaherty’s response to the fiscal crisis in 2008, which contributed to an eventual $56-billion deficit. But Crowley explains, “He was dragged by events that he could not control into running deficits. He didn’t like that.”
Clark continues: “Mr. Flaherty would probably point to other measures as parts of his legacy, Mr. Crowley said, like the Working Income Tax Benefit, a refundable tax credit on working income, and tax breaks for savings plans for children with disabilities – a policy that Mr. Flaherty, who has a son with a disability, took to heart. He was proud of his role in building some of the postcrisis stability architecture for financial institutions, Mr. Crowley said.
His transition from ideologically driven political fighter to reassuring figure was perhaps an evolution that led him out of politics. In recent years, some say, he showed declining interest in the nuts and bolts of domestic finance, and more passion for the international-finance aspects of the job. He was one of the most senior finance ministers, and liked the role.
‘He moved into a kind of elder statesman role,’ Mr. Crowley said.”