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Mark Carney would be 'outstanding' addition to federal politics, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Bank of England governor Mark Carney at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina on November 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA - Mark Carney would be an "outstanding addition" to federal politics, the prime minister said Thursday, in response to speculation that he is trying to recruit the former Bank of Canada governor to join his cabinet.

Trudeau was asked about the possibility of replacing Chrystia Freeland by making Carney his new finance minister during a press conference at the NATO summit in Washington, D.C.

Rather than deny the possibility, Trudeau praised Carney and said he's been talking to him about joining federal politics for years.

"I think he would be an outstanding addition at a time when Canadians need good people to step up in politics," Trudeau said.

But he also emphasized that he has full confidence in Freeland.

"In regards to Chrystia, she has been a close friend and ally and partner in doing really big things for Canada and will continue to be," he said.

In French, Trudeau said he was "always open" to having other people join the party.

A source in the Prime Minister's Office, who spoke under condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the suggestion that Trudeau is thinking about replacing Freeland with Carney is "totally false."

The idea of Carney running for the Liberals has been a constant discussion in Canadian political circles for years, and he himself has not ruled out the possibility of one day seeking the Liberal leadership.

Speculation about a role for Carney, either in the Liberal cabinet or at the helm of it, has run rampant since the Liberals lost a long-held seat in a Toronto byelection last month.

Most thought the seat would be a safe one for the Liberals, and the loss sparked calls for Trudeau's resignation from within and outside the party.

Despite the criticism, Trudeau has pledged to lead the Liberals into the next election.

Carney's supporters see him as a strong economic candidate, as the Liberals struggle to address the growing expense of basic needs in Canada and defend against criticism about government spending.

Conservatives have already taken aim at Carney, and even called for him to appear at a parliamentary committee in April so they could grill him about his plans for government economic and fiscal policy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2024.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2024
The Canadian Press

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