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Morneau's resignation could signal problems with Prime Minister, his leadership: political scientist

Last Updated Aug 18, 2020 at 7:59 am PST

FILE - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises in the House of Commons Wednesday July 8, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Summary

Bill Morneau has stepped down as the country's finance minister

A political scientist with the University of Ottawa says Morneau's resignation may be a signal of problems in the PMO

The political scientist David Moscrop adds whoever replaces Morneau will have quite the task ahead of them

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The sudden resignation of Bill Morneau as federal finance minister and MP, might signal some problems in the Prime Minister’s Office, according to one political scientist.

RELATED: Bill Morneau resigns as federal finance minister, MP

David Moscrop is with the University of Ottawa and says, it’s not the first time a competent, high profile cabinet member has resigned from Justin Trudeau’s party.

Last year Vancouver-Granville MP Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet amidst claims the Prime Minister’s Office pressured her to help Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin avoid criminal prosecution.

“It probably says something about the management style of the Prime Minister and his team, and probably says nothing good,” says Moscrop.

However, Moscrop notes, clashes in the cabinet is something most every government has to go through.

“No government governs for five years or six years or seven years or 10 years, and comes out unscathed. It’s the nature of politics, it’s the nature of partisan parliament. It’s going to happen to the best of governments, says Moscrop. “The question is at the end of the day, is do we get good policy for the country, which is still going to be an open question, I think.

Whoever replaces Morneau, Moscrop says they will have quite the task ahead of them, with the country’s finances turned upside down by the ongoing pandemic, including a $343-billion deficit. Moscrop says it’s going to be a thankless job, to start.

“It isn’t the sort of thing that anyone is going to be rewarded for in the short term,” says Moscrop. “That’s probably something that’s going through a lot of minds right now, that said, if the Prime Minister of Canada rings you up and says, ‘Do you want to be Finance Minister?’ I think 11 out of 10 people say yes.”

Speculation has already begun on who will take over for Morneau, and while Moscrop reminds he doesn’t have a crystal ball to gaze into, he says Quebec MP and former Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean Yves Duclos would be a good choice.

“For one, he’s an expert, he’s a trained economist, but he also has plenty of policy experience when it comes to economic policy in this government,” says Moscrop.

There is speculation the replacement for the outgoing Finance Minister will be picked within the next few days.