Joe Oliver leaves Rideau Hall after being sworn in as the finance minister Wednesday March 19

Joe Oliver leaves Rideau Hall after being sworn in as the finance minister Wednesday March 19

PM tabs Oliver to replace Flaherty in Finance, promotes Rickford and Holder

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabbed Joe Oliver on Wednesday to take over from Jim Flaherty in the all-important Finance portfolio, and also promoted junior minister Greg Rickford to succeed Oliver at Natural Resources.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabbed Joe Oliver on Wednesday to take over from Jim Flaherty in the all-important Finance portfolio, and also promoted junior minister Greg Rickford to succeed Oliver at Natural Resources.

Southern Ontario backbench MP Ed Holder has also been brought into the cabinet fold, replacing Rickford as minister of state for science and technology.

In the past, even small cabinet shuffles have been documented with news releases and backgrounders. This time — and for the second time in less than a year — Harper relied instead on Twitter to announce his newest lieutenants.

“I just named Joe Oliver Canada’s new finance minister,” the prime minister tweeted as the new ministers were sworn in at Rideau Hall. “He will continue to strengthen the economy & balance the budget by 2015.”

An hour later, he issued a five-paragraph statement on the shuffle.

“Mr. Oliver, Mr. Rickford and Mr. Holder bring with them a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience and I am confident that they will deliver results and provide strong leadership in these important portfolios,” the statement said.

Oliver, 73, is widely respected within the Harper cabinet and Conservative party and is known on Bay Street, where he spent decades as an investment banker.

He went on to become executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and then president of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada

His sometimes gruff and often partisan demeanour is much different from that of the jocular Flaherty, who often poked fun at himself.

The 46-year-old Rickford, who has served as MP for Kenora since 2008, retains responsibility for economic development in Northern Ontario, including the region’s Ring of Fire mineral deposit.

He will also become the government’s point man on the tricky Keystone XL pipeline project, which is still awaiting approval in the U.S.

Holder, 59, is an insurance broker from London, Ont., who was first elected to Parliament in 2008.

Flaherty was Harper government’s first and only finance minister until his departure, which he unexpectedly announced late Tuesday.

He managed the economy through the crippling recession of 2008-2009. He went deep into the red with large deficits, but left the books virtually balanced after his Feb. 11 budget.

Flaherty said his decision was made with his family earlier this year. He said it was unrelated to a rare skin condition that requires him to take medication, which includes weight gain and apparent fatigue among its side effects.

“As I begin another chapter in my life, I leave feeling fulfilled with what we have accomplished as a government and a country during one of the most challenging economic periods in our country’s history,” Flaherty said in a statement.

He will continue to sit as the member of Parliament for the riding of Whitby-Oshawa.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read