Is Jim Flaherty the first great Conservative finance minister?
Uh, no. And Ibbitson buries the lead.
What would constitute a great Finance Minister then? Let's get some inspiration from the present occupant...
Someone who doesn't bash the provinces.
Someone who values transparency and works constructively with federal institutions like the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
Someone whose pre and post-election economic quotes wouldn't provide comic fodder in hindsight.
Someone who wouldn't foolishly meddle in the mortgage market by instituting high risk 40-year mortgages, contributing to a high household debt situation.
Someone who wouldn't let one of their financial updates transform into a constitutional crisis for the country.
Someone who does more than coast on a previous government's stabilizing financial achievements, who takes serious steps to advance the nation's financial health rather than ushering us in to a new era of structural deficit to the tune of $10 billion a year.
Someone who would have taken care to oversee a stimulus plan that would make a long run difference to the nation. A plan that would have prioritized such things as rural high speed internet over snowmobile trail bonanzas.
The present occupant great? Not so much. With headlines like that, guess the Globe thinks ol' Deficit Jim needs a boost as we head closer to budget time.