Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver is the federal government’s new finance minister.
He was sworn in this morning by Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed his appointment this morning, and laid out Oliver’s priorities in his new post on Twitter.
“He will continue to strengthen the economy and balance the budget by 2015,” he wrote.
Oliver, 73, is widely respected within the Harper cabinet and among Conservatives, and is known on Bay Street, having spent decades working there as an investment banker.
However, Oliver has a much different demeanour than Flaherty: the Canadian Press says he’s often gruff and highly partisan.
As announced yesterday, Flaherty said his decision to resign was made with his family earlier this year, and that’s unrelated to a rare skin condition that requires him to take medication that led to weight gain and apparent fatigue.
“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 issued late yesterday.
An official in the Prime Minister’s Office said Flaherty would be retaining (at least for now) his seat in the House of Commons, meaning he’ll remains as an MP in the short-term.
Observers have said whoever takes over from Flaherty will have their work cut out for them.