Joe Oliver to replace Jim Flaherty as finance minister

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will become the federal government's new finance minister, replacing Jim Flaherty who announced his resignation earlier on Tuesday, CBC News has learned.
Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will replace Jim Flaherty as finance minister. (Richard Carson/Reuters)

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver will become the federal government's new finance minister, replacing Jim Flaherty who announced his resignation earlier on Tuesday, CBC News has learned.

Oliver will be named finance minister on Wednesday in Ottawa.

The Toronto MP is a relative newcomer to politics, having been elected in 2011. But he was quickly promoted into cabinet, taking over the natural resources ministry, which included the important Keystone pipeline file.

Oliver may be a compatible choice for Bay Street, which seeks continuity and stability. Oliver spent most of his career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch and, at one time, was president and chief executive officer of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada. 

He was also executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission.

His schooling includes an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Civil Law at McGill University.

Oliver, who is fluently bilingual, will become Harper's second finance minister — Flaherty having held the position since the Tories came into power. In a statement, Flaherty said he was resigning from cabinet to prepare for work in the private sector.

Oliver, who at the age of 73 has no leadership aspirations, could also be considered a safe choice, as the position would certainly improve the chances of a potential candidate to eventually replace the prime minister.

Oliver will also be positioned to deliver a balanced budget, which is expected next year.

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