Kelly McParland: Morneau’s weak excuse for quitting suggests he’s finally lost confidence in Trudeau

Kelly McParland: Morneau’s weak excuse for quitting suggests he's finally lost confidence in Trudeau

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Which, if true, leads one to surmise that it’s Morneau who no longer has confidence in the prime minister, and the absence of that confidence spurred his sudden decision to quit the government Monday night, and resign his seat, after a one-on-one session with Trudeau earlier in the day that clearly didn’t go well.

That’s bad news for Trudeau. He looked decidedly careless in his handling of the WE debacle: a prime minister too out of touch to stop a billion-dollar contract going to a favoured charity that had sent healthy payments to his mother and brother, and too blind to ethics concerns to recuse himself from the decision-making process. Now his finance minister, the one that’s been overseeing the vast spending program instituted to deal with the pandemic fallout, concludes he can’t think of a reason good enough to stick around now that the tough part of the program is about to begin.

If Morneau doesn’t have confidence in Trudeau’s urge to remake the country, should other Canadians?

Morneau wasn’t about to admit as much when he announced his departure Monday night. Its never been my plan to run for more than two federal election cycles,” he said, announcing he plans to seek a top job with the OECD. “I’ll be spending the next few weeks preparing for this bid.”

It’s not much of a face-saver, as these things go. The Liberals, with Morneau, were just re-elected 10 months ago, which makes it odd to quit at the moment when, in Morneau’s words, there’s a “long and challenging road ahead.” What particular aspect of the transition to recovery” makes it “the right time for a new finance minister to deliver on that plan,” as Morneau put it? Noting that I want to continue to serve,” Morneau might have explained why, just as Canada must come to grips with what he properly called “a long and uncertain recovery,” he decided he could best contribute by applying for a post at the OECD?

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