Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will tap veteran minister Chrystia Freeland to be Canada's first female finance minister, after Bill Morneau stepped down amid an ethics probe and a reported clash with his boss over pandemic spending.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will tap veteran minister Chrystia Freeland to be Canada's first female finance minister, local media said Tuesday, after Bill Morneau stepped down amid an ethics probe and a reported clash with his boss over pandemic spending.
Freeland, 52, has held key posts in the Liberal government including her current role as deputy prime minister and previously as foreign minister, as well as leading free trade talks with the US and Mexico.
She is to take on the country's top finance job as Canada goes through its worst economic crisis since the Second World War.
Broadcasters CBC and CTV said her appointment will be announced in a cabinet shuffle that a government source told AFP is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
After five years on the job, Bill Morneau -- under pressure from opposition parties -- announced his surprise resignation from politics late Monday.
He told a news conference he was leaving to pursue a job at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Local media had reported a growing rift between Trudeau and Morneau on how to reboot the Canadian economy weakened by the new coronavirus pandemic, as the government budget deficit soared to more than Can$340 billion (US$257 billion).
Morneau was also being investigated by Canada's ethics commissioner over his ties to a charity tasked to distribute pandemic relief to young Canadians.
Trudeau himself being probed over his family ties to the WE Charity, which paid his wife, brother and mother for speaking engagements.
Both Trudeau and Morneau apologized last month for the affair, saying they erred in not recusing themselves from discussions about awarding the roughly Can$500 million contract to WE Charity to distribute student scholarship funds.
The program has been cancelled but the controversy remains.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.