What the PM Had to Say to the Finance Minister Part One

As part one of our series reviewing the letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Finance we are
going to cover what the letter outlined as to what the Minister of Finance will be accountable for
according to the Prime Minister’s instructions. If you have ever wondered what delegation of authority
really is then this letter is a prime example of it. Yet, if you look at mega successful business entities that
have greatly prospered you will see that it is never a one man show, but runs under delegation of
authority provided the right people are chosen for the right jobs.

While this is a big plate that the Finance Minister has been handed if he is also given the tools and
resources needed to get this job done then he will have no issue should he fail. He too is now going to
have to break this list of “to dos” down and delegate them amongst his staff. His big job is going to be to
pick those who are not going to fail him, because there is no doubt that if he is fails then he will be the
one held responsible.

So really this is a great and impressive first step on behalf of the Prime Minister’s part provided he is not
setting his cabinet up for failure because he made promises that he cannot keep. For now though let’s
move forward in a position mode. Here is the outline of the expectations that the Prime Minister has set
on the Finance Minister.

Close collaboration with your colleagues

This spells out that the PM expects team work and team leadership.

Meaningful engagement with opposition members of Parliament, parliamentary committees, and the public service.

Key words here are meaningful engagement. Perhaps this means to have the answers to
whatever they are challenged with from the opposition.

Constructive dialogue with Canadians, civil society, and stakeholders holders, including business,
organized labour, the broader public sector, not-for-profit charitable sectors.

This indicates that the Finance Minister will have to make himself available and will not be
hiding behind closed doors. In other words he will be expected to explain his actions.

Identifying ways to find solutions and avoid escalating conflicts

This new Finance Minister is going to have to be a problem solver and will not be able to blame
things on the “other guy”.

Professionalism and engagement with Canadian and foreign journalists

This falls in with transparency and it is clear how the PM expects the press to be handled.

Expected to bring Canadians together

If the Finance Minister can fulfill this staggering mandate then it will definitely bring Canadians

Ensure gender parity indigenous Canadians and minority groups are better reflected in positions of

It is quite obvious that fair play is going to be a priority in the choosing of the leadership
positions all the way down through the channels. There won’t be any putting of best friends into
prestigious positions.

Use the fiscal and budgeting tools to implement the new plan for strong middle class

The PM is indicating that the Finance Minister has the tools and resources to use but he has to
use them.

Lead the fiscal implementation of the plan

This says it all…the Financial Minister is expected to “make it all happen”.

Create good quality jobs and improve economic opportunity and security for Canadians

If the Finance Minister fulfills all his obligations then it will automatically stimulate the economy
and create new job growth.

Ensure that the plan is realistic sustainable prudent transparent and communicated so it is accurate
and understandable

This is a bit of a mind twister as it is the PM that has developed the plan, now he is saying it is up
to the Finance Minister to ensure it is realistic. Out of all that has been outlined here, this one
may be the issue with the most vulnerability to it.

Delivery on the top priorities

Now the letter goes on to totally outline what the Prime Minister feels are priorities and makes
this clear to the Finance Minister.

In our next few posts we are going to summarize these and break them down into groups for comment.

Share Your Thoughts!


Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
629 Sheppard Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 2S3

Telephone: (416) 398-1700
Fax: (416) 398-6226

Chartered Professional Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Licensed Public Accountant


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