Outgoing parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says there are three contenders in the running to take over his job.
Mostafa Askari: current assistant PBO and director general of economic and fiscal analysis. Age 63.
Sahir Khan: assistant PBO and the office’s director general of expenditure and revenue analysis. Age 43.
Chris Matier: senior director of economic and fiscal analysis. Age 42.
Page’s current term expires on March 24. An external search firm will choose three final candidates. Those names will be submitted to government House Leader Peter Van Loan. From there, the government will make the final decision.
Page has been vocal about his frustrations in the position, which was created by the Conservative government in 2006. In a letter to CBC radio’s As It Happens, Page said that the candidates will need “the art of magic” and “should be ready for retirement because the successful candidate will be unemployable after one mandate.”
Whoever the federal government ultimately chooses to replace Page, it looks like the next PBO may have a different mandate that the current one. In an interview over the weekend, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told CTV’s Tom Clark that Page has “gone off that course” that the government originally set for the PBO and that the next PBO’s mandate may be adjusted.