Carney, Ford and Crockatt: Politics on TV, Nov. 26 edition

Talking about Mark Carney's departure, Rob Ford's ouster, and Peter Julian and Elizabeth May go at it over the Victoria by-election

Message of the day

“With Mark Carney, Canada’s loss is Britain’s gain.”

Hot Topics

  1. The departure of Mark Carney
  2. Today’s three by-elections
  3. The ousting of Toronto mayor Rob Ford

Questions not answered

  • How will Rob Ford’s appeal process play out?

Mark Carney:

Power & Politics started off with a report saying that Carney turned down the Bank of England job twice, that he insisted on a five-year term instead of the usual eight, that he intends to return to Canada afterward, and will be keeping his house in Ottawa. CBC’s Terry Milewski said that Carney is looking for new challenges, which he will find in the UK, and that back in Canada, it will likely be business as usual with the Bank of Canada.

Power Play spoke with economist Craig Wright and Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty about Carney’s departure. Wright said that everybody was taken by surprise by this move, but that it’s a huge win for the UK, Wright said that part of the issue in the UK is that they’re looking outside because their challenges remain painful, and that Carney will have a broader mandate than he has here. Beatty said that Carney wasn’t a one-man show, so there will be continuity, and that his status as a reassuring figure in Canada is partly why the Brits want him.

Don Martin then held an MP panel comprised of Guy Caron, Scott Brison and Kellie Leitch to discuss Carney’s departure, where Brison said that Carney has not only benefitted Canada but provided leadership to the world, likened it to the Gretzky trade, but said that ultimately this should be a source of pride for Canada. Caron said that Carney came in during a difficult situation, and that his actions at that time helped to insulate our economy from the worst of the global downturn. Leitch said that Flaherty and Carney were both great Irishmen, and there was a great collegiality between them.

The same panel later appeared on Power & Politics, where Leitch added that independent directors of the Bank of Canada will form a special committee to review applications for a successor, and the new appointment will be made for July 1, 2013. Caron said that Carney has his work cut out for him, as Europe is not out of the economic woods. Brison said that Carney is a consummate public servant, and that he has a very practical perspective on the private sector because of his experience there, which helps as he tries to regulate them.

Power Play’s strategists panel of Goldy Hyder, Robin Sears and Jean Lapierre gave their thoughts, where Hyder said that the decision by the current government and previous governments helped with our stability, and that this move may be good for Canada, because we need the UK to do well and he can do a lot of good there. Sears said this new appointment is as close to heaven as a central banker can get, but said that one needs to be very careful coming into the UK from the outside. Lapierre said that hopefully the government can find someone to replace him who has the same kind of credentials.

On P&P’s Power Panel, Tom Flanagan said it showed the cosmopolitanism of the UK to hire outsiders when it’s unlikely that would happen in Canada. Chris Hall said that it will be interesting what he does afterward considering he’s keeping his house in Canada and may turn to politics. Anne McGrath said that there was some uproar in the UK Commons because they brought in an outsider. Rob Silver said that Carney won’t have any trouble finding something to do when he returns to Canada.

On Power Play’s journalists panel, John Ibbitson said that Carney speaks to a deeply conservative financial culture in Canada, and this culture that kept our banks sounder than other banks, while the British are trying to import that culture.

By-election madness:

Power & Politics had an MP panel of Michelle Rempel, Peter Julian, Wayne Easter, and Elizabeth May to discuss the by-election races. May said that the Greens are running close in Calgary Centre, and second place in Victoria, which means that the Greens are getting past the image of a single-issue party. Rempel said that by-elections are interesting for majority governments, and that she is still hearing concern for the economy when out door knocking. Easter said that the Trudeau and McGuinty comments may have been a factor, but that Calgary Centre was more loyal to the old Progressive Conservatives than right-wing Harper Conservative. Julian said that in Victoria, only the NDP supports sewage treatment (which May objected to, and it turned into a shouting match on air), and that the NDP are winning the sign war in Durham.

Power Play spoke with Alice Funke of Pundit’s Guide, who said that in Durham, Bev Oda and Dalton McGuinty come up at the doorsteps but Erin O’Toole will still likely take the race, and that the NDP likely have the lock in Victoria. As for Calgary Centre, Funke noted that advance polling was low – which is traditionally a Conservative strength – and that there was little traction for Joan Crockatt in the sign war.

P&P’s Power Panel weighed in, where McGrath noted that in Victoria, only the NDP were supporting the current plan on the sewage treatment, and that it was a bit much for May to accuse Julian of lying. Hall said that the Greens being competitive in two ridings is suggestive of how volatile the landscape is. Flanagan said that every poll showed the Greens in third-place in Calgary, and that there has been some chippiness between the Greens and Liberals in the riding as well. Silver said the most likely outcome is holds, but the notion that the Trudeau/McGuinty comments from last week impacting Calgary Centre is absurd.

Rob Ford:

Power & Politics heard from lawyer Clayton Ruby and councillor Adam Vaughan (no representative for Ford was made available). Vaughan said that the decision puts the city in a difficult spot, as they have to release a budget and make some key appointments in the next week. Vaughan added that it’s not a matter of the $3100, but the principle that he was lobbying those who had business before council for donations. Ruby said that the decision states that Ford is unable to run in a by-election in the current term, but that he can run again in 2014, and that it boiled down to good governance.

Power Play spoke with Ryerson University ethics professor Chris MacDonald, who said that Ford exercised poor judgement, and that he either didn’t know how to or decided not to handle it appropriately. MacDonald said that council has a lot of work to do in the future to ensure that their ethics training is done in a more rigorous manner, and that while it would be nice to see more subtlety in what is available to judges under the law, there remains the issue of the principle of the matter.

On Power Play’s strategists panel, Lapierre said that people are watching the work of mayors closer these days, and that Quebeckers feel better that it’s not just Quebec having problems with their mayors. Sears said that Ford made a mistake in not showing contrition before the court, while Hyder said that the judge was simply apply the statute as it exists, and that this is an era of public transparency.

P&P’s Power Panel gave their thoughts, where Hall said that Ford brought this on himself, but he gets a good long campaign for 2014, and the pressure is now on Olivia Chow to run for the job. McGrath said that Ford has a knack for making everything all about himself, and that he’s become a sideshow while he’s in the midst of a series of court cases. Silver disputed that it was about the sideshow, but rather the rule of law, and that it wasn’t a question of judicial activism, but a law with only one penalty. Flanagan said that it will likely be quite a while before it is heard on appeal, which could mean stringing it out until close to the next election.

On Power Play’s journalists panel, Ibbitson said that there will still be a lot of support for Rob Ford in the suburban parts of the city, where the Conservatives have their strength, and that Harper likely won’t cut his ties to Ford. Mia Rabson said that any kind of patronage appointment won’t happen anytime soon, however, as Ford will need to cool down politically first.

Worth Noting:

  • CTV’s Daryl Newcombe said that London, Ontario, mayor Joe Fontana faces a non-confidence motion that would see him step aside temporarily as mayor. The motion passed at finance committee, but goes to full council on December 11.
  • Mia Rabson said that the government will be selling the reduction in Challenger Jets as cost savings, but it won’t really add up to that much.
  • Mia Rabson also said there is room for Joyce Murray in the Liberal leadership race because of her positions on legalizing marijuana and cooperation between parties, while John Ibbitson said that she has government experience as a minister in BC, unlike the other candidates.

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