Canada's Flaherty Names Desmarais, Rogers as Advisory Council Members

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty today bolstered the presence of the financial industry on his council of economic advisers, adding Peter Brown of Canaccord Financial Inc. to the group.

Brown, the chairman and founder of Canada’s largest independent brokerage, and Duncan Jackman, chief executive of E- L Financial Corporation Ltd., an investment holding company, will join the 11-member Economic Advisory Council, according to a finance department statement. Rogers Communications Inc. Deputy Chairman Edward Rogers will also become a member.

The council was formed in December, 2008 to advise Flaherty on his 2009 budget as the country entered its first recession in almost two decades. The group, which will have four returning members, now will advise the government on how to sustain the recovery and balance the budget, Flaherty said.

“While Canada’s economy is showing encouraging growth, the global economic recovery remains fragile,” said Flaherty in a statement. “We are bringing together some of Canada’s most talented business and economic innovators to help us continue to make economic progress and return to budget balance.”

Brown and Jackman join George Gosbee, the former head of Calgary-based Tristone Capital Inc., on the council. Gosbee, Power Corp. Co-Chief Executive Paul Desmarais Jr., Jim Pattison, Canada’s fourth-richest person according to Canadian Business magazine, and Jack Mintz of the University of Calgary are the four returning members.

Unrepresentative

Former Quebec Finance Minister Monique Jerome-Forget will also be a member of the council, which will be chaired by former Saskatchewan Finance Minister Janice MacKinnon.

Gone from the previous council are Mike Lazaridis, president of Research in Motion Ltd., and James Irving, president of J.D. Irving, Ltd.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the country’s largest union group, criticized the make-up of the advisory council two years ago, claiming at the time it was unrepresentative. Thomas Mulcair, deputy leader of Canada’s opposition New Democratic Party, said there should be more “alternate voices” in the council.

“I don’t have anything against people making money, but the simple fact of the matter is the world view of somebody who doesn’t have to worry about whether he has a job tomorrow morning is a lot different from the world view of somebody who has spent 12 of the last 36 months on unemployment,” Mulcair said.

The members will be paid a nominal salary of C$1 (95 U.S. cents) for their work and will meet “periodically,” the statement said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexandre Deslongchamps in Ottawa at adeslongcham@bloomberg.net.

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.