Trudeau Turns to McKinsey's Barton for Advice on Canada Growth

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reaching beyond Canada’s borders for expert advice on how to spur growth.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has named Dominic Barton, the global managing director of consulting firm McKinsey & Company, to lead a panel on how to reinvigorate Canada’s sluggish economy as it copes with low crude prices.

Barton, who is Canadian, will serve as chair of a new advisory council on economic growth. The group’s full roster will be chosen shortly, and members “will meet regularly and report to me with advice on concrete policy actions to help create the long-term condition for economic growth, focused on the middle class,” Morneau said Monday in Ottawa.

The appointment came as Morneau revealed a worsening outlook for the economy. Next year’s deficit is now pegged at C$18.4 billion ($13.5 billion), before a host of spending pledges made in last year’s election are factored in.

Barton is based in London. Trudeau acknowledged his role in global business circles last month in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, joking “at least half this room has employed Dominic Barton at one point or another.”

The government will unveil its growth strategy before the end of 2016, Morneau said. The finance minister’s first budget is due March 22.

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