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UPDATE: Jim Flaherty resigns as finance minister

Flaherty announced his resignation from the Cabinet earlier Tuesday

Jim Flaherty has announced that he is resigning from Cabinet earlier Tuesday.

In a statement, he says this is a decision he made with his family earlier this year.

Flaherty will be returning to the private sector. 

A formal announcement on his replacement is expected on Wednesday.

Here is Flaherty's full statement: 

Yesterday, I informed the Prime Minister that I am resigning from Cabinet. This was a decision I made with my family earlier this year, as I will be returning to the private sector.

I am grateful to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for providing me with the opportunity and responsibility to serve Canadians as their Minister of Finance since 2006, one of the longest serving Finance Ministers in Canadian history. As a government, we achieved great things for Canada and I could never have accomplished what I have as Finance Minister without the full support of Prime Minister Harper.

As I reflect on my almost two decades in politics, I am proud of the accomplishments of the governments I was part of, provincial and federal.

In my time as Finance Minister, I am proud of the work I have done to help manage the deepest economic challenge to face Canada since the depression of the 1930s and ensure Canada emerged stronger and as a recognized economic leader on the international stage.

Along with managing Canada’s performance during the global economic crisis, I am pleased our government brought forward positive measures to make Canada one of the world’s best places to do business. I am proud to be part of a government that:

reduced Canada’s business taxes to the lowest level in the G-7;
reduced other taxes 160 times;
introduced the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB)
took action on four separate occasions to protect Canada’s housing market; and
took historical steps to strengthen Canada’s securities regulation regime.
I also made it a priority to help improve the well-being of people with disabilities. Our government has worked hard to ensure our country benefits from the talents and abilities of Canadians with disabilities. We improved accessibility through the Enabling Accessibility Fund, provided new investments for people with disabilities to join and contribute to the workforce, and helped improve access to financial independence through programs such as the Registered Disabilities Savings Plan (RDSP).

My goal was always to get Canada back on track to a balanced budget after the large deficit we agreed was necessary in Budget 2009 to combat the Great Recession and protect Canadian jobs. As outlined in Budget 2014, I followed through on that commitment. There is no doubt that Canada’s budget will be balanced in 2015. Canada’s fiscal position is the envy of the developed world. All Canadians can be proud of the country’s performance.

Now, I will focus on life beyond politics as I return to the private sector. I believe that I have served my country, province and constituents of Whitby-Oshawa to the best of my abilities and thank them for their continued trust and support for almost two decades. It has been an honour to serve Canadians with the Prime Minister, Cabinet and caucus colleagues and all Members of Parliament in the House of Commons.

As many of you know, I faced a health issue over this past year. I have received much support and good wishes from Canadians across the country and for that, I am thankful. I am happy to report that I am on the road to a full recovery and the decision to leave politics was not related in any way to my health. This decision was made because it is the right one for me and my family at this time.

I would also like to thank all Canadians who expressed their support and encouragement over my years in public service. I have often said that public service is a noble calling and have encouraged young people, including my own children, to consider it as a worthy career choice. I believe a career in the public service is the most satisfying and personally enriching career you will ever find.

I want to thank my wife Christine and our three sons for their unwavering support during my time in public office. I am lucky to have such a wonderful family.

As I begin another chapter in my life, I leave feeling fulfilled with what we have accomplished as a government and a country during one of the most challenging economic periods in our country’s history.

We live in the greatest country in the world, and I want Canadians to know that it has been my honour and my privilege to serve them.

Thank you.

Jim Flaherty

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  1. Ernie posted on 03/18/2014 04:44 PM
    He has done much for Canada irrespective of any political colours. Thank you Mr. Flaherty for staying on the bridge of the ship during our stormy time. Your service is an example of true Canadian spirit. That is - one of reaching out and helping each other. I firmly believe this is a fundamental Canadian characteristic.

    Thank you and best wishes in the future.
  2. Frankie posted on 03/18/2014 05:33 PM
    One of the best finance ministers this country has ever had. Paul Martin was right up there too. We are lucky to have had both of them, especially in difficult times.
  3. Dawn posted on 03/18/2014 05:34 PM
    Flaherty failed to become leader of the ON PCs twice and went on to run $160 Billion in Deficits plus interest as Federal Finance Minister. He has enacted Austerity just to try to balance the budget in 2015. The Bank of Canada predicts slower growth this year...
    1. Frankie posted on 03/18/2014 08:09 PM
      @Dawn The deficits were created for stimulus spending to help Canada during the economic crisis in 2008. Not perfect but it was a very smart move. Austerity is possible now because our economy is stronger and globally the worst of the crisis has passed.

      Canada fared amongst the best of major nations so we're fortunate he was Finance Minister.

      He's resigning due to health issues. Hope all will be well.
  4. AC posted on 03/18/2014 07:34 PM
    he seems to be a good man I understand he has some health issues also. I wish him well. probably a good time to exit he sees the writing on the wall for the conservatives in 15. so it would make sense to do an honorable exit at this point.
    all the best!!
    1. Walter posted on 03/18/2014 10:53 PM
      @AC Based on the excellent job Flaherty and Harper have done - it would be unthinkable to go with anyone else.
    2. AC posted on 03/19/2014 02:50 AM
      @Walter Nonsense! Canada with its social systems and finacial banking regulations we are always one of the best places to live. We are fine with Harper we were golden under 3 Chrétien majorities. We were ok with Mulroney. I immigrated in the late 60s with my family under the PET time. jobs galore if you worked hard. my dad is sitting pretty after working hard all his life.
      You have to realize every government has a shelf life. Just the way it is.
      I have a lot of respect for prime minister Chrétien who refused to take canada to war in Iraq saving billions and many lives. your hero Harper if he was PM would have taken us to war. I remember him on the radio saying we should be with our US friends. times up! Just the way it is
  5. Frankie posted on 03/18/2014 09:18 PM
    Joe Oliver will have big shoes to fill. Hope he performs well to help ensure another Conservative election victory.
  6. Sammy posted on 03/19/2014 03:09 AM
    He's a good man but I don't think at this point for conservatives who's sitting in the deck chairs. Canada is ready for new leadership. You can sense it. I'm 55 I've seen a few governments come and go. if not in 15 then 2 yrs or so later Trudeau will be PM.
    Young people want jobs and a chance at a successful future like their fathers had and someone they can relate to like I remember his dad bringing a nation together. Harpers not going to bring the youth vote on his side.
    My era is somewhat fortunate we had full time jobs and a chances at a decent retirement. I see people 25 or so only able to get 6 month contracts one year contracts.
    What's going to happen to these people if they don't start paying into a pension system like I did in my early 20s
    The youth is going to fight back with their vote
  7. Karl Burgin posted on 03/19/2014 12:27 PM
    Flaherty seems nice, and its sad to see him go.

    But I cannot help but WISH it was Kathleen Wynne in the doorway waving goodbye. Oh, cruel fate- how you torture us so....
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