Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the daily face of his government’s response to the COVID crisis, wasn’t going to missa $10-billion announcement.
So there he was on Oct. 1, big-footing his infrastructure minister, Catherine McKenna, to leadthe press conference on the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s new spending plans.
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The Toronto-based Crown corporation is supposed to have little to do with the Prime Minister’s Office, but never mind that. For Trudeau, the appearance came with the added bonus of getting to place himself above the bank’s chair, Michael Sabia, a legend of Canadian business who commands something the prime minister and his government lack with the Bay Street crowd: credibility. If you were Trudeau, you would have crashed that party, too.
That’s politics. Former prime minister Stephen Harper was playing the same game in 2013 when he summoned Stephen Poloz, the new central bank governor, fora photo-op, even though the central bank’s only contact with the government is technically supposed to be just the occasional meeting with the finance minister. Some leaders can’t help reminding everyone who’s boss.