POLITICS

Quotes about Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's decision to resign from cabinet

03/18/2014 06:54 EDT | Updated 05/18/2014 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - "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." Jim Flaherty, departing finance minister.

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"In a political career of almost 20 years, minister Flaherty has exemplified the best qualities of those who enter public life: a true commitment to service, and a sincere desire to leave the country in better shape than it was when he entered politics." Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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"In the past year, Mr. Flaherty continued to serve in one of Canada's most difficult jobs despite facing health challenges. He did so with the same strength of character and sense of humour that has characterized his tenure as the finance minister of Canada. I am happy that in his statement today, Mr. Flaherty has announced that he is on the road to a full recovery." NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

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"Certainly there will be one less voice of opposition to income splitting. Mr. Flaherty never thought it made sense for the government to engage in income splitting when it got to surplus, and clearly he was on a different page from the prime minister on that." Peggy Nash, NDP finance critic.

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"Both he and (spouse) Christine have devoted their lives to public service — even with a young family, three sons who are now in their twenties. It's a significant commitment. We differed on questions of policy from time to time but I've never doubted his commitment to Canada." Scott Brison, Liberal finance critic.

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"Canada is the only industrialized country without a national securities regulator and we continue to believe that Canada needs a single national voice on the international stage. Few others would have shown such tenacity as minister Flaherty has over time on this issue." Terry Campbell, president of the Canadian Bankers Association.

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"Congratulations to @JimFlaherty for his years of public service. A great friend, and an exceptional public servant." Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, via Twitter.

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"He has been a mentor and a source of inspiration. I would like to thank him for his advice and friendship. He will be missed by me, cabinet colleagues and all of the Canadians he touched over a long and illustrious political career." Kellie Leitch, minister of labour.

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"It's very unfortunate for the whole country, Canada, to lose the best finance minister ever. It's a sad day for me, losing a friend in politics … He's been a huge supporter of mine through thick and thin. He's helped out the city more than any finance minister ever has." Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

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"It's not a complete shock, the only question was over the timing. I think the conventional wisdom was he'd hang in there for another budget to show he had balanced the books, but obviously he didn't, he decided now was the time." Douglas Porter, chief economist, BMO Capital Markets.